IE University students, Anabela Morey and Gal Benzadon, answer some of the most frequently asked questions from incoming Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students.
Check out their responses to help prepare yourself for your exciting journey.
What made you decide to study the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media?
Anabela: Similar to most 17 and 18 year olds, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to study at university. I had a broad idea of what I was interested in: writing, photography, graphic design, marketing, social media management, and public relations, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with them. The Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media program offered me a large variety of classes that fit all my different interests and opened my eyes to many more. Due to this wide variety, I have been able to expand my areas of interest and find things that I am really passionate about—something that I wouldn’t have been able to do with any other degree. The Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media degree mixes both theoretical and practical classes that really help us put what we learn into action. The top-of-line facilities, such as the film and photography studios in Segovia, also make the learning environment exceptional.
Gal: I had always wanted to study marketing and advertising, but I felt that it was too specific and I needed something a bit more broad. I never questioned where I was going to study because IE University offered an international environment, two incredible campuses, and the unique university experience I wanted. So, when I saw their Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media program, I knew I had found the perfect fit. The large variety of courses from graphic design to consumer behavior to photography and video production to political communication to advertising and media distribution would foster my creativity and allow me to excel in more than one of my passions. I think it is key to be passionate about what you are studying, especially because it drives your motivation to learn. My advice is that when you choose what you’re going to study, make sure it’s something you love!
What are the main topics of the degree?
Each semester touches on different topics in the communication field that build on each other class by class. During your first semester, you will start with basic communication topics. Courses such as Communication Foundations, Public Opinion, Persuasion and Engagement, Writing for Media, and Photography and Video Production will be the basis of your knowledge and will help you with more advanced courses in the future.
The rest of your semesters will be more of a mix of topics. In some courses, you will be concentrating more on the image of a company in courses such as Branding: Identity, Strategy and Reputation, Corporate Communication, and Political Communication and Advocacy Campaigns, while in others, you will be concentrating on the consumer with classes such as Consumer Behaviour, and Audience and Consumer Insights. You will have the opportunity to create advertising and marketing campaigns and see what channels are best fit to distribute your content. You also will be creating content in classes such as Photography and Video Production, Visual Storytelling, and VR for Content Creation. The variety of courses guarantees that you’ll never get bored!
What was your favorite class and with which professor? Why?
Anabela: I have really enjoyed both our theoretical and practical classes throughout the years. My favorites by far have been: Public Opinion, Persuasion and Engagement with Professor Ruth Palmer in my first year; Corporate Communication with Professor Antonio Quijano and Consumer Behaviour with Professor Laura Zimmerman in my second year; Audience and Consumer Insights with Professor Maria Paz Menendez, and Advertising Management and Media Distribution with Professor Peter Boland in my third year.
Each of these professors gave us core knowledge about the topics and allowed us to put everything we learned to the test. We completed realistic final projects by using well-known companies such as The Walt Disney Corporation, Coca-Cola, Glovo, and The First One Hotel. We also participated in investigative research and campaigns based on what we learned.
In my opinion, each professor has their own unique style of teaching, but they all have the power to make their class interesting and engaging for everyone.
Gal: The program had a large number of classes with a variety of focuses in the first three years: and I enjoyed them all. Anabela and I share the same favorite classes, but I would like to add a couple more to the list. I loved Branding: Identity, Strategy and Reputation with Professor Maria Eizaguirre. This was a second-year class and because of it branding in general became one of my favorite fields, which I will pursue in my future. I also enjoyed Advertising Creativity with Professor Jon Lavin and Advertising Management and Media Distributions with Professor Peter Boland in my third year. These classes allowed us to put everything we learned during the past three years into real-world practice.
Tell us about an average class. How long is it? What’s the workload like? Do you do more group or individual work?
Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students usually have a “double session” of class every day. A double session consists of two one-hour-and-20-minute blocks with a 10-15 minute break in between. Sometimes, when you have to take compulsory courses such as Business Management, Technology Trends Today, Humanities or Professional Skills, you might have more sessions during the day.
Most of the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media courses are group-work oriented. There are very few individual assignments in this degree, except for a few exams. You won’t have a lot of exams because most of the end-of-course evaluations are group projects. This is why it is very important to find a group of classmates with whom you can spend a lot of hours working, be productive, and create quality content. Your project group will not necessarily be the same as your group of friends. I suggest trying different groups at the beginning of the program, so that by your second or third year, you will have established a group that works well for everyone. Not only the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media program, but IE University in general, consists of a lot of group projects, so be prepared to be constantly working with others.
Do the professors use a hands-on or academic approach?
Every professor has their own teaching style, however, most lecture-based and theoretical courses will be taught using PowerPoints, which will be available on the online platform after class. Most classes have pre-class readings, and I recommend reading them all because professors will know who comes to class prepared and who doesn’t. Also, if you read the assigned materials, you will be able to participate more in class discussions which is part of your overall final grade.
How many hours will I spend doing homework or studying?
This depends on the individual student. When it comes to theoretical courses, students may need different amounts of time to prepare for an exam or to write an essay. There are some classes where long readings are assigned and you could spend a few hours reading just one case study.
Students from other courses say that Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students don’t spend a lot of time doing work, but that is not true. For practical classes, such as Photography and Video Production or Graphic Design and Infographics, you will spend countless hours doing the assignments. You can count on long hours in the studio editing videos and creating content. At the end of the day, producing an advertising campaign or creating a documentary video takes more time than you might think.
What are finals like?
Since the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media courses are more practical, there are very few final exams. There will be some classes that require a final exam, others will require a final project, and some might have both. Professors usually have a review session prior to the exam. I suggest paying close attention because your classmates may ask questions you hadn’t thought of yet and the professors will go over any topic that was unclear, helping you to prepare for your final.
What exchange program opportunities are available?
For Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students, the exchange semester happens during the first semester of your fourth year. There are amazing exchange opportunities paired with excellent universities all around the world. You can choose to study in places such as Australia, the US, Europe, Asia, or South America. In this semester, you will have the chance to go on exchange, choose electives at IE University, or do a full-time six-month internship.
What are the internship opportunities? Are they easy to find?
Internship opportunities are also a case-by-case situation. There will always be opportunities for everyone, but it may be easier or more difficult to find an internship depending on factors like what year you’re in or your previous experience.
Summer internships are a good way to feel out the working world while testing your newly learned skills. They’re also a fun way to spend your summer because you’ll gain experiences that you can’t get inside a classroom. I think summer internships can give you an advantage in class, too because the topics covered may be something you’ve already worked on in your internship. You can offer a personal touch to help make the learning environment more fulfilling for you and your classmates.
At IE University, there is a Talent & Careers Center that will help you with the internship process. Take advantage of it because they will help you discover some of the excellent opportunities that IE offers. Make sure to check your email often because the Talent & Careers Center sends out a weekly email with new opportunities. You’ll also have access to the IE University’s Career Portal, which is a platform for IE University students to apply for jobs. There are a lot of possibilities, just keep an eye out for them!
Additional tips and tricks from Anabela and Gal on getting the most out of your Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media
● Don’t use all of your allotted absences—make the effort to go to every single one of your classes. I promise it will have an impact on your grade and your learning.
● Come prepared and participate in class—not only will your professors give you good participation grades, but you and your classmates will benefit from a learning environment where everyone is engaged and sharing opinions.
● Use IE University’s facilities as much as you can—you can use them for both university and personal projects. The TV and Photography studio is always open for Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media students.
● Take your classes seriously. Even if you don’t think they are making a big impact on your learning, trust me, they are.
● Be friends with everyone in your classes because you will be spending a lot of time with them. And with that in mind, try to make friends from every degree and from different nationalities—you will be impressed by the amazing people at IE University.
● University is competitive and there will be people that won’t help others. Don’t be that person. Be thoughtful and caring, and always help others when you can because they will also help you when you need it.
● Learn how to work in a group, find your role quickly and be the best in what you do.
● Always support your classmates and friends with their personal projects. As you know, it’s hard to share your work with others, and they will need and appreciate your support.
● Appreciate everything Segovia has to offer because once you move to Madrid, you will miss it a lot. But, don’t spend all your weekends in Segovia during your first two years either, go to Madrid and get to know the city before you move there. After you move to Madrid, go back and visit Segovia to see how much it has changed in such little time.
● Take every opportunity given to you. Try out for sports teams, sign up for clubs, create your own club if there isn’t one you’re interested in, apply for every internship, and travel everywhere you can. Be involved with the University as much as you can and give back to the community that gives you so much.