I was born in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France, in 1989. My willingness to understand the persistence of inequalities in affluent countries made me start studying economics. During my bachelor studies, which I pursued at the University of Limoges, my associative involvement (GENEPI, French Red Cross) enabled me to talk to and learn from marginalised individuals, and convinced me further of the importance of inequality issues. In 2010, I was enrolled in Toulouse School of Economics for a Master’s program. There I also gathered experience as a TA in microeconomics and as a treasurer of TSE Junior Études, a student association that aims to promote economics on the job market and to provide job experiences to TSE students. I am now a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Mannheim. In my spare time, I like to keep in shape by going to gym or jogging, attending cultural events, and, especially, reading political philosophy, history, sociology, and classical novels.
Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS
It is the reputation of Mannheim's graduate program which first got me interested in applying. Further, I always had a soft spot for Germany, where I had spent one of my Bachelor's year as an Erasmus student. So when I found out the large course offer of the program, and especially the explicit willingness to bring together the various social sciences, I got convinced I would like it there.
The best part of being a doctoral student here
On top of the list I would mention a "feeling of being welcome". Older cohorts help us getting started with the first year. We are provided with offices, equipment, and access to various services as soon as we arrive. An active GESS administrative team and a welcome center for international scholars are providing very useful help. Later on, and most importantly for PhD students, Professors make it very easy to communicate with them.
A description of my fellow doctoral students
The atmosphere between students is very friendly here. Small traditions are in place to get us know each other quite fast, both within and between cohorts. Further, the diversity of research interests is very enjoyable. It makes it easier to find out our own interest and to discuss it with others.
My most challenging experience within the program
The first year, with its fast rythm and its course spread, was a challenge to me. This is probably why I considered this "feeling of being welcome" and the friendly atmosphere between students to be so important.
My advice for prospective students