I was born in Costa Rica but my family is from Medellín, Colombia and that’s where I grew up. Later, I spent 11 eleven years living in China, where I studied Chinese and earned my Bachelor of International Economics and Trade. I also founded an initiative to help Latin American companies in the tourism industry adapt their products for Chinese travelers. I worked as a global account manager at Hawksford in Shanghai, where I advised international clients on investing and trading in China. I’m curious and ambitious and love trying new things. In my free time I enjoy traveling, listening to music, reading and spending time with family and friends and my cat Odin.
Creating connections that will help improve communities
Manuela Mesa has many hobbies, but one of her favorite things is accelerating her personal growth by learning new skills, cultivating healthy habits and taking part in things outside her comfort zone. There were many reasons behind her decision to pursue the Master in International Relations at IE University, but one particular attraction was the diverse range of students, academics, entrepreneurs and experts in the IE Community and the knowledge she would gain from them. As someone who’s always striving to learn, she feels this valuable network that she’s creating at IE University is sure to give her important insights into the world’s leading institutions and help her transition into a new field.
Manuela’s been really impressed by the real-world experience of the tutors and academics at IE University. Being taught by people who work in the sector is a huge plus as she believes this entrepreneurial focus will help her think critically about global issues and help her advocate for others. For Manuela, IE University has been a safe place to explore and experiment, as well as interact with other people who want to improve communities.
With a huge range of high-quality activities on offer, Manuela feels that there’s something for everyone at IE University. Pleasantly surprised by just how many different clubs and resources there are to choose from, she’s taken advantage of the valuable experiences available both professionally and personally—connecting with lots of different people from all walks of life along the way. She’s also impressed with how the Master in International Relations is always evolving, ensuring that she and her classmates are up-to-date with global trends.
“IE University is a safe space where I can explore, experiment and connect with other people working to improve our communities.”
One thing that she wasn’t expecting, but has really enjoyed, was part of the Probability and Statistics class. The students learn the R programming language as part of this class and, although she didn’t know about it in advance, she sees it as a positive learning experience. The addition of this skill will improve her ability to conduct research and evaluate studies in international relations.
Thinking ahead, Manuela hasn’t made any final decisions just yet. What she’s sure of though is that she’d like to work in global governance and cooperation. She’s interested in the possibility of finding a niche in a non-governmental organization, or perhaps in an emerging sector. She’d love to work somewhere that combines market-based approaches with the social and environmental focus of public and non-for-profit companies and be able to work on pressing societal problems.
Manuela feels that the experience of the academics and experts at IE University will help her prepare for this future. She also thinks that it’s really important to enjoy life and connect with others while you enjoy the adventure of learning all that IE University provides.