Second-year IE University student, Andrea Pelaez, talks about what it’s like working with the Social Impact Lab, making dreams come true and how to inspire positive change in the world.
Recently, the Make-A-Wish Foundation collaborated with the Social Impact Lab at IE University to make dreams come true. Andrea Pelaez, a second-year student in the Bachelor in Behavior and Social Science program at IE University, talks about what it feels like to be at the forefront of such a cause, her experience working with the team and why she chose to take part.
Why did you choose to join the Social Impact Lab?
In my first year at the Segovia campus, I participated in the Marketing and Consumer Insights Lab and found it to be an enriching experience. It helped me build my professional profile, meet new people and enhance my soft skills. I also had the opportunity to work with leading companies like Heineken, Twitter, Mondelez and a host of others.
After seeing how rewarding the entire experience was, I wanted to sign up again. However, this year, I chose to take a different approach and work with an NGO instead. My goal was to get hands-on experience in a sector that interests me while giving back to the community. The Social Impact Lab fit the bill perfectly.
The lab is a social development consultancy that gives students a platform to use their skills and knowledge to work on social goals in real-life situations. It takes advantage of its diverse membership to help NGOs reach their goals and make a positive impact on society. Through the lab, students can work on causes they want to and gain professional experience.
What did this year’s projects entail?
This year, some of my classmates and I had the chance to work with Make-A-Wish Spain. The organization helps children with serious illnesses make their dreams come true as part of the comprehensive treatment they receive for their condition. While working with them, our first goal was to support Paloma.
Paloma is a 5-year-old girl that has a serious oncological disease. We wanted to make her dream of seeing the snow for the first time possible. To do this, we organized a talent show, sold merchandise, organized a raffle with our sponsors, led crowdfunding efforts and shared about the event on social media.
For the lab’s more intensive period, we look forward to raising awareness about the organization at a higher level and, potentially, launching an even bigger event.
Why do you think it’s important to support and partner with organizations such as Make-A-Wish Spain?
I feel that it is essential to partner with organizations like Make-A-Wish because of how much positive impact we can have through them. It’s about more than just gaining professional experience and developing our consultancy skills. In essence, working with the Make-A-Wish organization is a way for us to give back to the community and give hope to children. This can be a turning point in their lives as it will provide them with the physical and emotional strength to keep on fighting against their illnesses.
Since I started working for the NGO, it has made me more resilient and empathetic, given me better leadership skills and allowed me to network with a diverse group of new people.
What advice would you give a student who is considering joining the Social Impact Lab?
For anyone considering joining the Social Impact Lab, my advice is to simply enjoy the process. Working in this internship requires a lot of time, effort and dedication. Still, it is so rewarding in the long run because you get to have lots of fun while doing something you enjoy and meeting many new and fascinating people. You will also develop skills that will help you in your career.