IEU Experience


Kylar participated in the IE University - UNSSC Summer Research Program, looking at how the UN Innovation Toolkit impacted an SDGs-related competition developed and completed by the UN World Tourism Organization.

The Summer Research Program is a joint initiative launched by IE University’s Bachelor in International Relations in partnership with the UN System Staff College (UNSSC).

KylarBachelor in International Relations student, interviewed people who work for the UN World Tourism Organization and then submitted a final report and carried out a presentation alongside other participants of the program.

Innovation was a central part of his research. He incorporated the UN Innovation Toolkit into his interview questions and final report and engaged with people in different timezones. He also learned to adapt by carrying out meetings with the competition coordinator while on the go—for example, in the car on a family road trip.

“Working with the UNWTO gave me the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of a UN agency initiative.”

During the project, Kylar got a behind-the-scenes perspective of a UN agency initiative. He and his partner worked closely alongside the competition coordinator, a UNWTO worker, who was very helpful in guiding their research. Kylar found it an interesting experience to work remotely. It gave him freedom outside of a set schedule, allowing him and his partner to meet either in the morning or at night. However, Kylar was also challenged in the program, learning something new every day. A difficult aspect was synthesizing information from interviews and the UN Innovation Toolkit; comments from his advisor, the UNSSC, and the UNWTO; and his and his partner’s own opinions.

“Being a researcher in a program related to populism in my first year at IE University prepared me for the UNSSC-IE Summer Research Program.”



“It was great to create a final report to be shared with the Secretariat of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination.”

As part of the Bachelor in International Relations (BIR), students are expected to work together to complete tasks. So, having a student counterpart in the summer research program was something I already felt very familiar with. Additionally, I have completed writing assignments for different courses in the Bachelor in International Relations, which has cemented my writing skills—in my opinion, a must for the program.

The alliance between IE GPA and the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) has produced courses that are now on the UNSSC-IE platform. I was able to take these courses, opening up the possibility of gaining familiarity with the UNSSC educational experience prior to joining the summer program. Finally, the opportunity to join an IEU Lab also helped expose me to working with a possible future client.