First-year IE University student, Tom Fréreux-Sanchez, shares his insights on the Dual Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics & Business and Data Analytics. His first-hand experience helps answer incoming students’ frequent questions.

Tell us about yourself. Where you are from, what do you study, and what year are you in?

Hi! My name is Tom Fréreux-Sanchez, and I’m from France. I am a first-year student in the Dual Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics & Business and Data Analytics, and I spent my first year studying at IE University’s campus in Segovia.

What stood out to you about IE University? What are the main features that helped you decide on which degree you wanted to study?

A year ago, I decided on this dual degree because I believed it would enable me to discover a variety of new subjects and help me become a well-rounded professional. The obvious main aspects of my bachelor are: politics, law, economics, statistics, and programming. Yet, we also have several classes that are related to other aspects such as cybersecurity and presentation skills.

One thing that I love about IE University is that any degree you choose can be shaped into a personalized study plan because of the number of opportunities they offer. You can choose additional courses like languages, seminars, and IEU Labs in order to continue growing personally and professionally.

What was your favorite class and with which professor? Why?

I enjoyed all of the classes I took this year, but my favorite was European Legal History with Professor Miguel Larrañaga—it’s a pretty personal choice and was highly influenced by the fact that I love studying history.

What are the classes like?

Each class is organized differently and it usually depends on the professor and the subject. I found all of my classes very interesting especially due to their variety. The PPLE classes require a lot of reading and individual work, while the Data and Business Analytics courses are more focused on putting theory into practice and working on group projects.

How many hours will I spend doing homework or studying?

Although it depends on each person, I think this degree requires the most work in and out of the classroom. Don’t worry, it’s manageable with a bit of planning. I personally spent a lot of time studying, but I don’t want to scare you. My schedule included five optional classes in the second semester: two languages, two seminars, and one lab. I also added the IE Collaboration Award and joined clubs.

I wouldn’t recommend filling your schedule as much as I did—nine hours of class and five hours of studying per day was exhausting. Most students in our degree have six or seven classes per semester in total, and then an additional three or four hours per week dedicated to studying.

What is the grading system like? What are finals like?

Your grade is split up into five sections: 30% for the final exam, 30% for group projects, 20% for the midterm, 10% for homework and quizzes, and 10% for participation. As you can see, group projects have a lot of weight in your grade, but you’ll do well if you follow the instructions and complete the project. Do the readings before the PPLE lectures and be sure to participate in class. I would say that it is pretty easy to do well on exams and finals if you listen in class and study.

What is a typical day like in the life of a Dual Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics & Business and Data Analytics student?

Between projects and studying, it would seem like my life is nothing more than school, but that’s not the case. I usually wake up around 7 a.m. to go running in the hills. My roommates and I have breakfast together around 8 a.m. and then classes start at 9 a.m. Once classes finish, around 1 p.m., my friends and I have lunch on campus, at home, or at The Cave Food Corner restaurant. I have my optional classes from around 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and then I go home to study for about three hours. Sometimes I will chill with my friends or we will go out for tapas, and then we wake up and repeat.

Are there exchange programs, clubs, and internship opportunities? Are they easy to find?

IE University is full of opportunities. There are a lot of different clubs to join and you can go on exchange in your fourth year. There are also internships you can participate in during the summer or the school year. IE University also has their IEU Labs in June, which are internship-like experiences. Don’t go crazy though—you’re already in a dual degree and will be very busy, but you should try to take advantage of as many opportunities as you can while you’re here.

Additional tips from Tom on surviving the Dual Degree in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics & Business and Data Analytics

  • Be sociable. Dive into meeting new people because they are from all over the world and you will learn a lot from one another.
  • Stay organized with your schedule, study time, and social life.
  • Don’t stress. If you feel like you’re falling behind, talk to a professor for additional help.
  • Don’t skip classes. It’s important to attend class regularly and pay attention.
  • Make the most of it! Explore Segovia, enjoy the campus, and participate in student life opportunities.