Student Life


Originally from Austria, Florian Abensperg-Traun has been interested in the world of IT since he was about six years old. This strong curiosity led to an undergraduate degree in cybersecurity, followed by the decision to continue learning. He found the Master in Digital Business & Innovation and knew it was the perfect blend of his interests.

4 min read

Florian Abensperg-Traun honed in on his interests at an early age. At around the age of six, his passion for information technology was on the rise. He combined his high school courses with an IT apprenticeship and then went on to study for a specialized cybersecurity bachelor’s degree. He’s completed multiple internships, worked for large- and medium-sized IT infrastructure and service provider firms, and founded his own IT services and consulting company, Arclavis.

Upon finishing his bachelor’s degree, it was time for Florian to make a choice: go on to study for a master’s degree or jump into the world of work. Florian was curious to learn more and loved cybersecurity, but also loved the idea of organization and management. So, an incredibly technical program, like that of his bachelor’s, was off the table and he wanted something that would bring his interests together.

Florian researched programs and when he came across the Master in Digital Business & Innovation, he knew it was the perfect fit.

A data-driven future with the Master in Digital Business & Innovation

The initial pull of the program was his love for Madrid. He’s visited the city many times before and knew he wanted to study abroad. He heard about IE University from some friends who studied there and when he visited, he was sure it was for him: “What really made IE University, and especially the Master in Digital Business & Innovation, stand out as a whole was the branding. It was modern, innovative and diverse, which reflects in the program as everything is super up to date and there’s a large focus on entrepreneurship. Everything we do is really up-to-date and hands-on.” What’s more, his program was just one year and he was thrilled to be part of the IE Community. “You form amazing friendships and build a super nice network for the future—not just between your colleagues, but also with the professors, speakers and guest lecturers.”

Florian believes that it’s up to each individual student to manage their academic path and personal brand. But this is not without support, as he notes, “IE University offers a lot of support through the IE Talent & Careers center.” The center helped him create his personal brand, write a cover letter and market himself, giving him the tools to confidently apply to jobs.

A data-driven future with the Master in Digital Business & Innovation

“IE University’s model is finding the next best you, and it sounds a bit like a cliché if I say that has happened, but it is what happened.”

Outside this support system, the program covers many different innovative technologies, methodologies and concepts, and Florian has been given insights into a variety of sectors and industries, as well as up-and-coming technologies—helping him paint a better picture of all of these topics. From networking and case studies to pitches and group work, “the whole program, and the past year in general, has built up my expertise in management, and has definitely fostered my critical thinking and entrepreneurship skills,” explains Florian.

According to Florian’s experience, “the main skills after just one year are business and entrepreneurship. Everything covering a business from the very beginning of the ideation phase to scaling it up.” He feels that the program helped him foster his creative thinking skills, “thinking outside the box, trying to find new, innovative and disruptive solutions to problems nobody has tackled before.” Not to mention the communication and presentation skills, as well as decision-making, especially relevant when working in a group. Florian sees the group work at IE University as being an influential part of his future career. He says, “Especially if the teams are enormously diverse with different backgrounds, years of work experience, geographic locations, demographic differences—whatever you can even think about that sets people apart and having this diverse group dynamic.”

Early on in the program, Florian had to make a choice about his main focus, especially as once he fully commits to running his own business, he’ll be all in.

A data-driven future with the Master in Digital Business & Innovation

Until he decides to go that route, Florian has accepted a job at an executive strategy consulting firm in the IT sector. “I plan to bring my technical expertise from the past and combine it with all the skills I learned in my program to hopefully successfully consult executives and board members on tech topics in the future.”

Florian would advise future Master in Digital Business & Innovation students to use their time in the program to “build meaningful connections, make new friends, and create and foster their personal development and personal brand.” He goes on to explain that the vast diversity in his program gave him the opportunity to learn from his colleagues, understand their perspectives and use this knowledge to figure out where he wanted to go. He suggests students find their passion and their purpose.

The Master in Digital Business & Innovation opens a lot of doors and provides you with an amazing foundation for a lot of career opportunities. You’re not really put into a box where you have just one career opportunity or one position you can fit. Leave your comfort zone and you expand your mindset—without the challenge, where’s the fun?