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Óscar Martínez Tapia

About me

I am originally from Madrid and was born when Spain was still under dictatorship. My mother’s Romani heritage and my father being a professional chess player and philosophy professor meant it was in my nature to go political and also embrace teaching. Ambitious and motivated, I wanted to contribute to making the world a better place and have an impact on younger generations. After almost 20 years in the profession, I love teaching more and more every day. Outside of work, I enjoy sports, cooking, film and friends. I am an avid gardener, specifically cacti. I am also raising my dog, Monzón, and my two cats, Carbón and Atún.

Striving to make an impact

Oscar’s expertise comes from various academic and professional experiences. His undergraduate years were spent studying political science and sociology at Complutense University of Madrid—he admits to enjoying every minute of those seven years and to becoming a self-proclaimed nerd. He then spent a year full of books, music and friends in vibrant Manchester while earning a master’s degree in international relations. He moved on to spend one year researching at Lund University in Sweden, and then returned to his undergraduate alma mater to work toward his doctorate.

Soon after returning to Madrid, Oscar felt the need to go abroad again. He moved to the south of Los Angeles for a two-year stint at UC Irvine as a Democracy Fellow, and then transferred to Harvard University for three years before finally completing his doctorate in Madrid. He then began his teaching career and loves extending his experience, passion and knowledge to his students every day.

Hard work is something that was instilled in Oscar at a young age. In order to be independent, his generation had to take on various side jobs from washing dishes to serving drinks in bars. Oscar was no stranger to extra work—he worked as a teaching assistant in California and as a teaching fellow at Harvard. Oscar also opened a trendy bar in Madrid with his two best friends. But his most notable side job was working as a communication advisor for the Spanish government—he wrote speeches for the Spanish politician Maria Teresa Fernández de la Vega. He recalls this experience with pride, stating that she is a wonderful and powerful woman.

Oscar began his teaching career with IE University in 2017. He teaches full-time, but every once in a while will do some consulting work. He loves the diversity and support offered at IE University and believes that it’s one of the best universities in Spain—claiming that teaching here was an obvious choice. Throughout his time at IE University, Oscar has noticed that the students are hardworking and perform at a high academic standard. He teaches in Madrid and in Segovia and is happy to learn more every day himself while experiencing the best of both IE University worlds.

As a political science professor, Oscar is able to help students make practical connections to the professional world. But he also teaches political theory and philosophy, where he pushes students to think beyond their comfort zones and really dive into new ideas about life and the world around them. He strives to leave a lasting impact on both students’ personal and professional lives.

Oscar believes the key to success is found within. Hard work, empathy, generosity, a global vision, respect, tolerance and constantly questioning yourself will make you a well-rounded person able to achieve your goals.

"I think IE University is the best school in Madrid, and teaching here has opened my eyes to diversity and a higher academic standard."
Óscar Martínez Tapia

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