“I am an active and curious person, always trying to find a way to get involved in projects and experiences that can challenge me and change the way I see things.”
Jean-Baptiste Bove, Italy
DEEP Innovation Lead, Data Friendly Space
- Program studied
Striving to make a positive impact
Jean-Baptiste is very clear when asked about his reasons for choosing IE University. In addition to wanting to come back to the city of his birth, he picked IE University because of our partnership with the United Nations. Before coming back to Madrid, he worked in sustainability at a Portuguese infrastructure company measuring the impact of CO2. Now, he is currently volunteering with the Spanish Commission for Refugees—so it’s clear Jean-Baptiste’s values align with our own.
The Master in International Development allowed John-Baptiste to visit a UN institution, a highlight of his time in the program. On top of this visit, he also enjoyed the classes and was able to make strong and lasting connections. He asserts that he benefited greatly from networking with amazing teachers who helped him a lot in his career, and with whom he’s still in contact when he needs some advice.
His thesis bridged his background in software engineering with his passion for the humanitarian sector as he researched the applications of Machine Learning in disaster response. He even built a web application that uses computer technology to automatically classify satellite imagery, using it to recognize damaged infrastructure after a disaster. He did this mainly with open-source tools and no coding, demonstrating that local responders may be able to implement advanced systems without having to wait for help from large organizations such as the World Food Programme.
Looking back, Jean-Baptiste is particularly keen to thank Shuo from the IE Talent & Careers team. He says he was helped immensely during his studies through one-on-one advice sessions and constant access to useful resources. He found his current job and received an offer from the World Food Programme thanks to his thesis, and he’s very keen to give credit to the great support he received in that process.
“The IE Talent and Careers team helped me immensely during the program. They were always available and constantly shared useful resources.”
In his day-to-day role at Data Friendly Space, he manages a team of eight developers as head of the DEEP platform, a tool used to centralize qualitative information and produce analytical reports in the humanitarian sector. His team is researching the latest advances in natural language processing, looking to automate certain parts of the platform such as the tagging and classification of the textual data uploaded to it.
Describing his job as fascinating, he particularly enjoys being the bridge between an amazing community of humanitarian analysts and an incredible team of developers. He’s researching the needs of the platform’s users in the sector, trying to translate those needs into specific features that support the work of humanitarian analysis. Jean-Baptiste credits the leadership skills and curiosity he developed during his time at IE University as helping him in his role today.
Advice John-Baptiste would give to potential candidates for the Master in International Development would be for them to connect with classmates and teachers alike. He would also urge them to use the network that’s right in front of them and to not go looking too far. Lastly, he would tell them not to focus too strongly on grades, instead recommending a focus on personal growth.
“Having an amazing class and great friends helped cope with the remote part of the program. And making strong connections with a few amazing professors that have been extremely supportive also helped.”
That’s certainly what he experienced at IE University himself, as he calls the time intense and enriching. Jean-Baptiste is not afraid of admitting that it was also challenging due to the pandemic—which took place during the middle of his studies—but says his classmates and friends helped him cope with the remote aspect of it. The strong connections he formed with his professors also helped, especially as they were all extremely supportive.
Looking to the future, Jean-Baptiste says that in ten years’ time he sees himself leading technology projects at the International Committee of the Red Cross. Given his drive and commitment to the humanitarian cause, we at IE University wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s exactly where he ends up.