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Nicholas Saye

Alumni Story

Nicholas Saye is a designer and entrepreneur with a talent for producing eccentric ideas and making them a reality. His passions lie in sustainability and seeing a positive impact on the world.

After having the opportunity to live all around the world, he was amazed at how people and cultures lived symbiotically with the environment. Instead of fighting against nature, he believes that we can learn to work with it to benefit the ecosystems we live in.

Russian, British, & American

Current Location

Valencia, Spain


Founder TUMBAO

Program studied

BID, 2021


Could you tell us about how you developed TUMBAO and your current role?
Tumbao has been a long time in the making, however, it only really took its true form at the beginning of the pandemic when we found ourselves with free time and nothing to do with it. At TUMBAO, I would say that I am more business and sales facing, while MJ is more creative and design facing.

How did your experience at IEU prepare you for your professional career?
Studying at IE has taught me that I really need to push myself in the things I do and that if I really want something in life, I’m the only one that has to make it happen.

What is the competitive advantage that studying at IEU provides or has provided you?
Studying at IE has really broadened my understanding of design. By being exposed to a multitude of different design fields, I’ve gained an appreciation and understanding of them all and found my own unique way to integrating the various different things I learned into my own projects and life. Studying at IE has also taught me the soft skills necessary to succeed in the professional environment.

Do you have any advice for IEU students and alumni who are looking to pursue a career in design?
Just start. You don’t need to wait to finish your education, you don’t need to wait until you have all the necessary skills. Experience will teach more than the classroom ever will. Be outgoing, and reach higher than you think you can.

What skills do you consider are needed to succeed in design?
The most important ‘skill,’ if I can call it that, is working on your own passion projects. There are millions of designers out there all capable of doing what you’re able to do. The real way to set yourself apart is by being authentic, nobody can be you better than you. So, pursuing your own interests without immediately seeing the end goal, or how it might make you some money, that’s the most valuable skill as a designer.

What skills would you recommend job seekers develop in order to make them more competitive in today’s workforce?
Learn how to sell yourself. Skills can always be acquired, but you only have a very brief moment to make a good impression. Selling yourself is the most valuable skill any job seeker can learn.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?
That nobody owes you anything. Nobody owes you a good grade, nobody owes you a job, nobody owes you a good life. If you want anything in life, you have to work for it.

Why did you choose the BID program at IE University?
I chose the BID program because it encapsulated every form of design. As someone that had no idea what I was doing with my life, I had a vague feeling I wanted to do something design related but I didn’t really know exactly what. So naturally, when I came across the BID program, it was the perfect solution to my problem, why not just try them all?

What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student?
How fast four years can go by. I’d say I made the most of those years but despite that, there’s always the feeling in hindsight that I could have done more.