Could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Luke Pilache, I am French and I grew up in the suburbs of Paris. I followed the mathematics and physics double-major at the Bachelor of École polytechnique. Currently I’m following the cycle ingénieur at CentraleSupélec in France.
What program are you currently studying and in what institution?
I’m currently studying engineering in the cycle ingénieur at CentraleSupélec. As in the other French engineering schools, it is a 3-year multidisciplinary program. It is of course focused on engineering, but you can also major in almost any quantitative field (civil engineering, finance, computer science, applied math, energy, ...) and have a lot of opportunities to follow another master on the side or after.
What made you choose this university/program?
I chose CentraleSupélec precisely because of the variety of courses offered and of all the different opportunities available to me there. The low tuition fees, the large class size and the extremely rich associative life also played a role. I have the opportunity to take a wide range of scientific courses, to work on concrete projects, to get invested in community life, and to build my professional project depth.
What skills/knowledge gained during the Bachelor of Science have you been using in your current program?
In the Bachelor of Science at École polytechnique, through 3 intense years with a rigorous and multidisciplinary approach, we learn all the basic tools to succeed in future scientific studies. In addition, we acquire very important soft skills: resilience, adaptability, ability to build and lead a community (cohesion, networking...). All those hard and soft skills will be assets for the continuation of my studies and my future career.
When you entered the Bachelor of Science, did you already know what you wanted to do after the program?
Before entering the Bachelor, I only knew I was interested in math and that I had very broad interests in science. I hesitated to do a prepa in France but I decided to join the Bachelor for the excellence, the richness of the community life and I was keeping all my options in science, engineering, or business, in France or abroad, open.
Thanks to the courses and the opportunities that we were offered (conferences, internships...), I quickly became interested in quantum computing. After several internships, I hesitated to pursue research in this field. But now I'm doing something (almost) completely different! I think this is one of the biggest strengths of the program.
On the one hand, you get to be exposed to so many different topics and have incredible opportunities to pursue those interests further. On the other hand, you can move from one area to another and maintain a very broad and strong scientific background.
What memories do you have of your time spent at l'X and in the Bachelor program?
So many! I could mention all the incredible classes I followed, the long nights working in the study rooms or at a friend’s desk. But the memories I'll always have are of the Bachelor community and the lifelong friends I've made. The same friends I suffered through exams and homework with, we partied, hosted BBQs and raclettes, and helped each other out throughout the year. I'm still in touch with most of them. My best memories with the bachelor community are those related to cohesion: the 24h de la natation, the Lore campaign, Houlgate.
What are your ambitions for the future?
The program I'm in now is three years, but I'll spend six months abroad and take a gap year to do internships and possibly take an extra year to do another master. In the long run, I would like to mix science/engineering with business or public policy. For now, I see myself starting my career in consulting, business strategy, or public administration.
Any piece of advice to current Bachelor students when deciding about the pursuit of their studies?
My first piece of advice would be to keep an open mind about everything around you and explore all the opportunities available to you (projects, internships, conferences...). More precisely about your further studies, always think a step ahead. If you have a range of master’s in mind, what do alumni do after? Do you know who could provide you with a good recommendation letter? You think you found your dream job? Do you plan on doing this your whole career in it? Do you know about the work lifestyle? Lastly, the most important assets you have are the Bachelor and the Polytechnique community! Whether you already have a clear idea of your professional project or whether you are still in the process of prospecting, talk to your professors, the Bachelor admin, your fellow Bachelors and the Bachelor alumni.