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10 Valuable Lessons Shared by IE University Alumni


Grads Give Back are advice-driven, career-oriented online events that leverage the IEU alumni community. Over 500 attendees from more than 40 different countries tuned in to our events this year. From Consumer Goods to Finance, our alumni spoke about their experiences working at top companies in various industries.

We interviewed an A&D graduate and frequent attendee, Sarah Al Atiyat about her experience attending our events this past year and the 10 valuable lessons that she learned from the alumni panelists.

1. Learn about industries you don’t know anything about

The alumni advised attendees should gain as much experience as possible – through internships and extracurricular activities. This deeply resonated with me as my background is in architecture, but through these events, I learned an incredible amount about different industries – tech, consulting, human resources. Initially, I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to pursue, but after attending the Consulting event, and learning more about that industry and the positions available within it, I know that this is a path that I am interested in pursuing.

2. Learn how to network

The commonality between the alumni panelists was their insistence on networking. They showed us how IE alumni are willing, and able, to help – it’s just a matter of reaching out. They opened their arms to us and told us not to be afraid or intimidated to reach out to them on LinkedIn.

3. Actually start networking – now!

After the first Grads Give Back event, I reached out to one of the alumni panelists working at Google. He was so kind and helpful, and this experience really propelled my confidence and willingness to reach out to other IE alumni. Since then, I have spoken with 6 alumni who have helped guide me and have provided invaluable advice.

4. IE alumni are willing to help – and happen to have great positions at the best companies

I was incredibly impressed by the IE alumni panelists. They worked at LinkedIn, Google, McKinsey, everywhere – and they all emphasized how being an IE student really makes you stand out in the application process. IE is known for being an innovative institution and it instills this in its students. This learned mindset and IE’s reputation helped them land these amazing jobs, and they advised that we similarly leverage IE and our learning experience when job searching.

5. You’re going to want to work with IE alumni

The alumni were super nice, helpful, and willing to share their advice. One alumnus literally said, “send me your CV, let me know how I can help.” That’s the IE community in a nutshell. People at IE are always so willing to help, and you want to work in that kind of environment.

6. Get excited about joining the IE Alumni Community

IE cares for their students and alumni. We’re one big family and most universities don’t offer that level of care and support. I know that the alumni community will always be there for me and my peers – whether it’s through providing advice, a reference or helping you settle in a new city – IE alumni are always willing to help and give back to their community.

7. Make the most of your time at IE

IE provides you with the resources you need. Everything is at your fingertips, it’s just a matter of taking action. Attending the Grads Give Back events is part of that – and it feels good to know that you are doing something that will serve you well in the future.

8. Learn from alumni experiences

Figuring out what you want to do takes time and experience. I have worked in many different jobs and industries – but didn’t necessarily find myself and feel as though it was a fit. I didn’t know where to start, but then one of the alumni panelists recommended the book Case in Point and to do Aris’ case studies. I did them both and now I have a better sense of what I want to do and how to get there.

9. Know what it takes to get a job in your desired industry

The alumni provided some amazing tips about how to leverage IE resources and the IE alumni network, and how not to get defeated by the job searching process. One piece of advice that really stood out to me was their emphasis on leveraging your linguistic abilities.

10. Attend Grads Give Back

One of the biggest takeaways of these events was to be optimistic. I was able to see people, exactly like me, succeed and find their way. Of course, I will be attending future events and hope to be a panelist one day and help others who are looking for some helpful advice!

Written by Sarah Al Atiyat and Alexina Clements