Isabella “Bella” Massot is the product of a diverse and multicultural background. Born in Panama to her American mother and Spanish father, she’s spent most of her life living in Panama City, Madrid and, more recently, Hong Kong.
Fortunately, I discovered IE Business School, which provided the perfect combination of both: I really feel like the classes are very similar to a top-rated US university while still offering the European experience.Isabella “Bella” Massot
Initially, she nurtured long-held dreams of studying in the US: Bella wanted to experience typical college life in the states. However, she also traveled back and forth a lot between Panama and Spain, visiting family and fulfilling a deep longing to connect with her roots. These immersive trips allowed her to develop an appreciation for both sides of her cultural identity, making her even more determined to find a way to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Setting roots at IE University
Bella soon discovered a viable solution to the challenge: IE Business School. As she explains, “It provided the perfect combination of both,” adding, “The classes are very similar to a top-rated American university while still offering the European experience.” And so she enrolled in the Bachelor in Communication & Digital Media, hoping to hone her creative outlook and embark on the first step of building her international career within the financial and cultural heart of Madrid.
Currently in her final year of the program, Bella has enjoyed the opportunity to explore more of Spain and discover all its capital has to offer: “From its stunning architecture to the great nightlife, I’ve fallen in love with this city more and more each day.” What’s more, she’s built lifelong friendships with a diverse mix of students from all over the world—expanding her perspective and learning so much about different cultures, perspectives and ways of thinking.
But, more importantly, Bella has spent the last four years realizing her dream of studying a program that blended creativity with business knowledge. “I wanted to find a program that could offer me a balanced education in both areas,” she says. The Bachelor in Communication & Digital Media fit the bill, seamlessly merging both areas of knowledge through a unique mix of practical, hands-on projects and in-class learning. And by sharpening her competencies in branding, advertising and graphic design, the comprehensive bachelor’s degree has also transformed her career prospects, giving her the skill set to excel in a wide range of industries.
Being part of this international family has truly opened my eyes to the world and all its beauty.Isabella “Bella” Massot
Making the most of her experience
Bella describes her IE Experience as incredible. For her, the best part of joining such an international community has been the unlimited potential to make career-building connections. From meeting new friends from diverse cultural backgrounds to participating in an array of exciting on-campus events, clubs and organizations, she is happy to have dove into every part of campus life. “Moving to a foreign country after living your whole life in the same place can be scary, but IE University made it feel like a home,” she says.
She’s also played a vital role in TEDxIEMadrid, an independent, community-run event designed to inspire, inform and foster new ideas. After joining the organization three years ago, she now coordinates all its marketing and creative efforts.
Last year, Bella had the opportunity to complete an exchange semester abroad. With IE University’s partnerships with over 200 academic institutions in more than 50 countries, she was faced with numerous options. But, in the end, she chose Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in what she calls “one of the best decisions” of her life. According to Bella, this study abroad program taught her to take risks outside her comfort zone, adapt to new environments and, ultimately, helped to expand her worldview. She also used the trip to travel to many other countries in East Asia—making it a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A future in communication
Bella cultivates a rich life outside the classroom, too. So far, she’s traveled to over 20 countries, delved into entrepreneurship through her own makeup service and healthy dessert brands, and started creating online video content about her travels. She’s also pursuing her passion for graphic design: “I’ve loved drawing since I was little and it shows it in my work,” she says. Photography, painting, fashion, pilates and more—this dynamic go-getter loves to keep her plate full of interesting activities. And when she needs some downtime, you’ll find her enjoying a hot cappuccino, samba dancing or doing a bit of journaling in Retiro Park.
That said, Bella is actively focused on the next phase of her life. She hopes to work in the marketing and advertising sectors back in Panama, a hub for many brands geared toward audiences in Latin America. Eventually, she plans to expand her professional horizons in both the US and Europe. Of the latter, she says, “The continent holds a special place in my heart and I am constantly inspired by its diverse cultures.”
Ultimately, wherever my career takes me, I am excited for the journey and the chance to keep growing both personally and professionally.Isabella “Bella” Massot