For Margarida, the UNSSC-IE Summer Research Program is the perfect stepping stone for any student looking to start a career in research and advisory or consulting.
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).
Margarida and her partner had the unique opportunity to work with four different organizations researching how the UN Innovation Toolkit can create innovative solutions for for-profit organizations.
Besides the UNSSC and IE University, they collaborated with Accenture Interactive and one of their clients for over three months. They focused on documenting the use, contextualization, mainstream adaptability and value-adding opportunities of the UN Innovation Toolkit for Accenture Interactive.
Luckily, Margarida is no stranger to innovation at IE University, allowing her to understand the multidimensional nature of innovation in organizations. It was a natural step for Margarida to draw comparisons between the public and private spheres and find the value stemming from innovation when assessing the tool’s potential, originally designed for UN institutions.
Margarida worked closely with an Innovation Associate Fellow at the UNSSC, who made herself available throughout the process. In fact, Margarida found that the entire UNSSC team was supportive of all students and she is extremely grateful for the insights she gained.
Margarida used her mornings to focus on the project, meeting with Accenture a few times a week, and with her partner every day to prepare and catch up on each other’s progress. Before meeting with Accenture, they would also meet with their academic advisor so they could present their work in the best possible way. Margarida and her partner had to manage and communicate with several different stakeholders to ensure the final report was in line with everyone’s expectations.
For future students wanting to participate in the program next year, Margarida would recommend not being afraid to take the leap. While it can be intimidating to work with such a talented group of individuals, the more enthusiasm and initiative you show, the more you’ll gain from the program. Margarida says you learn from doing, so sharing your ideas and making yourself a valuable resource is imperative.
“The UNSSC Summer Research Program is the perfect first stepping stone for any student looking to start a career in research and advisory or consulting.”
IE University prepared Margarida for the program, honing her presentation and research skills. She admits that there will always be things that make you nervous when starting a new position, but this training makes it one less thing to be worried about. She believes that all of the participants can say that the IE School of Global & Public Affairs equipped them with the skills necessary to participate in a program of such a high caliber.