IEU Experience


My name is Marcela, but most people know me as Marce. I am a fourth-year Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations student from Guatemala and Nicaragua. I lived in Guatemala City all my life, until I moved to Segovia for the first three years of my degree. Now I am happily making the most of my time in Madrid, before I go on my exchange to Hong Kong next semester!

When Marcela was considering where to go to university, one thing was already clear in her mind: it had to be Spain. Having fallen for the country on her first visit at the age of 15, she knew she wanted to live here, so she only considered Spanish universities. The choice of which program, however, was not quite so cut and dried. She was torn between business, international relations and hospitality.

The opportunities to network at IE University are limitless—and that always provides a plus for our personal and professional paths.

That’s how Marcela discovered IE University. Coming to Segovia, she felt connected to the international diversity and cultural richness of the IE community, and her decision was made. Now in the final year of her degree, it’s clearly a decision she has no regrets about. She describes her Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations as the perfect combination of practical business tools and in-depth knowledge of global affairs. Indeed, Marcela says these have been the best years of her life. She is grateful to IE University for the lifelong friends she has made and the learning experiences that continue to shape her. She says the institution gives her the tools, opportunities and self-belief to nurture her talents. And she has certainly made the most of her time with us, attending as many events as possible—highlighting the Leap Conferences and the Women in Business events in particular—as well as joining several clubs.

As an exceptionally engaged member of the IE Community, Marcela even founded her own club, the IE Social Awareness Society, in line with her own interests and passions. Having won the Campus Life Award for the best new initiative, the club has now merged with the Charity Club and goes from strength to strength. What’s more, having received support from the Mentorship Society at the start of her studies, Marcela is now giving back as a Mentor herself. She recommends that every incoming student becomes a Mentee when they join the community.

Such initiatives, she says, are typical of the help on offer at IE University on both a personal and professional level. She particularly praises the guidance and resources from IE Talent & Careers: the wide range of internship and job opportunities on offer, the networking experiences through which she has built lasting relationships, and the chance to study abroad through International Mobility.  Though spoilt for choice, Marcela chose to do her exchange in Hong Kong because of the professional opportunities it offers. She says Hong Kong intrigues her, and she believes a semester at the prestigious Hong Kong Business School will not only open doors for her in the future, but also provide an environment that shares IE University’s values of innovation, practical learning and global opportunity.

Looking forward, Marcela wants to do something that fits with her personality in the luxury, hospitality or retail industries. She would prefer to stay in Europe after graduating and develop an international career. For that, she believes her current exchange experience will certainly help to put her in a good position; as she asserts, the future of the luxury sector is moving east. Furthermore, with advanced tech and emerging digital trends disrupting every sector, Marcela is gaining an in-depth understanding of how these factors apply to industries in that part of the world.

Marcela says her self-belief and the support and opportunities she has received from IE University have made her who she is today. She urges everybody to find out what they love and what they’re good at, to believe in themselves, and to make the most of the opportunities life affords them. Asked if she has any advice for those at the beginning of their professional journeys, Marcela doesn’t hesitate. She recommends opening up to new things in order to achieve your goals—it is better to try, and to learn, than to not give it a shot for fear of failure. We have no doubt that won’t be a problem for Marcela!