Juan Pablo González, originally from Mexico, describes himself as a philomath—a true lover of learning. Fluent in three languages, he relocated to Madrid from his home country and attended a British school in the city. Juan Pablo is a classically trained pianist, as well as a writer, composer and music teacher. He’s currently in the second year of the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Sciences.
What attracted you to the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Sciences?
I knew I wanted to do something in business or marketing, but also with a focus on psychology, as it’s one of the forces that condition why we decide to behave in a certain way. I did some research on behavioral economics and fell in love with how it contradicted Adam Smith’s views: humans are not rational machines, and our thought and decision-making processes are heavily influenced by a million other factors. Knowing this, a natural question is posed: how can we understand and influence behavior for good?
Why is it important to study human behavior?
People are at the heart of any organization, so it’s very important to understand their motivations to act and the cognitive biases they suffer from. I think that today, in both the private and public sectors, an organization’s success lies in how it manages the interconnection of human behavior and data analytics—and this is something we study in our first year.
Which of the program’s courses did you enjoy most?
In my second year, my favorites are The Psychology of Cognition and Emotion and Organizational Behavior, because the professors are excellent at teaching and motivating us: they have truly opened my eyes in terms of the many applications of behavioral science. Going back to the first year, I enjoyed the course on Data Insights and Visualization, which showed me how important it is to represent data in an interesting and attractive way.
The program makes us students a bit different; we’re very creative and can apply theoretical and practical solutions—both quantitative and qualitative—to problems.
Tell us about your extracurricular activities at IE University.
In my first year, I joined The Stork, the university’s student-run publication, as a lifestyle editor. This year I’m working as the Managing Editor for the Segovia campus, overseeing the production of articles campus-wide across four sectors: Lifestyle, News, Opinion and Spanish.
I was also recently accepted to participate in IE University‘s Young Corporate Program with BeWay, a leading behavioral science consultancy based in Madrid. I’ll be collaborating with them for the rest of my degree.
What are your plans for the future? How do you see this program helping you with that?
I’d definitely like to work in the private sector, either in consulting or in market research and user experience. Later on, I can see myself doing a master’s degree in consumer behavior. The Bachelor in Behavior & Social Sciences will help by providing me with tools and resources for both academia and business while giving me an overall profile that’s in high demand in today’s market. Also, IE University as a whole—and the IE Talent & Careers department in particular—offers many helpful opportunities for job hunting throughout the year.
Finally, is there one thing about the Bachelor in Behavior & Social Science you wish you’d known before embarking on the program?
Just the sheer number of things you can apply behavioral science to besides business: health care, social impact and law, just to name a few.