By attracting students from across the world, IE University’s Bachelor in International Relations enables participants to better understand the global landscape. Hear more about the program in this interview between student and professor.

The Bachelor in International Relations at IE University offers students the opportunity to participate on an international stage, albeit small, from day one—a skill key to making a mark in our increasingly globalized world. Donovan Schar Davis, a student from the program, spoke to Óscar Martínez Tapia, Adjunct Professor from IE School of Global & Public Affairs, about the benefits of the program and why it’s an absolute must for future global leaders.

Óscar, in your opinion, why should students pursue this degree program?

A good reason to study an international relations degree, especially here at IE University, is the fact that you’re able to participate in an international community and environment. What’s more, I don’t think globalization is going to come to a stop. On the contrary, I think it’s just going to continue increasing, and international relations enables you to look at the world with different eyes. It provides you with the skills to understand the world in which we live like no other undergraduate program I have come across. It may come as a surprise, but more and more companies are on the lookout for international relations graduates because they are able to connect the dots in a way that no other graduates can.


What makes the Bachelor in International Relations at IE University so special?

At IE University, you literally live and breathe international relations from day one. The fact that the student groups are so heterogeneous in terms of nationality also makes for breathtaking discussions in the classroom. It forces you to put yourself in the shoes of, for example, a classmate from Nepal, Bangladesh or Nigeria. It’s also extremely rare for us as professors to be exposed to that kind of environment. I often think that we’re also extremely lucky to have you there thinking with us and making us better at what we do.

How can international relations students carve out a career in the field post-graduation?

I highly recommend trying to be at the right place at the right time. You can’t sit back and wait for the opportunities to come to you. You have to be excited about what you do, and you demonstrate that by wearing your best outfit, your best smile, and getting involved in relevant extracurricular activities even when you don’t feel like getting out of your house. You also have to keep an open mind and be flexible. I often receive emails from students I taught 15 years ago who’ve achieved massive success thanks to their international relations background. And perhaps most importantly, believe in yourself and in your own abilities.


Do you have any recommendations for young professionals who are starting their careers in the field of international relations?

You have to be persistent and learn how to take punches in such a way that they don’t do you too much damage. It goes without saying that part of the process of getting where you want to be is discovering what you don’t want to do.

Right now, the company you keep really matters, so choose wisely. If you think of the people that you share a classroom with today, some of them will work with you and others against you. So, surround yourself with people who have the same or similar ambitions as you, because contacts are everything, especially further down the line. For instance, I was a speechwriter for the vice president of Spain for about two and a half years from 2005 to 2007. When I first arrived, I tried not to talk too much, to listen as much as I could, and to maintain a good attitude. That said, your input needs to be felt, and your ideas need to be listened to no matter what position you’re in.

Check the complete interview here.

To learn more about the Bachelor in International Relations, visit the official webpage.