I’m from Spain but I was brought up in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States. I’m in my first year of the Bachelor in Applied Mathematics. I’ve always been intrigued by mathematics, but outside of my studies I like to spend my free time cooking and spending time with my friends and family. I enjoy going to the gym but I also like sitting down to immerse myself in a book or watch a movie.
“There is an incredibly supportive environment, from professors to classmates. It truly does feel like the professors want to see you learn and succeed.”
A new member of the IE Community, a new program and new opportunities
Elena is still in the early days of her Bachelor in Applied Mathematics, Even though she is a recent addition to the IE Community—and the program itself has just welcomed its first-ever cohort—she already feels the “incredibly supportive environment” she now finds herself in, from her professors to her classmates.
It’s easy to understand why she feels so encouraged, when she is one of a small number of classmates. Elena is able to communicate with her professors often and she appreciates the personalized attention, especially as it gives her the sensation that the professors truly want to see her learn and succeed to her full ability. The overall positivity of the IE University ecosystem has made its mark on Elena, too. She’s loving the internationality of the institution, the diversity of the community and the opportunities this affords her to get to know new people.
She chose the Bachelor in Applied Mathematics because she’s always been intrigued by mathematics. Accepting that it may be counterintuitive to say so, she makes no secret of the fact that she actually enjoys the struggle of not understanding a concept, the challenge it presents in working it out and the resolution of seeing the bigger picture.
Additionally, the practical focus of the program has been a big positive for Elena. With the traditional and “pure” approach to the subject, it can be hard to see the objective of certain areas, she says. But being able to apply what she’s learning in everyday life keeps her motivated and interested even when things get challenging. And she doesn’t hide from the fact that, in the beginning in particular, it was indeed a challenge for her.
Elena cites Linear Algebra as an example. Finding it tough at the start, she says it was “completely worth the time and effort” to stick at it. Once she began to gain a more conceptual understanding of the subject, everything started to fall into place, and she now names it as her favorite subject from the first semester. She also began to see the holistic nature of the program content, as she came to perceive the connection between Linear Algebra and other courses such as Geometry, for example. And she certainly appreciates the expert balance that the program strikes between theory and application—as a student of applied mathematics, this is important to her.
Given her own admission of the challenge she faced at first, it’s no surprise that she advises any future students of the Bachelor in Applied Mathematics to be patient, and not to be afraid to ask for help. Anybody struggling to understand the material taught during class, or wrestling with some of the concepts, should take a step back and remember that it’s quite normal to get frustrated. The professors, she says, are always more than willing to help, so don’t hesitate to reach out for additional support. As long, she concludes, as you don’t leave it until the night before a deadline to do so!