IEU Experience


IEU’s Labs are an experiential alternative to traditional work placements. Providing hands-on, practical opportunities for students to work on real projects with collaborating companies and institutions, they have grown over the past near-decade into impactful, project-based initiatives across a range of sectors.

Grouped into Consultancy, Social Project, and Entrepreneurship Labs, there are now a total of 15 different IEU Labs covering everything from Innovation through Social Impact to Food Culture. Guided by 21 Lab directors, this year has seen 57 entrepreneurs, 60 clients and 643 students involved. This year has had more seniors, undertaken more projects, and made a greater impact than ever before.

Real challenges, real clients

Each Lab is designed to provide students with fully tutored spaces where they will be exposed to real clients. They work with companies and institutions on real projects, in the process gaining hands-on experience in what, for many, is their first exposure to real work experience. They are mentored by experts in their respective fields—professors and professionals with years of experience and insights to pass on.

Through the IEU Labs, students develop professional skills and gain interdisciplinary knowledge as they provide solutions that generate positive impact within organizations and society. At the end of a ninth successful year of IEU Labs, participants, directors, clients, and organizers gathered online to share their successes, celebrate their achievements, and even vote on their favorite initiatives from the past 12 months.

Diverse projects and approaches

Hosted by IEU Labs director Isabel Sánchez, the ceremony presented short videos put together by each of the 15 Labs’ participants. Typical of the diverse and innovative nature of the IE Community, and reflecting the variety in the Labs’ activities, the video presentations were each highly unique.

The IEU Labs’ videos were shown in four groups, with an open vote deciding which from each group would go forward for a deciding vote to choose an overall winner. The first Labs to present were:

Tech Lab: Lab director Pedro Moreno de los Rios

Marketing & Consumer Insights Lab: Lab directors Ramón Méndez and Rosamaria Reig
Innovation Lab: Lab director María Eizaguirre
Strategy Lab: Lab director Paula Almansa

After the four videos were shown, an open vote of online participants chose Tech Lab as the winners of this group. Begoña Morenés, investor relations director at Tech Lab client Ferrovial, joined the ceremony to congratulate the Tech Lab team for the great work they had done for her company in the face of challenging assignments. “I was so impressed with our meetings,” she confirmed. “They gave me several solutions, some of which we’re going to implement and others we’re looking into.”

Stratospheric success

The second group to present were:

Slow Fashion Lab: Lab directors Gema Gómez and Manuel Quirós
Food Culture Lab: Lab director Andrea Santamarina
Communication Lab: Lab director Diana Gómez

The Communication Lab video featured footage the students had filmed, thanks to a high-altitude balloon, from the stratosphere above Segovia, and was voted the winner of this group. They also challenged the IE University community to come together to break the world record for the largest multinational hug, when the pandemic has passed.

Diana Gómez was delighted with her team’s success and lauded the Labs format. “In the Labs you learn as much as you want to learn,” she commented, concluding, “I’m proud to participate every year in this amazing initiative.”

The third selection of video presentations comprised:

Social Impact Lab: Lab directors Sol Gómez and Javer G. Hernández
Design Lab: Lab directors Romina Canna and Marcela Aragüez
Finance Lab: Lab directors Paolo Giancane and Silviu Glavan
Start-Up Lab: Lab director Leticia Ponce

The Design Lab, or “D-Lab” as it’s known, was chosen as the winner from this group, advancing to the vote for the overall winner.

Final group and overall winner

The final group of presentations came from:

Econ Datalab: Lab directors Ainara González de San Román and Rodrigo Alegría
Marketing & Consumer Insights Lab: Lab directors Ramón Méndez and Rosamaria Reig
Policy Lab: Lab director Miguel Barreiro
Legal Clinic: Lab directors Sara Sánchez and Sonsoles Arias Guedón

Before the overall winner was announced, there was a special award, given jointly to the Legal Clinic and Marketing & Consumer Insights teams for their dynamic activity throughout the year on Instagram. These teams used the social media platform particularly effectively in promoting the work of the IEU Labs and spreading the word on their outstanding results.

Our congratulations go to the Tech Lab, their director Pedro Moreno de los Rios and the video coordinator Zoraya Toledano. Their outstanding video and excellent results in designing innovative solutions for real-life tech challenges impressed the large audience, and they were declared the overall winner.

Future-forward mentality

The future of IEU Labs is bright, concluded Isabel Sánchez. IE University is looking not just to grow the number and scope of the Labs themselves, but the community that has formed around them. Synergies between different Labs will also be explored, to encourage greater collaboration across multiple disciplines.

We can’t wait to see what innovations and successes next year’s IEU Labs will produce. See you all in September!