Charmaine Tan, Researcher at the centre for public economics in the civil service college of singapore
When I decided to pursue a masters in 2010, the Economics of Markets and Organizations (EMO) programme at the Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) was the obvious choice for several reasons: the faculty at Toulouse is made up of many renowned economists who are leaders in their fields; the programme focuses on my interest area of applied microeconomics, including industrial organization, competition policy and economic regulation; and I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship from TSE that made it a financially viable choice. Going to Toulouse benefitted me in many ways, and I am glad to be given this space by the editor to share my experience and express my heartfelt “merci” for what the city and the school have given me. At the same time, I hope that the reader in Toulouse will also find your time there to be immensely rewarding too.
The year of studying in Toulouse was, in all honesty, not an easy breeze at all. Classes were unrelentingly rigorous. However, TSE professors are as high-quality teachers as they are researchers, and the classmates never held back in helping and pushing each other forward. It was the dual presence of both the challenging and encouraging elements in that TSE academic environment that made learning a most fruitful and fulfilling one.
After Toulouse, I resumed my previous job at the Civil Service College of Singapore, where my work involves putting together economics courses and lectures to advance economics thinking in Singapore’s public sector. At TSE I developed useful analytical and research skills that are valuable in my current job. Moreover, TSE has affirmed my interest in economics research, prepared me well to continue to a PhD when I eventually make that move, and provided wider opportunities to move forward because of the high-standing reputation it has around the world.
The intense pace of studies at TSE and the inevitable difficulties of living in a place of foreign language and culture were mitigated by the fact that I was in a mesmerizing part of France, where the sights are wonderful and the atmosphere is idyllic and relaxed. I met some of the most brilliant yet humble people from around the world that made a difference to my social life, and I experienced a way of life that made a difference to my perspectives on happiness. These are perhaps the most valuable take-homes that can come only uniquely from Toulouse.