“IE University is an exciting mix of demanding academic work, amazing classmates and an international atmosphere—overall, a great opportunity to launch a successful professional career.”
Christian de Felipe
Christian de Felipe, Spain
Public Affairs Consultant at LLYC
- Program studied
Passionate about public policy
It may sound a little nerdy, but Christian is shamelessly passionate about public policy. Ever since he was little, he always had a deep interest in politics and public decision making. As he got older, that interest turned into a desire to understand the world and how certain rules and laws came to be. This orientation towards public affairs led Christian to study law before completing the Master in International Relations at IE University.
Christian’s academic journey: from law to the Master in International Relations
Christian’s academic career started out at the British School of Aragon, before getting his law degree at the University of Zaragoza. Apart from a four-month internship at the legal services of the Government of Aragon, he had little professional experience. Christian wanted to become a lawyer after graduation, but his final year was very disruptive. After taking a course on European Union Institutions, he became fascinated with international and European affairs.
Due to his dedication to the subject, he was offered a scholarship to study a postgraduate course on the EU, where he was first introduced to international politics. He completed a final thesis about the “legal scope and boundaries of European integration” and graduated with honors. After this experience, Christian decided to deepen his knowledge on the topic and expand the scope of his studies from a European perspective to an international one.
This led him to the Master in International Relations at IE University. Christian knew that he wanted to study international relations while being surrounded by a diverse, global atmosphere. And IE University delivered—he studied with 37 other students of 16 different nationalities! Not only that, but the curriculum was multidisciplinary and holistic, which allowed him to adapt his legal background to new topics like quantitative analysis, political sciences, and financial and monetary theory.
Christian also knew that the field of public policy and international institutions is highly competitive. He quickly realized that if he wanted to improve his chances of being successful, he needed to study at one of the best international relations schools out there.
Aside from the global environment, Christian praises the intensity of the academic program. The Master in International Relations is highly demanding, which fosters healthy competition among students and brings out the best in everyone—his classmates were like family. This supportive atmosphere made the research papers, group projects and late nights at the library all worth it.
After graduating from the master’s program, Christian completed an exchange semester at Sciences Po in Paris, one of the most reputable political sciences faculties in the world.
Collaborating with Kreab on the Capstone Project
During his final year at IE University, Christian completed a Capstone Project with Kreab, a top communication and public affairs consulting firm. Kreab’s national public affairs team arranged various assignments with local clients, covering all phases of a traditional public affairs strategy. Christian was involved in mapping out relevant institutional stakeholders, preparing policy briefs and political reports, as well as creating content for a policy lab focused on digital regulation called GovUp.
Collaborating with Kreab was a real game changer in Christian’s career. It allowed him to better understand what lobbying and advocacy are all about, and gave him the necessary skills for an entry level job in the sector. After completing his exchange program in Paris, he returned to Madrid and interned in Kreab’s public affairs department for another six months.
Using his academic insights to add value to clients
IE University played a pivotal role in encouraging Christian to pursue his career goals. By attending forums and events, he gained a better understanding of his professional ambitions, expanded his network, and grew his interest in lobbying and public affairs. He also acquired a number of valuable skills he now applies to his daily role.
Thanks to the high volume of research he read during the Master in International Relations, he really honed in on his analytical skills, which have become crucial to life in public affairs. Additionally, the program’s intensity prepared him for the pressure of a demanding sector like consulting. Christian believes that one of the advantages of working in consulting is that you get to work with different clients and sectors, which exposes you to a wide array of cases. This variability allows you to gain valuable experience in a shorter period of time.
In his current role at LLYC, Christian’s work consists of designing and executing public affairs strategies for his clients. Although cases and client needs differ, all strategies revolve around maximizing public and institutional influence. Christian’s daily routine as a public affairs consultant includes institutional mappings to identify key stakeholders, policy briefings, political intelligence reporting and meetings with public officials. He is currently working on an interesting project involving the Spanish Government’s position regarding a decision to be made by the Council of the European Union.
Previously, Christian worked with the private hire vehicle and taxi sector in the midst of the 2018 taxi crisis. This was due to the clash between digital platforms and a hyperregulated taxi sector, and the disruptive effect of technology and digitalization on traditional urban mobility ecosystems.
Looking to the future
Christian’s advice to other students is to put themselves out there and take advantage of the fantastic network of students, teachers and professionals at IE University during their courses, webinars or events. Most people are willing to lend a helping hand to students that show the drive and willingness to achieve their goals.
In 10 years, Christian sees himself leading a tech company’s public affairs department, contributing to digital policy and the sector’s legal framework, while ideally boosting Spanish and European competitiveness.