Growing up in Marbella—a small but bustling city in the south of Spain—I knew that I wanted to pursue higher education in a similar atmosphere. I was educated in a very international environment, with friends and teachers from around the world, so I was always drawn to diversity. Sharing experiences with people from different nationalities sparked my interest in pursuing international studies. When I discovered IE University, I quickly realized it was an ideal fit for me—an institution that unites people from all over to exchange their views and perspectives. After being here for four years, I never would’ve thought that I could have such a global experience in my own country!
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A global experience to prepare for the world stage
Aránzazu always knew what she wanted to study; she was passionate about international justice from a young age. Throughout her time at school, she became involved in extracurriculars that supported that interest, taking up debate and Model United Nations. Soon enough, she became a regular at international Model UN events, attending five conferences around the world in cities like Istanbul, Athens, London and The Hague. She debated major global topics like democracy implementation, surveillance, and protection of ethnic and religious minorities in conflict zones, while representing a range of countries from Italy to Mongolia. Her Model UN experience provided foundational insights into international relations, not to mention a real-world understanding of the practical work that global organizations take on.
With a wealth of experience under her belt, Aránzazu was confident that her interest in human rights and international affairs was a strong basis for further study. A dual degree at IE University was the perfect solution, which gave her the opportunity to combine her interest in global affairs with a robust and technical legal education. Aránzazu was also drawn to the multi-jurisdictional and comparative law approach at IE Law School—a globalized knowledge of law could put her in a better position for an international career.
Currently in her fourth year, studying the Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations has given Aránzazu a more critical perspective from which to consider international affairs. She is now able to analyze global political situations with an awareness of the intricacies within the international community, complemented by the more technical viewpoint of legality and ethics surrounding particular world events.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has presented major challenges, Aránzazu is extremely impressed by how IE University responded. Transitioning to the blended format was seamless, swift and student-oriented. It gave students plenty of flexibility, which set the university apart from other institutions. Although she feels lucky to be able to attend class in-person thanks to stringent safety measures, she enjoys the technology-powered experience of learning alongside peers who join the sessions remotely, ensuring that a range of nationalities are still represented in the classroom. The Liquid Learning approach has also boosted Aránzazu’s ability to learn independently, a skill she believes is crucial in today’s workforce.
Continuing to hone her talent for debate, Aránzazu joined the IE Debate Club. That, combined with her studies, has nurtured her public speaking skills. In fact, she furthered her qualifications by obtaining an oratory certificate through the International Relations program.
Aránzazu’s other extracurricular interests give her the chance to disconnect from academics. She’s an avid athlete; each week she trains with the IE University padel team and prepares for tournaments around Spain. She also enjoys surfing, skiing and playing tennis. Music is also a passion of hers—prior to university, she attended her local conservatoire for 10 years and worked as a piano teacher. In her free time, Aránzuzu likes meeting up with friends in Madrid and traveling.
With such lofty goals for her future, Aránzazu has been proactive about gaining practical experience and expanding her professional network. After taking advantage of the university’s support to develop an impressive resume, she was selected for an internship at the Spanish Consulate in Miami. Unfortunately, it was canceled due to the pandemic, but she’s not letting that set her back. Looking ahead, Aránzazu has secured a full-time internship at renowned Spanish law firm Pérez-Llorca in competition law, one of her preferred areas of legal study.
Aránzazu’s dream career would be to work in the Spanish diplomatic service overseas, where she could work on important cross-national projects while discovering new languages and cultures. Alternatively, she’d be happy to take on a different position in the field, working at an international organization like the European Commission or the UN, or advancing development projects with the World Bank. Acutely aware of the sector’s challenges and fierce competition, Aránzazu is determined to gain the necessary experience and know-how to make her aspirations a reality.