- Introduce yourself ! Who are you, what studies do you follow?
Yvana Amegavie : My name is Yvana Amegavie, I’m in my third year of medicine this year and it’s going really well. I like what I do.
Bertrand Fleury : I am Bertrand Fleury. I’m in the fourth year of medicine, so the first year of internship. And at the center we also have two other people, Salma, who is in the fourth year with me, and Daria, who is in the third year with Yvana.
- You are part of the Graduate Center of the Business Association of Medical Students of Rouen. Tell us a little about this association.
BF : The Corpo is the association that manages the entire student life, the organization of trips, but also the defense of students’ rights. We, within this group, are specifically responsible for delivering the sixth year diplomas, to the externs who become interns.
YA : The Corporation has done research to find new people who can handle the graduation ceremony throughout the year. We deal with different things, like looking for partnerships. Our division operates mainly thanks to them, with insurance companies and banks.
BF : We have a lot of work to do to keep the partnerships from previous years, that is, to continue to forge bonds with partners and to meet them regularly. But this year, we wanted to innovate and do more things, which requires finding more partners. And, as a result, we became interested in what had never been done before, that is, resorting to public power. We have the department of Eure, the Normandy region, the agglomeration of Le Havre and the CHU who join us this year and who give us enormous support.
- How long have you been involved in organizing this event?
BF : We started by helping out on D-Day at last year’s ceremony. This allowed us to see how things were going and then be able to pick up the torch. We’ve been at this for a whole year. Often we stay a year, then we do something else.
YA : Then we pass the hand. It is very cumbersome to organize, especially as a student and volunteer. You really have to be organized, otherwise you get lost and become insurmountable.
- In a few days, October 7, is the big day, the graduation day. Can you tell us more?
YA : On D-Day, we welcome future interns, those who have passed the ECN (National Ranking Tests), that is, the national competition to become a doctor. We welcome the dean, vice dean, partners and other faculty members. We installed them in the amphitheater where the ceremony takes place and where the rector gives a speech, as well as a representative of the council of the medical order. Then, throughout the ceremony, we call them one by one… which is very long… to give them their diplomas and also to congratulate them for having passed the competition. Afterwards, there is a small aperitif dinner organized by a catering company, which we also finance, and musical groups to liven up the night.
BF : There is also the sponsor of the promotion who plays an important role in making a speech. This year, it’s Édouard Philippe. And then there will be 250 graduates, but we welcome 750 people because each student has the right to invite two people. So it’s a lot of people.
- Why are third- and fourth-year medical students coming to present their diplomas to their elders?
BF : In many universities, it is the faculties that organize the graduation ceremony, but suddenly it is very brief. They come to the amphitheater, we hand them the diploma, “Bravo! and then they go away. In Rouen, the graduation center has been around since 2017. She got involved with this with the idea of really making the ceremony a little more dynamic and fun. The university doesn’t necessarily have time to take care of all this. It would really take full-time people to organize this, given the time we spend there at four.
- Specifically, what does the organization of such an event entail?
BF : In the beginning, when we took over the pole, the first point was to really get to know the partners to really find out what they liked, what they didn’t like, to find out if they wanted to engage in the following year. It gave us a first line of sight and allowed us to know if we should look for and find other partners. By March, we pretty much did that. Then there was the whole graphic aspect of the ceremony with the logos. We had the opportunity to be attended by a professional graphic designer who agreed to help us, the one from CHU. We had several working meetings with him. We prepared our ideas, we showed him. So they offered us about fifteen logos for us to choose from. And finally, there is the logistics part of creating the goodies, thinking about the decoration, contacting a photographer, contacting a supplier. On D-Day, we are little masters of ceremonies. We manage the entries, the speech times.
YA : There are also the other Corp members who come to help us because with just four, it’s not very viable.
- What will you take away from this experience?
BF : It’s super satisfying! We learned to do many things from the point of view of management, management, cash flow, managing the budget that is assigned to us and also serving the authorities. It’s a lot of administrative work, but it will inevitably be very useful for the rest of our lives. No matter what work we do, we will always use it.
YA : It’s always nice when you get to D-Day to see that the interns appreciate having a ceremony that lets them see the end of the tunnel and puts them in the spotlight. They thank and thank us for the organization. Before the ceremony even started.
BF : Medical studies are long and difficult. We started with a competition. Then we have two years where it’s a little more relaxed, but then we go back to the school day, we do an internship, we have to revise, we prepare for a national competition. It is stressful. So being able to celebrate in the right way, I think it’s still important.
- Also, is it inspiring to see your future colleagues and think that in a few years it will be your turn?
YA : Last year I found it inspiring, especially when they got their results. They were proud to have made it and to have gone all the way. Seeing that it has their name, plus their attribution, plus their specialty, makes you want to get to that moment. We hope that when we are in the sixth year, we will be entitled to the same thing, with a ceremony to give concrete expression to our work and sacrifices.
BF : There are a lot of students in Rouen who end up very well ranked, who get what they want, who are super happy and it’s still a source of pride.