IEU Labs are IE University’s alternative to traditional work placements and provide hands-on, internship-like experience on campus to first and second year students that wish to start gaining professional practice. There are ten Labs for you to choose from, and by joining one you will not only get to build your professional profile and gain valuable practical knowledge of different sectors, but you will also have direct contact with managers and directors of leading companies, extending your professional network.
Throughout the whole program, you will work under the tutorship of professors, while experts provide training in areas like marketing, funding, strategy and legal aspects, among others. When the time to choose comes, you will be able to apply to a Lab that matches your professional interests, or go for one that is outside of your field of study in order to broaden your areas of knowledge and work with students from other programs.
All Labs start at the beginning of the academic year and continue yearround. During the months from May to June you will work full-time in the IEU Labs and participate in common modules and activities which include advanced seminars for professional skills, weekly presentations of your work, business simulations, and extracurricular activities.
The IEU Start-Up Lab is an incubator where you can develop your business plans and make them investment- ready, with the guidance of professors and entrepreneurs.
Objective: Specialize in the creation and distribution of canned paella both in Spain and in the rest of the world.
Best things about it: We got to start a company from scratch and be present in each step of the process; from the business plan to the corporate image. We knew that in June we were presenting to real investors, which was very motivating since we were encouraged by the belief that our idea could actually be fully financed!
Most challenging aspect: The most challenging aspect was customer acquisition. Even though we stated how
we were planning on reaching out to customers; paid research, organic research/SEO, PR, social media, inside sales, etc. We ended up realizing that some of our assumptions were wrong or too expensive, so we had to rethink our customer acquisition protocols.
Social Impact Lab
In this Lab you can work with non- profit organizations and other initiatives, managing social projects in international settings. By being part of this Lab, you will also have the option to go and work in developing countries, participating in real projects that have a visible, tangible effect.
ONG FINANCIEROS SIN FRONTERAS
Objective: Develop a microcredit project and a basic financial literacy course to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the Larbie community in Awutu, Ghana.
Best things about it: We got to travel to Ghana for recognition and data collection, which was a fantastic experience. All the information obtained was used to provide financial and organizational recommendations so that the institutions we were working with could achieve enough sustainability to become attractive to private investors.
Most challenging aspect: Knowing that all of our decisions were going to affect, either positively or negatively, real people and the ramifications that come with making such a decision.
When working in the Marketing Lab, you will be involved in brand building, as well as strategy creation and the implementation of marketing plans. You will also work on marketing research and consumer insights for a range of companies and institutions, as well as offer support to new start-ups and entrepreneurs at IE.
Objective: Analyze a law firm’s website, compare it with the global market and come up with a proposal that will differentiate it from its competitors.
Best things about it: Meeting with the client to obtain feedback and adapt our proposals to best meet their requirements and needs. Knowing that they were going to implement our ideas was a huge motivation.
Most challenging aspect: Finding the perfect balance between being creative and innovative and at the same time stay loyal to the brand’s image and values.
If you want to work in the world of finance, then this is the perfect place to get your career started! This Lab focuses on analyzing financial markets and consulting companies on a range of financial issues.
ONE-TO-ONE CORPORATE FINANCE
Objective: Analyze a company’s high-performance benefits, real estate transactions and their investments in private equity funds.
Best things about it: The fact that we got to evaluate a company’s’ real activity and value.
Most challenging aspect: Being able to think long term and come up with flexible solutions to problems which have yet to occur.
This Lab is a fully tutored working space in which you can execute professional projects with an international dimension for private companies, public organizations and non-profits. Our partner institutions work in different industries and sectors: consultancy, international development, public affairs, diplomacy, etc.
Objective: Analyze the political, social, economic and legal trends that Weber Shandwick’s multinational clients must be aware of, while doing business in different countries, in order to propose an institutional relations and communication strategy.
Best things about it: Having the opportunity to work in multidisciplinary teams, guided by Weber Shandwick experts,and identifying industry insights that allowed us to come up with accurate analyses and proposals.
Most challenging aspect: Present results and proposed strategies to the clients that were worthy of Weber Shandwick’s impeccable reputation and high market standards.
This lab takes an integrated approach to the world of design and architecture, working on urban and rural architectural projects, city planning, and with the local tourism authorities.
FROM LIMIT TO LIVE IT
Objective: Coming up with a proposal for a temporary artistic international contest on the wall enclosing the city of Segovia, as well as establishing the rules and creating the graphic material to send out to participants.
Best things about it: It was a very creative project where all ideas were welcome. The contest had specific objectives, but we were encouraged to think freely and come up with innovative proposals in order to meet those goals.
Most challenging aspect: Coming up with the evaluation criteria was one of the most challenging hurdles. We needed to make sure that each aspect evaluated would give real value to the contestant’s proposals and at the same time make sure it was viable, innovative, etc.
This lab monitors and reports on issues pertaining to players, teams and coaches in the sports world, working on research and consultancy with Spanish and European football clubs, Formula 1, and others.
ATLÉTICO DE MADRID
Objective: Predict and evaluate the players’ behavior.
Best things about it: We got to develop activities aimed at improving the lives of athletes and also demonstrate to society the values represented by sports.
Most challenging aspect: Covering every single detail of our proposals. In order to be heard and get our ideas implemented, we needed to make sure that absolutely everything that we said was well-founded and based on empirical evidence.
The Communication Lab works with the widest range of companies, institutions and start-ups with
communication needs. You will be in charge of creating content such as blogs, videos, and other media content according to the clients’ needs.
VOCES DEL TEATRO REAL
Objective: Execute an interesting project to transform the Opera into something accessible and trendy for youngsters.
Best things about it: We had to first immerse ourselves in the skin of opera singers in order to understand their passion for the art!
Most challenging aspect: Avoid falling into assumptions or cliches about why young people aren’t into opera. We needed to come up with effective ways of finding out their reasons and motivations so that afterwards we could come up with a campaign that really covered these issues and made a big impact among the target audience.
Legal Clinic Lab
Students offer legal advice for NGOs, non-profits and institutions which need legal consulting services. Several law firms also collaborate with this Lab for research and consultancy purposes to help their clients and firms.
Objective: Conduct a study among medium- sized enterprises in Madrid to ensure compliance to the general law of rights for disabled people.
Best things about it: Raise awareness about a topic that could make a huge difference in our society particularly to those of poor health.
Most challenging aspect: Finding out that a big percentage of the companies we interviewed are not aware of the law and the alternative measures supposed to be implemented when it comes to hiring disabled people. That was quite discouraging.
Common Modules and Activities
All IEU Labs start at the beginning of the academic year and continue year-round. During the months from May to June students work full time in the IE Labs and participate in common modules and activities which include seminars for professional skills, weekly presentations of their work, business simulations, and extracurricular activities.
It’s not all work and no play! Students go on weekly excursions and have a variety of activities to participate in. Excursions and activities range from sports and outdoor adventure to cultural trips to museums and historical landmarks around Spain.
The seminars are very popular among the students and are geared specifically to building professional skills. A couple currently running are:
Students will get to work on business simulations using Praxis MMT Simulation Software. Five or six “companies”, made up of at least two students, compete in the simulation for at least two hours a day. The simulations cover all aspects of production and marketing: R&D, production, organization, strategy, marketing, CSR, CRM, financial issues, etc. Every week the most productive company will be selected, with final prizes awarded.