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February 19, 2015

Fulbright fellows

Here at IE we sponsor several Fulbright fellows each year and our collaboration and partership with the Fulbright commission continues to grow. As part of these fellowships not only do our students get the best out of the IE experience but also that of the Fulbright Commission. This past week our Fulbright’s spent some time with the Commission in Caceres, Spain, for the Fulbright Mid-Year summit. This is an amazing opportunity that takes place once a year and is an awesome opportunity for those who have a Fulbright all throughout Spain to come together and share their experience and of course have a little bit of fun.

Below, two of our current Fulbright´s share their experiences with us for those of you who might be interested in pursuing this opportunity in the future. To learn more about our Fullbright fellows see here .

Neelay Patil (Masters in Management 2014-2015)

My experience as a Fulbright Scholar at IE has been a very rewarding opportunity to gain a strong management education while also growing from intercultural exchange. In addition to discovering Spanish culture, I have learned from my talented classmates from around the world.

I‘ve enjoyed sharing these lessons and other aspects of my IE experience with my Fulbright colleagues based in Spain. Last week, I had a terrific time at the Fulbright Mid-Year Seminar in Extremadura. Over three days, our community of researchers, teachers, and scholars came together to reflect on our experiences. During our working sessions, we discussed what we had learned as well as our goals for the future. I really enjoyed the cultural events, including touring the medieval scenery in Cáceres and seeing the Roman ruins in Mérida. Finally, the social events were a great time for us to bond over our Fulbright experiences.

Overall, my experience as a Fulbright Scholar at IE Business School has connected me to two incredible networks. The strong relationships I’ve developed this year have been a major highlight of my year in Spain." 

John Hernandez (English Teachers Assistants, IE Segovia Campus)

I'm sitting in a hotel ballroom in the city of Cáceres, Spain watching a Flamenco dancer get in the zone. A few minutes later I'm humming an A musical note to some Doina flute music. I always thought the only people who were awarded Fulbright grants and got to hear about new research while eating Iberian ham at a conference in Spain had some special gift I just didn't quite have. I have understood over the past few months that my Fulbright colleagues come from all types of backgrounds, each person bringing a unique perspective from the US. Even while I was trying to focus on humming the right pitch, I knew I was in the middle of something significant. I tried to fully appreciate how these experiences, especially those of the past year, have impacted my life. The past weekend in Cáceres was difficult to put in this box. I guess I accepted at some point that words wouldn’t be able to grab just how positively my life was being affected by the Fulbright program, IE University, and the trip to Cáceres.

I got an email about Fulbright from the Office of International Fellowships at my university almost two years ago. As soon as I read the Fulbright name, I knew I was going to apply. I spent the next year reading about Fulbright’s Spain program and the Fulbright’s involvement in the world. Sure, I was nervous about the idea of moving abroad, but every time I heard something in the news about Spain or could read an article about the Spanish economy, I was reenergized. This energy was tripled when I opened an email saying that I was accepted not only to the program, but also to work at an international private university in Madrid.

Fulbright couldn’t have properly expressed how lucky I was to get a position at IE University. As an English Teaching Assistant, I help IE students with their papers and presentations in the Writing Center as well as teach English workshops for IE staff. I also work with the Language Center and address the administrative needs of Language professors and students. Just in these past few months I have tutored graduates from top-ranked universities, students whose parents are the CEOs of multinationals, and even the relatives of European royalty. Every day is a bit of an experience. Just walking through the halls you can see the evolution that is going on at IE, and everyone knows it. The students, the faculty, and all of us staff are well aware that IE’s progressive model, especially in an economic system like Spain’s, is on the cusp of making awesome changes throughout Spain and for its position in the world.

Taking the Mid-Year trip to learn about the Fulbrighters obtaining Master’s degrees at IE, the Fulbrighters conducting research around Spain and the many English Teaching Assistants in Madrid and Andorra was a reminder of how grateful I am to the Fulbright program. There were moments when I realized I was surrounded by some of the brightest people I have ever met. The hard work and dedication were palpable, but what was more impressive was how the Mid-Year trip was allowing a group of influential, inspiring and creative people to interact and learn from each other in a new country. I can imagine how years from now many of us will be advancing new ideas, using the tacit set of values we all deeply share, to innovate everything from education policy to medical software. The country of Spain and the detailed history of Extremadura are now intrinsically a part of the steps we take and the perspectives we disseminate in our goals.

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