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Zaynab Toufiq

Alumni Story

Zaynab, a Moroccan alumna, moved to Washington, D.C. and began an internship at the World Bank during her final semester at IE. She was hired upon graduation and worked as a consultant for two years, in which she gained an incredible amount of experience in the International Development field. She is now deepening her knowledge by completing her Master’s at HEC, where she received a merit-based scholarship.

Consultant at the World Bank (now completing her Master’s at HEC Paris)



Program studied

BBA 2018

Current Location

Previously in Washington, USA - now Paris, France


What is the competitive advantage that studying at IEU provides or has provided you? 
Among the most notable competitive advantages IE has given me are the creation of an extensive and reliable personal network, the possibility to learn and master an additional language (Spanish) as well as perfecting the using of English in an academic and professional setting. The emphasis on innovative thinking, teamwork, the variety of the courses and the diversity of topics studied assures a comprehensive overview of all relevant topics, but not at the expense of depth. This is due to the fact that IE uses the latest technology to facilitate pedagogy in a very modern campus.Finally, the autonomy and flexibility given to students in terms of course selection (especially the excellent and wide range of electives) but also internship support, and amazing exchanges give us an extra advantage.

Why do you think it’s important to engage with the IEU alumni community?
Engaging with the IEU alumni community facilitates exchanges and interaction with a vast global network of former students, and it puts us on an exclusive fast track for internships and jobs. It creates a feeling of belonging, of community, and of togetherness despite being apart. We all share a common love for the university and the city and we are always happy to meet and relive some memories together. It is also critical for personal development, since networking always fosters the growth of interpersonal skills.

What’s the best career advice you have ever been given?

  • Work hard and embrace all new opportunities with open arms because luck is where preparation and opportunity meet.
  • Never be afraid of change.
  • Continue learning as much as I can in order to remain as polyvalent and knowledgeable as possible throughout my career.

If someone was considering going to IEU, what would you tell them?
IE is the ideal place to exit your comfort zone and explore new horizons. It is an international place where you meet new people and it is the perfect combination of a challenging academic program and all the benefits of a genuine university experience in a global and vibrant European city. I may be a bit biased because of my infinite love for Madrid, but I can assure all young people that choosing to pursue undergraduate studies in Madrid might be one of the best choices they could make in their lives for all the amazing people, food, fun, streets, culture and sunsets the city has to offer.However, I truly believe that it is essential to really engage with your courses (and perhaps prioritize learning over everything else), while aiming to keep your grades high to ensure your place on the highway to a successful career.

What is one thing you wished you knew, when you were a student?
“It is not what you do, but who you know.” As undergraduate students, we absolutely underestimate the value of networking and new relationships with absolutely everyone we meet (and not exclusively the strong bonds we build with a few people). My advice to incoming IE students is to fully exploit the international dimension of the student body to their advantage: networking and building a robust social circle are two actions that are key for academic and personal success at IE and even more so in leveraging professional opportunities after graduation.