The IE Talent & Careers team is driven by our students’ success, equipping them to stand out in the competitive global professional landscape. A unique, recently-launched initiative is yet another step toward ensuring our students unlock the best possible career outcomes in whatever sector they choose.

Learning theory and practical skills within a classroom setting is great, but how do you build the confidence to apply your knowledge in the world of work? For many students, project work and internship are the go-to answer; however, did you know there is another path you can take to enrich your academic experience in ways that will benefit you long after graduation? 

IE University recently launched the IE Shadowing to help prepare students to excel in the professional world. With the first edition already well underway, this initiative is already proving to be a valuable channel for career development.

What is IE Shadowing?

IE Shadowing is an initiative spearheaded by IE Talent & Careers to give students a head start on their chosen career path. Designed to beef up their professional profile right from the start, this one-week, part-time experiential learning journey allows students to shadow experts already working in their desired fields in a bid to gain hands-on experience, build new skills and enhance their resume.  

This initiative is open to students from all bachelor’s degree programs at IE University and provides them a chance to navigate their professional options early on. Learners observe actual professionals in the workplace, all of whom occupy various roles in different departments within the university. Whether in marketing, finance, HR or even international relations—each participant gets an invaluable opportunity to see the realities of the day-to-day life, responsibilities, tasks and skills required to thrive in a particular position or career.

Real-world work experience for real-world skills

This year marked the first time that the IE Shadowing ran at the university, and it has been well-received by the entire IE Community. In total, 18 distinct departments participated in the initiative, including the Sustainability Office and the Marketing, Communications and Finance departments. They offered 48 positions combined for participating students to fill. 

The student response was massive. Learners from every undergraduate program sent in their applications in droves for a chance to get a sneak peek into their future. In the end, 132 applications were received, with the selected students placed in various departments according to their resumes and the motivational paragraph they provided. 

These students went on to spend a transformational week working alongside IE University staff and developing new insights into their chosen professions. Arianna Carmen Piccolo, a second-year student in the Dual Degree in Business Administration & International Relations, shared her experience in the university’s Marketing Department: 

Taking part in IE Shadowing was an experience that opened my eyes and gave me useful insights into the marketing industry. It gave me access to the real world, useful knowledge and a chance to network with experts in the subject. I recommend it both to those who are already clear about what area they want to work in and to those who are still unsure, as they will get a full picture of each department.

Arianna Carmen Piccolo

For others like Victor Vestlund, a Bachelor in Business Administration Student who was placed in the Talent Management department, it was the ideal chance to think about his options while gaining some much-needed practical expertise

During my shadowing experience with the Talent Management team, I had the opportunity to see how recruiting, training and performance evaluations work for staff at IE University. Although a week is a short time, it’s been interesting to see how talent and HR teams function within companies and to consider if such a department could fit my professional career. I even got to do some interviewing myself!

Victor Vestlund

Conversely, others like first-year Bachelor in Communication & Digital Media student Carolina Barros saw the shadowing as the perfect opportunity to expand her professional network.

[It] has allowed me to not only acquire experience but learn from others’ perspectives. This opportunity made me connect and gain various insights from people around the world. Remember, don’t be afraid to put yourselves out there as this is a fantastic opportunity for you to start networking.

Carolina Barros

What’s more, it has also opened up a whole new side of IE University for many learners. Seraphine Lesay, a second-year student of the Bachelor in International Relations, gained a new appreciation for what it takes to nurture the university’s vibrant spirit through her placement in the Arts & Humanities Division:

This experience has brought me to discover the administrative, event management, artistic and creative side of IE University. It was also fascinating to delve into the university’s partnerships in the artistic field and the opportunities offered to students, as well as taking part in discussions about upcoming initiatives!

Seraphine Lesay

Many others learned that diversity is a feature, not a bug, of the IE Experience. Students like Cristina Velasco, also from Dual Degree in Business Administration & International Relations, learned the true meaning of community building from her time in the Global Alumni Relations department. 

My experience as an Alumni shadow has brought me a lot of knowledge not only about organizing events and engaging students, but also about how to create a community based on inclusiveness, caring and professionalism.

Cristina Velasco

However, Vladimir Monakhov, a third-year student of the Bachelor in Business Administration placed in the Finance Department, summarizes the innate value of the IE Shadowing best:

This shadowing experience has provided me with invaluable insights into the world of finance, allowing me to witness firsthand the practical application of classroom knowledge in a professional setting. It has reinforced my passion for the field and provided clarity of my career aspirations.

Vladimir Monakhov

Students reap the benefits

IE Shadowing was undoubtedly a unique opportunity for both professional and personal growth. Through it, students were able to put their learnings into a real-life context, gaining practical skills that you can only build through experience. They also got to enrich their professional networks while gaining clarity on their ideal career path and developing the competence and confidence to apply their learnings in the real world of work. As Giovanni Coeli—another Bachelor in Business Administration student, placed in the IE Talent & Careers team—puts it:

The IE Shadowing offered an immersive journey into the world of career development and the IE Talent & Careers department, providing invaluable insights and connections that will undoubtedly shape my future endeavors. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from passionate and welcoming professionals and highly recommend this experience.

Giovanni Coeli