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Mikhail Frantsuzov

Alumni Story

Born in Moscow and trained as an architect in Spain with a background in fine arts, Mikhail has developed a strong fascination with film, architectural theory, speculative and avant-garde practices. In July 2020, he graduated from IE University with a BSc in Architecture and Design, receiving the Best Thesis Project Award and the highest class grade of 9,3. Over the years during his studies, Mikhail has completed four internships in different parts of the world, participated in architectural competitions, short film screenings, and was featured in photography and art exhibitions in Madrid, Moscow, and Hong Kong. Currently, his work revolves around a rigorous exploration and synthesis of spatiovisual arts while maintaining a focus in architectural practice.

Junior Architect at FRPO



Current Location

Madrid, Spain


How did your experience at IEU prepare you for your professional career?
First and foremost, I think IEU has prepared me to adapt quickly to spontaneous situations and new environments. During my studies at the university, I have managed to complete internships in Moscow, New York, and Paris, and have also gone on exchange to Hong Kong. Throughout all these experiences, I have been building up my resistance to comfort, so to say. This, in turn, has contributed to my ability to quickly switch between tasks, while always ensuring the job is done thoroughly.

What is the competitive advantage that studying at IEU provides or has provided you?
The first one that I can think of is versatility. Versatility in terms of the exposure to various fields of knowledge, patterns of thoughts, (hi)stories and other material that can be valued professionally. I feel like many students all over the world are instead very narrowly specialized in their respective fields. Only with their first professional experiences do they learn about the more global relationships inherent to their fields. At IEU, such relationships are encouraged to be explored in our student projects and are engrained in the studying process.

Do you have any advice for IEU students and alumni who are looking to pursue a career in architecture and design?
This is a difficult one. If I was to give a piece of advice, it would probably be to try and find a way to apply one’s personal and idiosyncratic skills to the architecture & design career. I feel like this is a winning strategy for both sides right now because from my point of view, architectural practice is quite static and immobile (yet design is much more potent these days). These creative fields need a good boost and it would probably not be provided by the already established practitioners. We need fresh courageous minds to shake up the Architecture & Design world.

What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in architecture?
Patience, perseverance, self-motivation, determination, persuasion, artistic literacy, and a pinch of charisma

Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IEU alumni community?
First of all, I believe the world still runs on connections more than it does on competency. And yet the latter one is obviously essential too, it is always great to have a community representing a wide spectrum of possible connections, from fresh graduates to established professionals. The interactions that start to happen are, in my opinion, crucial for a productive career and for some exciting opportunities that might pop up.

What skills would you recommend job seekers develop in order to make them more competitive in today’s workforce?
Considering the COVID situation and our shifting work routines, I would say languages could always be a huge advantage, but more than that, you have to practice decision-making and independent thinking. I know it sounds banal, but I tend to think that it is way easier to learn a software than to be able to express yourself clearly and on point, which makes the latter much more valuable in today’s workforce.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
Become good at one thing and do it very well.

If someone was considering going to IEU, what would you tell them?
To definitely choose Segovia, at least for the first couple of years. It is very much worth it in all kinds of ways.

Why did you choose the Bachelor of Architecture Studies program at IE University?
I was content with the academic program and the facilities, and very excited about the internship and exchange opportunities. But most importantly, I envisioned a possibility of a personal and customizable approach to education, which turned out to be very true. Once again, it was the Segovia campus and the proximity between the student body and the faculty which encouraged some very productive learning years for me.

What is one thing you wished you knew when you were a student?
To not be afraid and put the most outrageous ideas on the table. That’s how you get to understand where you stand, where your interests and strengths lie – through exploring the extremities.