Samuel Soltermann is a true global citizen. Growing up between St. Paul, Minnesota and Bern, Switzerland has given him an invaluable international perspective. He worked as a start-up founder and gained experience in public sector diplomacy before moving back to Switzerland full-time to work in logistics. Samuel is passionate about diplomacy, security and climate change.
Destined for the international stage
Samuel Soltermann understands the intricacies of diplomacy better than most. His background is quite multicultural; he grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and Bern, Switzerland, and is a dual national of both countries. After growing up in this bilingual and bicultural melting pot, Samuel feels right at home in any international setting.
“I believe that having a good foundational understanding of both the private and public sector is vital in one’s understanding of the ever-interconnected global world we live in today.”
His foray into the field began when he pursued an undergraduate major focusing on international business. After graduating, Samuel started his own business, helping to facilitate live business networking at airports throughout the world. He also accumulated experience working in public sector diplomacy, believing that “a good foundational understanding of both the private and public sectors is vital to one’s understanding of the ever-interconnected global world we live in today.”
He then packed his bags and moved to Switzerland, where he began working full-time in logistics. Being based in Europe also gave him the perfect chance to find the right international relations program to further build his skill set. For Samuel, the search was over when he found IE University. He was instantly captivated by the smooth application process, saying this made him feel welcome and instantly “distinguished itself apart from the others.”
More importantly for Samuel, he chose IE University because it presented the opportunity for students to collaborate with leading global organizations for their capstone project. The fact that the program also included a trip to Brussels—where students would receive a lot of exposure to international organizations like the European Commission and European External Action Service—was an added bonus.
So far, Samuel has enjoyed his time in the Master in International Relations program. He credits his professors in large part for this, noting that they are “not only academics, but professionals in their respective fields.” This allows them to bring a wealth of practical knowledge and experience into the classroom. When he was selected to partner with NATO for his capstone project, Samuel was excited for the chance to redefine what national security means in the modern age, adding that working with a dedicated and hardworking team of his peers has been an invaluable experience.
Furthermore, Samuel has been positively surprised by the amazing breadth of opportunities available to students at IE University. From sports to business and culture, there are numerous labs and clubs to cater to a wide range of interests. The highlight for him was taking part in the entrepreneurial club with Venture Network. It opened up a whole new world, giving him the chance to connect with and learn from fellow entrepreneurs, investors and companies alike.
Samuel has big plans for the future. In the next five to ten years, he plans to leverage the experience, network and opportunities gained from IE University to take up positions in government and various international organizations. Samuel hopes to live and work either in Switzerland or Washington DC, where the largest number of prospective career opportunities can be found. He appreciates the active role that IE University plays in preparing them for professional success. Students receive relevant job openings every week and can access helpful career guidance and advice at any time.
He encourages incoming students to take advantage of the diverse and multinational community at IE University to make lifelong friends and build their professional networks. This could have unexpected benefits in the long run, such as access to job opportunities. He also recommends that they seriously consider taking the university-administered entrance exam over more typical options like the GMAT. Most importantly, he encourages them to enjoy the international and cultural diversity that the program brings.
For Samuel, pursuing his time in the Master in International Relations program—and the overall IE University experience—has been “nothing short of amazing.” He got to meet, work and socialize with a diverse cohort while exploring courses that pushed him to sharpen his knowledge and skills. Samuel says that it has been “an unforgettable, truly international experience.”