An inside look into International Relations

@Alejandra Acedo

Diversity makes studying international affairs at IEU a truly global experience

IE University brings together students from around the world. Combine that with an International Relations program which allows students to choose from a diverse range of electives, extracurricular activities and internships, and students come away with a holistic university experience. Alejandra Rubira has taken full advantage of the diversity on campus, complementing core program classes with exciting electives, an internship on campus and involvement with a wide range of extracurricular activities.

What is a day at IE University like?

My first class of the day is Product and Brand Management. This semester we’ve been able to choose electives from any area we’re interested in. I think taking BBA classes will complement my International Relations degree, making me a more well-rounded individual. Today the professor asked for a volunteer to spontaneously sell a pen. A student in the back row started talking about the great qualities the pen had… The professor, a former Unilever professional, told us, the trick is asking the potential customer who he is, why having a pen would be useful for him and what he is looking for in a pen. These few questions allow the marketer to truly connect with the potential customer, explaining why the pen has been made specifically for him.

Later on, I go to IE’s Talent Management department, where I’m completing a part-time internship in recruiting. I like that several employees come from abroad, just like the students—it’s part of what makes IE truly international. As a student, doing an internship at IE University is great; every department understands that your class schedule may not always be regular. They give you the flexibility you need to be able to balance your work and study obligations.

I am also taking French classes. I really enjoy this language course even though it’s late in the day. We have gotten past the basics, and now spend most of our time discussing controversial topics. The different opinions we share spark debate, making the class more interesting every day.

What do you like the most about studying at IE University?

The best part of studying International Relations at IE University, is that you have classes with people from many different countries. At least that’s what I like the most. It’s very interesting to hear extremely diverse opinions on a particular political issue. It gives you a truly international outlook on global affairs.

Are you involved in any extracurricular activities?

I have been involved in activities run by the Philanthropic Club and I founded the HR Club with some friends. Our goal is to familiarize students with HR departments, because we think they are a fundamental part of all organizations and the first point of contact when applying for an internship or a full-time position.

However, I must admit, the coolest extracurricular activity I’ve done at IE University took place this summer. I did “El Camino de Santiago,” a more than 100km hike, with students from IE University and Stanford, since the universities have a partnership for doing the activity. I would recommend it to any student. Not only did I surprise myself, not knowing what my body was capable of, which made me quite proud since I’m not very sporty… I also loved being surrounded by nature 24/7 for a week and I met incredible people, who I would never have had the chance to meet otherwise, like the Stanford students.

What are you favorite subjects and why?

Currently my favorite subject is Sustainable Development. We have had very few sessions so far since the semester is just starting, but the topics we have discussed so far couldn’t be more relevant. Last week, I found out that in China, where the main cause of death is disease related to air pollution, selling fresh oxygen imported from Canada is a growing business.