“The diverse, international environment, the technical deep dives, and the teamwork-based practical exercises that I experienced in my two programs really prepared me for the real-life experience of my work.”
Alejandro González Bolívar
I got my bachelor’s degree in Law in Venezuela, where I was a corporate law and litigation practitioner for three years. Afterwards, I came to IE University to complete a Dual Degree International MBA + Master of Laws (LL.M.). I am currently living in Madrid, where I work as an International Tax Consultant at EY Spain.
Alejandro González Bolívar, Venezuela
- Program studied
Why did you choose IE University to pursue your dual degree with IE Law School and IE Business School?
I decided to apply to IE University when I was making my plans to migrate, given the conditions of my home country. My original intention was to apply to the International MBA, as it seemed the best way to ensure a smooth career transition, as I thought I would not be able to practice law in other countries.
However, during the application process I was introduced to the LL.M. program and learned about the potential employment opportunities abroad. I had always wanted to specialize in tax, as it had been my favorite subject during law school. On the other hand, to be competitive in the international tax field I knew I needed the business acumen that I would receive in the International MBA, so I decided to apply for the dual degree.
What specific attributes of the program caught your attention?
The first thing that appealed to me was the holistic approach offered by the MBA, taking deep dives into many subjects and providing a diverse international environment, which closely resembled the corporate world I wanted to enter. Once I began looking into the LL.M., I was drawn in by the more focused and business-savvy, yet also academically rigorous approach. It gave me the law school feel I was accustomed to, while also offering me connections to the best practitioners and law firm leaders in my target market.
What advice would you give someone considering pursuing the same program, and what are the most important takeaways from it?
My first recommendation would be to understand yourself: know your purpose and visualize where you want to be in your chosen field. Based on that, my second recommendation would be to study your target market, sector and field, so that you can determine which abilities are in demand and where your profession is headed. Once you finish this, you will be in a position to make a well-informed decision about your future and which program(s) are best for you, but also which paths you should follow within those programs.
I realized all of this while I was already well into the dual degree, but it helped that both the MBA and the LL.M. offered so many tweaking possibilities (e.g. student club initiatives, labs, elective courses, business events, career path talks about specific sectors, etc.) that I was able to find myself and make my own path. I would say the most important takeaways for me were that, if you are planning to find a new job after graduation, then customization and vision are key to your success at the end of the program.
What do you do for work at the moment?
I work as an International Tax Consultant, specializing in direct taxation, inbound and outbound transactions, and legal entity rationalization projects for multinational enterprise groups at EY Spain. My job is about processing vast amounts of complex information, such as the client’s business model, local taxation, and any other relevant tax laws. I use this information to create a comprehensive technical analysis for our clients. This work involves juggling multiple demands from different stakeholders (the client, my supervisors, tax authorities, other offices within my firm’s network, etc.) to present the best possible analysis, while having the ability to explain technically complex issues to people.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
What I like most about my job is the constant learning. I also highly value the trust that my clients and coworkers have in me, which drives me to do my best every day.
How have you applied the knowledge you gained in your program to your current role?
The diverse, international environment, the technical deep dives, and the teamwork-based practical exercises that I experienced in my two programs really prepared me for the real-life experience of my work. The diverse environment helped me a lot in the process of adapting to my firm’s culture. The technical deep dives trained my mind for embracing complexity and quelling frustration in the learning process. Lastly, the learning experiences I had in the teamwork-based practical exercises (case studies, interview simulations, presentations, etc.) now allow me to better absorb new information, fortify my teamwork skills, and better understand my true strengths and areas that need improvement. I use the knowledge and skills that I developed while at IE University every day in my work.