I grew up in Lisbon and consider myself Portuguese, even though I have family around the world and we speak three languages at home. I love being outside of my comfort zone and meeting new people in international environments. This was one of the many factors that led me to study at IE University. One of the quotes I find most inspiring is from Maya Angelou: “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
In search of constant challenges
Laura is a 19-year-old student with German, Portuguese, English and Hungarian roots. She had her first taste of foreign travel at just 15 years old, when she spent a semester in the south of Germany in a boarding school near Lake Constance. This eye-opening experience helped her grow and become the person she is today, constantly seeking environments that push her outside her comfort zone. As she is no stranger to change and challenge, making the transition from her home city of Lisbon to IE University’s campus in Segovia felt like a natural step for her.
Laura’s program includes two degrees: the Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Economics (PPLE) and the Bachelor in Data and Business Analytics. Her degree choice not only matches her interest in philosophy and current affairs, but it also teaches her how to conduct data analysis and enables her to understand algorithms, which are of paramount importance today. There’s no doubt that her Dual Degree requires hard work and dedication, but Laura has always enjoyed a challenge.
In a world that is increasingly interconnected and dominated by tech, Laura is confident that this combination of subjects will allow her to think critically and challenge conclusions, crucial traits when navigating large amounts of data with sensitivity.
Laura feels that IE University gives students the right set of tools to dive into the business world and become change-makers. Since starting her studies, she’s met an excellent network of people who’ve shared their professional experience with her and provided important lessons and good advice. Laura has also attended various events hosted by IE University in which she’s had meaningful conversations with successful entrepreneurs and learned about different, innovative companies.
Laura’s time at IE University has been marked by her participation in Student Government, where she numbers among the representatives of the student body. Her role as Academic Officer allows her to address issues students may face in class or on campus in order to improve their academic experience. Laura is also the coordinator of the Segovia chapter of the IE Women in Business Club, which seeks to raise awareness about gender inequality and the obstacles women face in the workplace, as well as to support club members in their career aspirations. As part of her role as coordinator, Laura is in charge of organizing and hosting community-building and networking events, along with workshops featuring various successful speakers.
Last semester, Laura worked as a consultant for the Madrid branch of 180 Degrees Consulting, the world’s largest student-run consultancy focused on nonprofits and social organizations. She also spent six months working alongside a team on a project for the NGO Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Her team used data from a range of sources to evaluate the quality and accessibility of tertiary education for refugees in West and Central Africa. With the help of their research, ESSA aims to create a database to extend the reach of educational pathways in host countries.
Outside of academics, clubs and internships, Laura has always enjoyed sports. Back at home, she was a competitive equestrian rider and participated in national and international showjumping competitions. She used to dedicate most of her time to going to the stables and improving her riding skills, as well as participating in competitions across Portugal. Riding has always been her passion, and giving it up when she came to Segovia marked a big change in her life. As someone with a competitive spirit, she decided to join the hockey team during her first year of university, which allowed her to meet different students and learn a new sport. She also enjoys going on hikes and runs in the beautiful hills of Segovia.
Currently, Laura is still unsure as to what path she wants to take later in life. However, as she is studying a Dual Degree that deals with both analytical and humanistic fields, she is certain that she will be equipped with the right tools to navigate an interconnected and data-driven world and positively impact society, organizations, and companies. We can’t wait to see where this journey takes her.