“IE University inspired me to aim higher, as I was surrounded by people whom I admire very much.”
Belén Ramírez, Spain
Communications Associate, UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
- Program studied
I have always studied in Spain, but I’ve also always had an international outlook. So when I was considering where to do my master’s degree, IE University’s network and great diversity impressed me from the start. I could see that it would be an opportunity to learn from each other as well as from the professors—an enriching experience all round—and that’s how it’s proved. It was like being abroad, in my own country.
A highlight of my experience during the Master in International Relations was IE University’s great capacity for innovation. They’re using the latest tools and technologies in their teaching, like the WOW Room for example, and all the professors are experts in their fields. That innovation extends to their teaching methodologies: I already had a double degree in International Relations with Translation and Interpretation, so I honestly thought I’d be going back over what I’d learned in my university years.
But that just wasn’t the case. The content was completely new to me and included more financial and economic subjects, and the approach was extremely practical—in April we were taken to the EU institutions to see how the policies we were studying are implemented and approved in the real world. It was an invaluable experience and the highlight of the year.
IE University’s focus on business means that the benefits of the program reach beyond your time there and into your future career. They hold job fairs and networking opportunities, and conferences that put us in touch with policy makers. The entrepreneurial spirit supports and encourages anybody in the community to start their own project, and a huge network of alumni worldwide means that many of the students stay in touch well beyond graduation. Currently, I’m working with a number of my classmates on COV360, a project that analyzes the medical and social impacts of COVID-19.
“I thought the Master in International Relations would be a summary of what I learned during my university years. However, the content was completely new to me, with more financial and economic subjects taught by admirable professors.”
I work at the communications department of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the UN specialized agency on accessible and responsible tourism. I handle general departmental administration and deal with press and public relations, and until the pandemic hit and put a stop to them, I was leading the tourism fairs like FITUR. I’ve taken skills I learned at IE University directly into my work because multitasking and time management is no less essential in my job than it was during my master’s. It’s a very diverse workplace where my colleagues are from all parts of the world, very much like at IE University, so the challenges of working in such an international environment were familiar to me.
Working in groups at IE University with people from various backgrounds and skills helped me coordinate and manage better in the workplace today. While IE University encourages debate and public speaking, skills I use daily, at the same time I learned the value of diplomacy and keeping conversations neutral. Punctuality and comprehensive preparation in advance are also habits I developed at IE University!
I consider it a great honor to work at a UN agency and I love that my job is related to international relations. I’m still learning about the UN system, which is something I imagined during my master’s. I’m surrounded by government members and tourism sector heads, and I get to travel. Looking forward, I aspire to learn more about the organization and get to know all of the projects well. I also want to bring about change in the way we communicate tourism.
The prestige of IE University in the Spanish professional sphere has contributed to me attaining my position at the UNWTO. On a personal level, I believe IE University inspired me to aim higher, as I was surrounded by people whom I admire very much, and I hope to continue working with both the professors and students in future.