What are the essential things to know before starting the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws? Valentina Peña, one of our students, shares her insights so that you know what to expect first hand.

What made you decide to study a Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws?

At first I was planning on only studying business, but I quickly realized both subjects work together. Both degrees teach essential skills for the working world. A business degree prepares you with basic management qualities that can be applied to both your professional and personal life. Law on the other hand, informs you of your rights and limitations, which helps us understand the framework of the governing nations and their economies.

What are the main topics in each of the degrees?

The law degree at IE University teaches with a comparative approach. We learn about different legal systems, not only the one in Spain. This is actually really useful for people who don’t want to live in Spain because we are not expected to memorize every single article of a legal system that we will not use in the future. Instead, we compare different approaches from common (US, UK) and civil systems (Spain, France, Italy). This offers a broader perspective and helps us understand the pros and cons of each system.

In our business courses, we focus on economics, management, accounting, and finance. In law we learn about different branches including civil law, and criminal law. However, my favorite courses are the law ones that have a stronger connection to the business world. This includes commercial law, corporate law, administrative law (regarding sector regulations), labor law (regarding employees), contract law (we deal with contracts every day), and property law (learning about mortgages and bank loans), among others.

What was your favorite class and why?

I enjoyed a lot of my classes because of their content or their professor. IE University has exceptional professors who we are fortunate enough to learn from and I can’t choose just one. However, the majority of my classmates and I enjoyed both the Property Law and the Global Economic Environment classes. Property Law taught us the basic rules of governing property and the importance of understanding them. The Global Economic Environment class was really interesting because it offered a deeper understanding of economics and taught us how to shut down economic myths.

Tell us about an average class. How long is it, what’s the workload like, and is it more group or individual work?

The classes are an hour and 20 minutes and they usually consist of interactive lectures with powerpoints. The professors are engaging and they ask us questions, give relatable examples, and assign us cases to solve in class and at home. There are plenty of group projects, and individual work consists of individual cases, discussion forums, readings, and studying for exams.

Do the professors use a hands-on or academic approach?

Each class differs, yet I would say all of the classes have a combination of both. For every session, specifically the law ones, you are expected to have read the material beforehand in order to be prepared. Academics are always involved, but we also do a lot of hands-on learning. We do practical exercises in all of my classes. In business classes, we do problem sets and in law ones, we use cases or participate in moot courts. We also have presentations directed to the whole class.

How many hours do you spend doing homework or studying?

That’s a tough question to answer since I actually don’t keep track. I am constantly busy every weekday and take time off on weekends. Not including class time, I probably spend about three hours a day working on something related to my studies.

What are the finals like?

Finals vary depending on the class. Finals for business classes are standardized, whereas the final exam structure for law depends on the professor. Business finals often include multiple-choice and problem-solving. Law finals always have a case to solve and maybe some open-ended questions or multiple choice. A lot of analytical skills are necessary for case solving.

What is the required prep before class? Do you have a lot of readings or homework?

We have homework every once in a while. This may be problem sets, cases, or preparing presentations. Pre-class readings are often required for law sessions and they impact your participation grade since you are expected to answer some questions in class or respond to something on the forum.

What are the characteristics of a typical Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws student?

That is a funny question because we are all very different. For example during exams, I’m an all-nighter type of person and one of my friends is the opposite. I also like to study from the book but a different student might prefer powerpoints. I would say that a typical Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws student is a person who studies, usually with messy hair or a tired face, but also loves to hang out with their friends and is open to learning new things.

What exchange-student opportunities are available?

There are so many opportunities to do an exchange because we can apply to both business and law schools. If my GPA allows it, I could apply all around the world. Australia, the United States or Malaysia are some of my options. The best part of the exchange partner program is that we are placed in outstanding universities, especially those in the US or Europe.

What are the internship opportunities? Are they easy to find?

I had one internship through IE University and it was easy for me to find. The university gave us a list of embassies to apply to and that made it pretty easy compared to finding one on our own. The labor market isn’t at its best right now, so internships are not easy to find in general, but the double degree looks great on an application and helps with alternative job opportunities while studying.

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Additional tips on succeeding your Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws:

Time-management tips

  • Rule #1 — Pay attention in class.
    • Try to sit in the front row to avoid distractions, and pay attention. I promise it will make a difference when you study later.
    • If you don’t pay attention in class, you will be learning content from scratch and there’s nothing worse than procrastinating on something you don’t know.
    • The teacher often highlights what is important and explains what is confusing.
  • Don’t procrastinate.
  • Learn to be resourceful.

Learning tips

  • When solving cases:
    • Make sure you at least have yourself convinced.
    • Argue as much as necessary. Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.
  • Approach interesting content with the aim that it could be applied to real life, you never know when it might be useful!

Study tips

  • Don’t be afraid to ask.
  • Review everything before review sessions so you can ask questions.
  • Help those who feel lost, at some point you will be the one who needs it.
  • Try to combine both aspects of what you are learning, at the end of the day, everything is interconnected.
  • Find a study partner for finals.

Tips on note taking

  • Learn to take notes.
  • I like to take notes on my computer because professors talk fast and it’s easier to correct them later. Plus, they will be all in one, organized, and easily portable.
  • Rewrite your notes by hand in a hierarchical note-taking structure.
    • Topics, subtopics, and exceptions:
      • Note down the general rule, then a subrule, then the exception.
    • Color code:
      • Helps with the different jurisdictions or for when there are exceptions to a certain rule.
      • Helpful when you want to learn something by heart (e.g. for an oral exam).
  • Studyhack: an A3-sized paper study guide gives you a whole picture perspective and helps you to not get confused about certain requirements that might seem contradicting.
  • Studyhack: Google Drive Folders are your friend. Be organized with your digital notes, in case you need something in the future you will know where to find them.