An environmental gap year

With Rosanne Logeart (M2 APE in gap year), interviewed by Jean-Rémy Cano

When did you decide to make a gap year?

I took this decision very late, in July. The deadline to apply had already passed.

Why, more specifically, what advantages has a gap year in your opinion?

I did this because we received an internship offer for September, which I was really interested in. I applied immediatly, went to an interview and was accepted. Thus I had to take a gap year, even if it wasn’t initially my plan. I do not regret this choice, I have more time this year and I am able to take a step back to get a clearer vision of what I want to do after my graduation.It really helps seeing what you would actually do in an institution or in a firm… In addition, it enables you to think about the field you want to specialize yourself in with hindsight. I recommend anyone who has this opportunity to do so.

Which internships have you done so far?

I did two internships. First, I was a research intern in a lab three months this summer. This is an industrial economics lab (CERNA at Mines ParisTech) and I was working on a paper about the impacts of the energy prices on green innovation in the industry.And now I am working at the French ministry of the environment, in the decision support branch. The aim is to determine the main causes of urban sprawl to shape economic instruments so as to incentivize the different actors not to build up new areas.

How did you find the internship? What are your suggestions for those students looking for an internship?

I found my current internship thanks to PSE, the offer was sent to us. And I found the previous one by applying to several researchers in the fields I was interested in. My advice -which can appear simplistic- is: do not hesitate to apply.

Which is your role as an intern?

Doing litterature reviews on different topics, collecting and describing data, trying a lot of different econometric models to understand a phenomenon and then be able to develop policy recommendations.

What is planned for the second semester?

I would like to travel if possible (both my two internships were in Paris), whether it be by finding a 2-3 months internship abroad (for sure it won’t be a 6 months internship) or by just travelling and commiting in environmental NGOs… clearing my brain before M2 APE !

How did the studies at PSE help you during the internship?

The courses, the rigor and the broad view on the economic effects at stake in any situation ! I have my econometric courses at the office for instance, and people like the fact that we are able to consider the globality of a situation.

Don’t you fear coming back in APE after a year not studying?

I do, it may be difficult but I also think I will come back with a different perspective to comprehend the courses and that this can be helpful (especially for the master thesis). Moreover, M2 is different, less academical so it should be easier. I wouldn’t recommend taking a year off before M1 for example but I think this is feasible between M1 and M2: I will keep you informed next september !

Our first issue is on environment, what concrete policy would you implement if you were in office?

Huuge question… If I only have a one-shot opportunity and from an economic perspective, I would probably reinitiate the price of some commodities by deleting subsidies on harmful products and delete taxes on ethical products to help every agent (government, firms, consumers) to become aware of the true cost of some resources (clothes, energy, plastic, animal products etc). The solutions already exist, there are plenty of alternatives. I believe we don’t need to create amazing answers but we need to make the alternatives afordable. I hope this would help to stop wasting and overconsuming.But even without such policies, we still are able to refuse some useless and harmful products and thus to redirect the supply: for sure it is not sufficient but I believe this is a first step anyone can easily make !

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