What can you do with a Bachelor in International Relations? For this alum, it was the key to entering an inspiring world of transformation and social impact.
When Patricia Fernández Gimeno graduated from IE University, she couldn’t imagine where the future would take her. Excited to take her first steps in the professional world, she knew her studies had equipped her for the challenge ahead. It was soon clear that the Bachelor in International Relations didn’t just broaden her perspective, it also set her on the path to positive impact.
Patricia has always been a passionate humanitarian. A long-time volunteer in organizations like ONCE and the Spanish Red Cross, she knows what it takes to make a positive impact on her community. So when it came time to chart her career path, she turned to her interests to lead the way. That’s how she found herself at Fundación Verón, a nonprofit organization that champions quality education for all.
Deep roots at Fundación Verón
Back in 2015, Fundación Verón was founded with the belief that good education is essential for sustainable development. The organization partners with academic projects that boost learning, teaching development, and social and labor integration for young people in Honduras. Fundación Verón’s work not only supports education for underserved communities, but also provides employment services, community assistance, and communication and advocacy.
Patricia first joined the organization as a marketing and communication intern, but she quickly climbed the ranks to a management position. Her most recent accomplishment is becoming the secretary of the Board of Trustees, a role she’s held for just over a year now. As she explains, “We’re trying to address the very low level of education in Honduras and, at the same time, promote job placement and a decent quality of life in the most vulnerable communities of the country.”
Patricia’s journey started in the Bachelor in International Relations classroom. It was there she learned about non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and how they contribute to stability, foreign policy and global affairs. The program also helped her develop well-rounded core skills she still uses today, such as presentation, debating and public speaking, among others.
Once she started her professional career, she continued to build on the tools she had developed at IE University. Working in an NGO gave her the chance to gain experience in everything from marketing and communication to management, technology, law, accounting and administration.
Apart from the great professional growth, she’s also found personal fulfillment through her work, by transforming fortunes for thousands of disenfranchised youth. One of her most memorable cases was Greysi: “All of our students have incredible stories, but Greysi stands out—a girl who as a child sold things on the street to help feed her family.” Through Fundación Verón, she’s now working at a school run by the organization and has received a scholarship to study law at university. “Wilmer, a boy from a family with very few resources who founded his own glass business after leaving school, also sticks out,” she adds.
Eager to share their students’ success stories, Fundación Verón recently released a documentary to showcase their inspirational projects in Honduras. The spotlight revolves around the School of Glass, the foundation’s flagship project in the country. In early December, it premiered in a successful screening held at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid. “The documentary is very emotional and direct,” states Patricia. “We hope it can bring new donors and partners to the project.”
Make your own impact
When it comes to positive impact, Patricia is miles ahead of her goals. She encourages others to try their hand at volunteering through Fundación Verón. But there are other ways to back such vital humanitarian projects. “What we are looking for above all is financial support to be able to continue helping these children in need,” she says. This important work is a necessary building block for a stable and sustainable society.