“My experience at IE University was the snapshot of the world I hope to live in and help transform.”
Giovanna Zeloni Rinaldo
Giovanna Zeloni Rinaldo, Brazil
- Program studied
Guided by a passion for justice
Giovanna had been living in the US for over four years and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism before enrolling in the Master in International Relations at IE University. She had a hugely successful academic experience, graduating magna cum laude with honors from the journalism department. She also earned more than 20 collegiate awards and was honored as a finalist at the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence awards. She says she was driven by stories that illustrated issues such as migration and gender inequality, and wanted to help people to understand these struggles on a more personal level.
Despite these achievements, Giovanna felt that she needed additional expertise to give her an edge as a journalist. After considering other master’s degrees, she decided to follow her passion and jump headfirst into the field of international relations. She happily admits that although it was challenging, she found it to be incredibly worthwhile and exciting. Thanks to this program, she can now approach a news story with a more robust understanding of the underlying dynamics at play. She was also eager to experience life in Europe—it was important for her to gain a fresh perspective, with a heightened cultural awareness.
Giovanna found the master’s program to be an enriching experience not just academically, but on a personal level too. In her own words:
“What I liked most about this master’s was the opportunity to share knowledge, conversations and experiences with an incredible group of individuals from the most diverse backgrounds. I made friends from different countries, industries and all walks of life.”
For her Capstone Project, she was able to combine her journalistic skills and recently acquired academic experience in international relations so that it related to both sectors. She says “It has taught me to look at current political events in a new light, and to understand the changes that continue to happen, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Giovanna credits this project with helping her sharpen her analytical skills, and through this she got the opportunity to volunteer with Club de Madrid, a Spanish organization which promotes democracy worldwide. She found this experience hugely rewarding. “I was responsible for attending on-campus events related to international relations, and wrote articles about them for the IE University website, so that they could be shared with the wider IE University community. That way, I was able to use my journalistic skills to capture quotes from phenomenal speakers that would both spark conversations and spread ideas that fostered a dynamic and lively university environment.”
A personal highlight for her was interviewing Cristina Gallach, who was the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda of the Spanish government at the time, and is now Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean. “We talked ahead of IE University’s Women and Economic Leadership event, and discussed the importance of gender equality and how advancing in this area benefits all other sustainable development goals.”
Giovanna believes that her IE University experience has added prestige to her qualifications. She credits IE University with teaching her many valuable skills, one of which being understanding diversity and inclusion in action. By working with classmates of different nationalities and areas of study, she could see firsthand how different perspectives and life experiences can contribute to much richer solutions to global issues. She believes that “the more diverse perspectives work together, the closer the solutions will mirror the diversity we experience in real life.”
Giovanna had such a great experience that she would recommend the program to anyone, even those who, like her, don’t have a background in international relations. She believes that we as global citizens have a duty to be informed of the challenges we face, from economic inequality to climate change, to COVID-19. She asserts that we have a duty to contribute solutions, too:
“We cannot be passive in a time that requires thoughtful, decisive action to determine our present and our future.”
When asked to summarize her experience at IE University, she says, “My experience at IE University was a snapshot of the world I hope to live in and help transform.” She is grateful to have been surrounded by a diverse, intelligent, and curious group of classmates who each want to create a more inclusive and just society for all.
So, what’s next for Giovanna? She says she doesn’t have a clear map of the future—and she’s very much OK with that. She might end up continuing to work as a journalist, or perhaps she’ll work for an NGO. What she is sure of, however, is that her passion for social justice and human rights will always guide her, and her purpose is to contribute where and how she can make the biggest impact.
We wish Giovanna the very best for the future, and we can’t wait to see what she achieves next!