IE University students are lucky to learn from a world-class faculty in a uniquely diverse environment, and enjoy cutting-edge learning techniques. But on top of that, IE University provides students with resources, support and professional opportunities—from securing internships to studying abroad to getting that dream job—from the very start of their studies.
In the latest Going to IEU podcast, host Ida Nydelius sat down with Carlos Diez Rodriguez, the director of Talent & Careers at IE University. They talked about how the IE Talent & Careers team helps students reach success by providing them with a multitude of resources and guidance.
What is IE Talent & Careers?
IE Talent & Careers strives to provide students with resources and guidance in order for them to achieve their professional goals. They look at each student and their background to assist them throughout their years at IE University.
“We look to the strengths of each student and facilitate professional experiences. As they progress we focus on securing internships and post-graduation opportunities. Typically our main focus is last year’s class, because they tend to be the most motivated and stressed out to secure a good job upon graduation.”Carlos Diez, Director of IE Talent & Careers
Carlos manages a team of sixteen people, diverse professionals from many industries that are capable of providing relevant coaching and guidance to students. They’re present in both Madrid and Segovia, and use students’ interests as a means of personalizing their assistance. There is general advising about future career possibilities, but also advice geared toward a particular career sector. This includes encouraging students to think about future career paths that they may not have considered if those paths are outside the traditional roles their studies are geared toward. “Sometimes they have a clear idea of what they want to do,” explained Carlos. “Some of the people are lost completely, and some of them are in-between. They need some guidance to make those early decisions in terms of which path or paths to pursue.”
Ida herself is interning with IE University’s marketing team, despite studying a Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Laws and Economics. Her example typifies the varied profiles of the IE Community and illustrates the need for such a diverse offering from the Talent & Careers team. From year one at IE University, IE Talent & Careers provides students with many professional opportunities to expose them to the real world of work and point them in the right direction. “The best way to make up your mind is through experience,” said Carlos. With that in mind, the many opportunities available to students include various Labs and extracurricular activities, as well as internships, seminars and events they can attend to get a better understanding of what to pursue.
Helping students achieve success
IE Talent & Careers provide support from day one and continues until students’ final year, when they’re looking to launch their careers. Carlos offered some important advice when he said, “What companies find more valuable is related experience; internships, but not only internships—any sort of professional experience. Labs, corporate programs, consulting projects, anything at all, it adds up. This makes you a more valuable professional.”
With that in mind, the IE Talent & Careers team has recently launched the Career Development Training Facility, an initiative aimed at pointing students toward their future professional lives right from the start of their time at IE University. “We grow as a priority as students progress through their studies,” said Carlos. “From year one we encourage them to experiment. But in the second year, especially in highly competitive industries like finance or tech, you need to start making some early decisions. You need to start building your profile. Firms want experience.”
So the extracurricular Career Development Training Facility is a compulsory initiative designed to increase awareness of just how much help is available to students. It features webinars and practical activities on such thorny issues as how to get experience when you have none. Carlos explained that the idea was to make a short, to-the-point course with key information for students at different stages of their bachelor’s. Students can also find out more about the full extent of the Talent & Careers team’s work through the online Careers portal, or one of three regular newsletters they publish, outlining forthcoming events, internships, and workshops, and showing hundreds of job opportunities.
Making it happen
The Talent & Careers team also organizes two major events per year, to coincide with the usual recruitment cycle that major employers go through. These Talent Forums cover everything from real estate to design, advertising to finance in daily, sector-specific events on campus and online. These events often come with real internship or job opportunities, with employers looking to hire IE University talent.
Carlos advised job-seekers to do their research. Understand the companies you’re interested in, their vision, their corporate structure and your possible role within it. “Work on why they should hire you before they ask the question,” he advised. “You’re selling yourself. Identify your key skills, and your background, and put it together into a pitch.”
Research, planning, attitude and motivation are important factors to getting hired in every sector, he concluded. And the IE Talent & Careers team is dedicated to working with students, moving them from a piece of paper to an actual person by putting them in front of recruiters. Carlos summed it up with some final advice. “It’s never too early to start working on your career management and planning what your career is going to look like. So taking advantage of all the resources that IE University has to offer is important.”