Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images News | Getty Images
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a news conference at the IMF headquarters January 17, 2013 in Washington, DC
Early on in her career, Lagarde applied to attend Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA), a prestigious college in France which prepares students for careers in senior civil service.
However, after reportedly failing to get in twice, Lagarde went on to join international law firm Baker & McKenzie, as an associate. ENA has seen many political leaders, French ministers and industry leaders walk through its doors.
If she had succeeded in being a civil servant, however, Lagarde may not have gone on to undertake such impressive roles as French finance minister, a lawyer and the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
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Looking back now, the influential leader admitted to CNBC that her life wouldn’t have seen “so many turns” if she ended up pursuing a career as a civil servant.
“My career might have been very boring had I attended that school, because there was certainly less opportunities to bifurcate, to move into another professional life,” Christine Lagarde told CNBC’s “Life Hacks Live” series at the Cannes Lions festival in France last week.
“You know, I’ve change the course of my professional life many times over: From being a practicing lawyer to being in (a) management position eventually leading Baker McKenzie on a global basis, to then being drafted in government as agriculture minister. Then as finance, economy and industry minister for one of the G-8 countries, and then managing director of the IMF,” she added.
“So, if I had been a top notch civil servant, I would have continued being a civil servant and (well) my life might have been interesting, but it wouldn’t have taken so many, so many turns.”