IE Master in International Relations alum featured in Foreign Affairs Magazine

Rowan Palmer
Student of the 2012-2013 IE Master in International Relations (MIR)
IE School of International Relations



In your opinion, what is unique about the Master in International Relations program at IE School of International Relations?

IE is uniquely positioned to provide a truly interdisciplinary education through its association with IE Business School. International economics and finance tie the broad discipline of International Relations together. Having access to the resources of one of the world’s top-ranked MBA programs gives the MIR students of IE an advantage in understanding crucial elements of the international system, which translates into deeper understanding of current global issues. By combining a focus on international business with more traditional elements of an International Relations curriculum, the MIR is an education that transcends traditional distinctions between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. In addition, IE’s location in Madrid provides students with an international environment and an excellent opportunity to learn a new language—a skill that is crucial to a successful international career.

What skills has the program provided you with?

Through its use of diverse and creative teaching methods, the MIR degree provides students with both the “hard” and the “soft” skills necessary to excel in today’s global sphere. These include the capacity to produce and present policybased research and analysis, strategic planning, quantitative and financial analysis, applied projects such as the creation of business plans, and, perhaps most important, the capacity to effectively manage collaborative work in diverse settings and within a peer group composed of individuals from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

What do you think are the biggest challenges for someone who wants to work in the field of international relations, and how does the program help you face these challenges?

One of the biggest challenges currently facing any new graduate, but especially one in a field in which public sector employment has traditionally played a large role, is job availability. In this respect, mobility is a key asset, and in creating a multicultural environment in an international location, the program prepares students to go where the work is. The student body and faculty also serve as a diverse and extensive network of friends and colleagues. In addition, the business aspect of the program imparts skills that make graduates highly employable in the private and nonprofit sectors, as well as the public sector and academia.

What career paths are open to students in the program?

Do you feel this degree guarantees relevant professional development? The diversity of MIR graduate placements is one of the things that attracted me to the program. The faculty is composed of not only academics, but also instructors from policy think tanks, NGO boards, and the private sector, and as such, students are exposed to a variety of potential career paths. IE’s career center offers excellent support services—interview skills and CV building, for example—to help students take advantage of the opportunities available to them. In addition, the MIR curriculum includes professional development material adopted from the MBA program. This means that we have classes and workshops in leadership training, innovation, cross-cultural understanding, dispute resolution, and negotiation—skills that are valuable no matter what role you fill or what sector you work in. Read more…


As published in on August 26, 2013.