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Sergio Corona

My story

Originally hailing from Mexico, the recent IE graduate has spent four years working at real estate companies in his native country, has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, and a master’s in Real Estate and Construction Management. So it would be fair to say he has a sizable pool of experience to draw on. We asked Sergio a few questions about his Capstone project, his experience at the school, and his future plans.


With urbanization continuing to mount at an exponential rate, the real estate industry is in need of experts who can guide it through this revolution. And having spent the past year studying the Master in Real Estate Development at the IE School of Architecture and Design, Sergio Corona is more than prepared for the challenge.

First off, the Capstone project—a crucial opportunity for MRED students to bring together everything they have learned from their studies and present their own research projects. And Sergio’s team—#UNO—made their project count. Their end goal? “To create a whole new landmark with which the city of Madrid can be recognized worldwide.”

“#UNO is about retrofitting an out-of-date suburb in the northern area of Madrid,” Sergio explains. The team set out to “unlock the full potential of a site that is characterized as a ‘puzzle’ of real-estate products, lacking the essential ‘glue’ that would bring them all together […] by rethinking an office complex built recently that has a lot of potential and buildability to exploit.”

He elaborates that with Madrid on the verge of “making a massive leap” regarding its size and international reputation, they wanted to create a “‘front door’ to this whole Madrid Nuevo Norte, always focused on giving back to the community while making great business.”

Their implementation plan involves the participation of all stakeholders, from the City of Madrid to IE University, Madrid Nuevo Norte, and Colonia San Cristóbal: “We will team up with every one of them to tackle every obstacle that the project may incur. The process is simple: acquire, refurbish, enable. This way, the income stream starts sooner, and planning goes as we progress throughout the project.”

The team had a whole range of factors to take into account, from financial reports to building regulations, rendering their project a seemingly mammoth task. But Sergio and his team stepped up to the plate and used their skills of delegation to see it through. “We divided tasks based on everyone’s skills and strengths,” he says. “We focused it all on never working by ourselves.”

This kind of collaboration and exchange was a running theme throughout Sergio’s IE experience. In fact, he highlights the “intercultural exchange of ideas” as one of his favorite aspects of the program: “The people I’ve met this year all come from different backgrounds and countries—architects, lawyers, brokers, researchers, developers, managers—all with a common thought: being part of the solution and bringing it to its best shape.”

“I’ve never had the chance before to study abroad,” he continues. “This allowed me to meet incredible people and learn every single day from them, culturally, academically, and professionally. Today, I feel like a much more prepared professional with a lot more thirst for challenges and open mind.”

Sergio also has some wisdom to pass on to the next generation of IE School of Architecture and Design students. “Take advantage of everything that the program involves,” he advises. “The teachers, the classmates, the school trips, the visits, the parties, the culture […] This is the level of education that we get to choose, so respect yourself enough to make the most out of this experience.”

And as for his future? Look out for Sergio as he begins setting up his own business and projects. “Before this program, the possibility of starting or internationalizing my professional experience was beyond my imagination. Now everything seems within reach.”