ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Elsa Pivard (Alumni 2018), CEO at Dortan-Compost and GAEC du Truchet

Elsa Pivard, a graduate of the Master's in Economics engineering program with a double degree from ENSAE Paris and Humboldt University (Berlin) - Class of 2018. She is now a managing partner at Dortan-Compost and also heads the company GAEC du Truchet.
Elsa Pivard (Alumni 2018), CEO at Dortan-Compost and GAEC du Truchet

At the time, why did you choose ENSAE Paris?

A bit by chance, I didn't have a fixed idea. I thought the school looked good, so I put it on my list! I haven't regretted my choice; I appreciated it a lot. It's the diversity of profiles that allows for the creation of interesting projects. The courses are of high quality, the school's reputation is excellent, and the work done by the students is top-notch. Being a student at ENSAE Paris is demanding, you have to work hard. It's also great to have so many international students at the school.

What did you learn from your double degree?

The numerous international mobility opportunities allow you to experience different ways of learning. I did a double degree at Humboldt University in Berlin.

I made this decision for two reasons:

  1. The subject was of great interest to me, mainly micro and macroeconomics.
  2. My mother is of German origin, and it was important to me to live part of my life in Germany. This was the opportunity to do so.

Besides enjoying life in Berlin, I attended PhD courses in macro and microeconomics. I concluded that research was not for me! However, they offered Russian language courses, which I took, and I decided to travel to former USSR countries after obtaining my degree. Stepping out of the rigid French academic framework allowed me to reassess some life choices with perspective.

What do you still take away from your training at ENSAE Paris today?

In my daily work, I don't need the very technical skills acquired at school, but the overall understanding of the world we live in is invaluable.

Can you tell us about one or two key moments from your time at ENSAE and why they stood out?

During my long internship year, I did an internship at the economic department of the French Embassy in Canada. It was fantastic to discover this world from the inside, to see the diversity of our diplomats' profiles, their missions, and expat life.

To whom would you recommend the school?

To those who want to understand the economy from both a socio and quantitative perspective and who enjoy math or data science.


What advice would you give to students wanting to join ENSAE Paris?

When I was in high school, I was quite good in class and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was advised to do a preparatory course and then an engineering school because it opens all doors. It's true! You learn to work and think critically. This, of course, allows you to work in the specific fields of the school, but it's also a wonderful school of life that opens all doors.