Spaniard Sergio Sempere went to school in London, where he boarded at The American School in England before graduating as part of the class of 2020. He’s now back home in Spain, a country which he believes is full of potential for young people in particular, and in the third year of his Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws. We spoke to him about his IE University experience, and his vision for his own and his chosen industry’s futures.
I’m from Alcoy, a small town in Alicante, Spain. I’m studying the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws, a program I chose because it provides you with a 360-degree business mindset and allows you to master “the rules of the game.”
I’d never have imagined how useful law is, but knowing the law lets you build better strategies and provides you with key interpersonal skills such as negotiation. I’m already using what I’ve learned in class in my daily life; from dealing with my landlord to litigating against airlines for breach of contract.
Why did you choose to study at IE University?
I chose IE University because of its international community and entrepreneurial spirit, its focus on practicality, and its amazing alumni community. In a way, it’s an oasis within Madrid; you can live in one of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world while benefiting from a truly international and state-of-the-art educational experience.
Another of the differentiating factors about IE University is the support you get; you can do anything you can imagine if you have a good idea. I’ve found the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws to be the best option for those looking forward to starting a business; professors are always willing to help you in your personal projects, and you get access to some of the best, most knowledgeable professionals in the world.
Tell us about your extracurricular experience at IE University.
No matter what you’re interested in, there’s always something going on at IE University. I’m president of the Film & TV Industry Club, which organizes panel discussions with industry professionals: producers, directors, cinematographers, etc. We also organize screenings of different materials, and we’re even planning on producing a short film with all the club members. It’s the club to be in, if you’re interested in the artistic or business aspects of these industries.
I also love attending international-relations-related events. It was amazing to see and hear former Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, New Zealand’s Prime Minister, and the US Ambassador to Spain, Julissa Reynoso, for example. We’re very lucky to have these events going on; it gives you perspective on the world. Geopolitics has proven to be key in business, given the energy and supply-side crisis resulting from the Ukraine War, among other factors. Those companies that anticipated the crisis are now more competitive than those that didn’t.
Finally, entrepreneurship activities on campus are endless. I usually go to those organized by Area31 and the Venture Lab. It gives you the opportunity to talk with rising entrepreneurs and establish valuable connections for the future. At IE University it’s common to see classmates and friends succeeding in their business projects; I feel really grateful always to be surrounded by very talented people.
How has IE University helped you with personal and professional experiences such as internships?
From the start, IE Talent & Careers has helped me to engage in real-life professional experiences. From CV revision to interview prep, they really help you find and take opportunities to gain experience.
During my first summer at IE University, I worked at a production company in Alicante, and I was amazed by how much responsibility I was able to handle by the end. I even got featured in the credits of a music video produced for Sony Music Spain as Production Assistant.
I loved the experience, but also wanted to try the more “corporate lifestyle.” So I was lucky to work in the Business Development Department of a top Spanish law firm for six months. I’m forever thankful for the discipline I was taught during that time; I learned how to communicate quickly and effectively, and it was interesting to get to know all the departments within the company.
After that I came “back to the movies,” working as a junior producer for a company in Madrid, managing their productions nationwide and working on marketing their services online. The work was highly demanding, and there was no room for mistakes given the importance of the clients; I had to arrange an interview with the now-leader of the opposition in Spain, for example.
I have also participated, on a scholarship from IE University, in the LSGL Law Summer School in Brazil. The topics were mostly the Law of AI and Automation, and the sustainability challenges of the Amazon.
What about the future—what path do you want to take?
I believe the future of TV will revolve around user-generated content, and the interest of these platforms in becoming the new TV is now clearer than ever. My main goal is to help anybody having a bad day disconnect for 20 seconds and have a laugh. The power of entertainment to change people’s days is astonishing.
I also help prospective college students with their applications through my company ZTOFLY. I think I’m very good at understanding their needs and providing clear instructions on how to achieve the best applications. So far, they’ve all been a success, admitted into their dream universities. Helping people achieve their dreams makes my life more meaningful, and that’s why I started this project.
Looking further forward, while it’s difficult to make plans in today’s changing world, I see myself working in the entertainment industry. I’d be very happy if one day I could become a film or TV producer, making content that people love. I think the Hispanic market has a huge potential in terms of entertainment products. I believe my efforts will be in trying to unite all the Spanish-speaking countries in the same way as the Anglosphere. The market is even bigger and, although streaming has accelerated this unity, there’s still a lot of work to be done.