Sofia Cuetos came to IE University from Venezuela in pursuit of a challenge—to push herself outside her comfort zone and go somewhere unfamiliar. Now in her third year of the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science, Sofia is learning more than ever about what it means to be human.
Fundamentally, she believes that it’s essential to study human behavior because we are all human: we live with others and we have to find ways to work effectively with them. Only by understanding human behavior can we change it, influence it, understand why certain habits don’t work and reflect on ourselves.
We had the opportunity to catch up with Sofia about her experiences with the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science.
What made you want to study the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science?
I was attracted to the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science because I wanted to study and understand people. I’ve always loved learning about humanities and this bachelor’s degree offered both. I had also heard that the program offers a lot of different opportunities professionally, which helped me make my decision.
Which Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science classes do you enjoy the most and why?
I always say that the issue with this program is that every class is so interesting so it gets harder to pick a favorite subject. In our first year, Presentation Skills was such an entertaining class and I still use a lot of what I learned there in my third year.
The second year became a little more focused on the content of the bachelor’s degree whereas the first year provided more of a general foundation. So it’s hard to pick which one I enjoyed the most, but I think the Psychology Cognition and Emotion class was very challenging but super interesting. The professor was not only incredibly knowledgeable but also very open to helping us out and listening to us. In terms of the content, there’s a big focus on our brain and how that relates to our mental processes. We even learned more effective study methods in the class. A lot of what we saw here, I apply to both my academic and personal life.
As for this year, I am really enjoying Behavioral Economics and Anthropology because the class is based on discussion rather than memorization.
What makes a Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science student different from other students?
Since the program includes economics, anthropology, sociology and psychology, we are used to seeing problems from different perspectives. Specifically, we can look at one problem with different lenses, even though some of them conflict in ideology like economics and behavioral economics.
Are you involved in any extracurricular activities within IE University?
In my first year, back in Segovia, I was part of the volleyball team. It was an amazing group with many incredible members and, with COVID-19, it was a great opportunity to meet new people. Now I am working on the board for a Sex Ed Campaign in collaboration with a lot of other clubs. I’ve also had an internship with an amazing management company focused on behavioral science in Peru called Heuristica and another at IE Business School.
What would you like to do after IE University?
Honestly, with this program, there are so many opportunities available that it can be hard to pick. In general, I would say working with helping habits is my ideal career and I would consider maybe furthering my education down the line. As for a more specific goal, I am interested in public policy. I want to help generate good behaviors and to make sure they stick. My dream would be to work at The Behavioral Insights Team.
How do you think the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science will help you achieve that?
Often, policies have the intention to produce certain behaviors. But what happens a lot of the time is that there isn’t enough understanding of the audience or the context. Humans aren’t as logical as we like to think.
Behavioral and social science step in to bridge this gap and provide different lenses to look at the issue and the solution.
What’s one thing you wished you had known before your program?
If I had to pick one it would be that you will see some biases and heuristics multiple times. But it’s important to always refresh our minds on them, the theories, applications and study cases.