Rocío González Lantero graduated from IE University with a Bachelor in Data and Business Analytics. Currently enjoying her summer holidays, she’s joining Zara’s parent company, Inditex, as a data scientist. Eager to put her degree to use, Rocío is looking forward to applying what she’s learned—including artificial intelligence—to her new employer’s decision-making processes.

We spoke with Rocío about her time at IE University, and her transformation in the Bachelor in Data and Business Analytics program. Here’s her story.

Rocío González Lantero

What personal, academic and professional tips would you provide to future IE University students?

Looking back on it, I recommend prospective students to trust themselves and the process. When I began studying at IE University, I had no idea of everything that could be achieved with data, let alone the huge amount of data we produce daily. I also didn’t know my potential or how to achieve my personal objectives. In my opinion, keeping an open mind, working hard, and thinking outside of the box on projects will help students progress and accomplish their goals. 

What aspects did you enjoy most about studying at IE University in Segovia and Madrid?

I think both campuses have their own unique style. Starting in Segovia was nice because it’s a smaller campus, so more familiar faces. At the same time, studying in Madrid was also lovely since there were more activities during your free time with friends.

How would you describe your year-by-year experience?

If I had to summarize the first year in one word, it would be “change.” New people, new experiences, new everything. The first year was all about adapting to university life and making new friends. Then came the second year, which was definitely the most challenging because of the pandemic.

When it comes to that second year, I have to divide it into two parts because it’s when COVID-19 started to have a daily impact on our lives. But even if the pandemic didn’t happen, the first semester of year two was among the hardest in the Bachelor in Data and Business Analytics. Despite being tough, this was when we started to delve into interesting topics. COVID-19 stood out more than anything else in the second semester, though. It felt so odd to not see your classmates and have everything online. It felt amazing in the beginning but it eventually got boring. Nonetheless, we learned a lot from this experience. After all, my classmates were spread across different time zones, so we ultimately had to adapt in order to complete group projects.

Moving along, the third year involved hybrid classes and felt like the “beginning of the end.” That’s to say, in the fourth year I participated in an exchange program and was super-focused on my thesis. With that said, the third year had many real-life projects and when we really started getting the hang of everything.

Finally, the fourth year is when I did my exchange program, thesis work and job hunting. In the first semester, for example, I enrolled in classes at the University of Michigan, one of IE University’s 200 partner universities worldwide. This was an experience that I’ll never forget and highly recommend to other IE University students.

After receiving several job offers, I decided to join Inditex, which has always been a top choice. In this period I also completed my thesis, “What if we are able to predict movement? The Move2Data pre-processing framework.” This was another positive challenge for me to overcome, and I’m proud of the results. Then before you know it, there was graduation and saying goodbye.

How does it feel to now be an IE University alum?

In all honesty, sometimes I forget that I’m now an alum. Even though it still hasn’t sunk in, I’m satisfied with my academic performance and personal growth while earning this degree. Of course, I’m beyond excited to see what happens next.

Where and how do you see yourself in the near future?

In the upcoming years, I envision myself excelling at Inditex. At some point, I’d like to do a master’s degree but I’m still not sure which one. Apart from that, I’m pretty open to seeing where life takes me and how my interests evolve over time. Whatever happens, I’ll act accordingly.