Join Bachelor in International Relations graduates Emilia Rincon and Vicente Braga to learn more about their IE University experience.

Curious about the Bachelor in International Relations at IE University? Then there’s no better way to discover the program and institution than by hearing the experiences of alumni. We had the chance to talk to graduates Emilia and Vicente to gain some insights into how this program shaped their personal and professional lives. Check it out!

Why did you choose IE University?

For Vicente, it boiled down to having a “diverse experience at a foreign university with students of all backgrounds.” At the same time, since he’s Portuguese, it wasn’t too far from home. IE University offered the perfect balance of new and familiar.

Vicente decided to pursue his studies entirely at the Madrid campus, now based at the new IE Tower. Emilia, however, started her degree on the Segovia campus. This campus is located in a small Castilian town about 90 kilometers north of Madrid.

Segovia is charming and unique, but of course, it’s much farther from the vibrant city life that is the essence of Madrid. Still, for Emilia, she is very happy that she chose to start her IE University experience at the Segovia campus. Both Emilia and Vicente describe Segovia as “more like the true college experience, which you don’t really get in Madrid.”  Since the community is small, there are more opportunities to form intimate connections, spend quality time together, and build up true “camaraderie” that can sometimes be lost in the rush of the big city. Especially for students living away from home for the first time, Segovia feels “more like family.”

Although Vicente didn’t start there, he recommends it for incoming IE University students. Those who start in Segovia can finish their degrees in Madrid, completing two years in each location. In that way, students get “the best of both worlds.” As for housing, in both Madrid and Segovia, students have the option of living in dorms or organizing their own living arrangements. This generally means finding shared apartments, with the help of various search platforms that IE University recommends to incoming students. 

Both living situations have their pros and cons. Emilia likes the dorm arrangements as it’s a better way to bond with your classmates, and living independently could be more lonely. In any case, both campuses have a wide selection of clubs and extracurricular activities, so you’ll never feel like there’s nothing to do!

And why did you choose to study international relations?

Both Vicente and Emilia appreciated the “range of possibilities” available in the Bachelor in International Relations program at IE University. Graduates can pursue careers in business, global affairs, economics, and much more. The program also covers more humanities-related topics such as history, so it’s very diverse. Although it’s not very specialized, Vicente reminds us that for students at age 18 entering into university for the first time, “it doesn’t make sense to specialize.” A degree like the Bachelor in International Relations, with its heavy emphasis on writing in all subject areas, prepares students for master’s degrees or careers in a wide variety of fields.

Vicente’s favorite class was International Relations Theory with Professor Daniel Kselman, Vice Dean of IE School of Global & Public Affairs. One thing that stood out to him about this professor and others was the “friendly relationship” they were able to form over the course of four years, going out for coffee and connecting beyond the classroom. Thanks to small class sizes, it was easier for professors and students to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Emilia also appreciated that aspect of the program. Given her personal tastes, she didn’t enjoy the economics or math classes as much as those related to international development, but she nevertheless felt supported by the professors. They were always willing “to take a personal interest in each student” and their future career path. 

What’s a “must” for any incoming IE University student?

Vicente recommends entering with a “positive mindset” and making sure to “enjoy yourself.” You have to be ready for a wild ride, open to meeting new people, and not too bogged down by day-to-day stresses or future worries. Grades are important, but so are social connections! Although four years may seem like a long time, for both Vicente and Emilia, it has flown by. One of the biggest benefits of studying at an institution as international as IE University is the network you can build. So their top recommendation is: Don’t miss opportunities to connect with the people around you. Especially those from different backgrounds!

What’s next?

Both Emilia and Vicente feel prepared for the next step in their professional journey, thanks to the internships they completed during their undergraduate studies and the ongoing career support and resources from IE University.

Vicente will be furthering his education by enrolling in the Master in Management from IE Business School this September. He’s planning to combine his skills from the Bachelor in International Relations with business know-how from the Master in Management in order to launch his career in sustainable development in the private sector. In the long term, he believes that this work experience will better prepare him for joining the public sector in more traditional international relations roles. Emilia, on the other hand, prefers to start working for a few years first before considering a master’s degree. This will give her more time to figure out where she wants to specialize and then pursue further studies. She is considering organizations like the United Nations or the World Bank, but she has loads of options, such as consulting or project management.

We’re sure that Emilia and Vicente will find success in their future careers!