"I wanted to be in an environment where all ideas were welcome, entrepreneurship was encouraged and where, essentially, there are no limitations."
Author: Carla Costa
Valeria is studying the Dual Degree BBA and LLB, and is based at Madrid campus. She has an international background, and has lived in five different countries. Born in Alicante (Spain), she decided to return to Spain in order to study her Bachelor’s degree at an international school like IE University. Learn more about Valeria’s personal and educational experience here:
Where are you from? Have you ever lived anywhere else in the world?
I was born in the city of Alicante while my parents were living there. That’s where I spent the first year of my life, until moving to Lima, Peru, when I was one. I stayed there until I was almost four, and then moved to Caracas, Venezuela. I lived in Caracas for six and a half years, until in 2010 the country started to decline, so we moved to Surrey in England. I studied in England for another four years, before finally moving to Amsterdam when I was 14. I finished high school there, before choosing to move back to Spain at the age of 18 and pursue further education here at IE.
What are you studying?
I have completed my first year of studying the Dual Degree BBALLB and I chose a Dual Degree because I am highly ambitious, so I wanted to put myself in a rigorous academic environment where I could exceed the expectations I had for myself. I chose the BBA in particular because of my interest in the business and entrepreneurial world, but I also wanted to understand the legality behind this industry in order to ensure that I am able to address and understand all the encompassing legal requirements. This is also why I chose to study the LLB, and I opted for the English version since it offers a comparative approach.
What are your hobbies/interests?
Outside of my academic life, I enjoy acting, both on camera and on stage. It is one of my biggest hobbies and has been an important part of my life for many years. It has also given me a lot of confidence when talking in front of people, and is also a reason why I really enjoy debating.
Another hobby of mine is cheerleading. I discovered this activity through IE’s university team. I love it because we get to dance and have a fitness workout that is oriented around gymnastics and, of course, I love the opportunity to meet new people!
Why did you choose IEU?
One of the main reasons I was attracted to IEU is its diversity and international mindset. I was first exposed to it when I attended the IExPEERience, and to this day I am still amazed how there are people studying here from all over the world. I am so glad that IE hosted the IExPEERience, and that I chose to come here.
I also chose IE because I liked its values of “driving innovation”, and I wanted to be in an environment where all ideas were welcome, entrepreneurship was encouraged and where, essentially, there are no limitations.
What do you want to do after graduation? What is your area of interest?
After graduating, I would like to integrate my interest in theatre and communications with my study of business and law. This year, I have gained a deeper understanding of different professions, such as being an entertainment lawyer, a business consultant or an advertising manager. It is still too soon for me to decide, but I would love to explore these in the future.
About her experience at IEU
What’s the most valuable aspect of your experience at IEU?
For me, the most valuable aspect of IE has been the close interaction between students and their teachers, which is facilitated by how small and personal the classes are. This allows the class to have an open discussion and have all our questions answered promptly by the teacher, creating more of a community feel as opposed to sitting in a huge lecture hall with a bunch of people you don’t know. These personal interactions really motivated me and sparked my interest in various subjects I would not have expected to enjoy.
How has IEU’s comparative law methodology shaped your perspective about the legal world?
The comparative law methodology IEU offers has allowed me to gain in-depth knowledge about many different jurisdictions, ranging from the Spanish one to the German, French, and American jurisdictions. I find it so interesting how we can compare different countries’ stances on particular topics and see how different penalties can be imposed on different cases depending on the country. This has been particularly useful to me because I was able to understand how each country is unique in terms of the legal world, and I became more aware of the opportunities and limitations each jurisdiction brings.
I am glad to have opted for the comparative approach, because I did not have to limit myself to learning about just one country’s laws, but was able to gain a global approach that gave me a broader understanding of the legal world as applied to different topics.
Are you a member of any clubs at IEU? If so, which ones?
As mentioned in my hobbies, I am a member of the IEU cheerleading team, where we get the chance to cheer on the IE sports teams when they play against others, as well as support the university on special days such as the IEU Barbecue and Sports’ Day.
I am also a member of the Fashion Club and together we visited the Louis Vuitton Time Capsule Exhibition at the Thyssen Museum, which I really enjoyed. I have also attended talks by the Arts and Business club, and I love this because it integrates my professional interest in business with my personal experience in the arts. There are so many clubs to choose from, I cannot wait to join more next year.
Have you participated in a Lab at IEU? What was it about and what was your role? What did you learn?
I am currently participating in the Communications Lab. As soon as I heard about it, I was eager to sign up. My keen interest in the arts sparked my curiosity, but so far the Lab has surpassed my expectations and has been a fun and interesting project to work on. My role consists of designing an animated video for a company called Swapper, in order to promote their product, a powder that you add to milk so it tastes like lemon or cinnamon. While I am still in the process of creating the video, so far this has been a fantastic professional experience, and I have gained lots of new skills like working with cameras, sound, lights and editing. Despite my Lab not being closely related to my area of study, it has allowed me to realize how I can bridge the gap between them, and gain a more thorough insight into what I want to do in the future.
All in all, the Lab has been really valuable to me because it allowed me to collaborative to create something meaningful for a client, something that you can be proud of when you see their company succeed.
What do you like the most about being in the Madrid campus?
Being an international student who has lived in many different cities, I like to be surrounded by a diverse and cosmopolitan environment. This is precisely what is offered in Madrid. Here, I can feel the buzz of a big city and explore many different places, but also feel surrounded by a close and welcoming community when I attend IE. Basically, you get to live in the best of both worlds, and I would not prefer it any other way!