My name is Léopold van der Noot, and if I had to choose, I would say that I’m Parisian. I say this because I’m half Belgian and half Italian, but I spent the first 19 years of my life in Paris. After taking a gap year to travel and work, I moved to Madrid and have been here for almost four years. As a fourth-year Bachelor in Business Administration student, I intend to do my best to make the most of the little time I have left at IE University. When I’m not studying, I enjoy playing sports, especially football, tennis and my new hobby, padel. And most importantly, I love listening to music—I wouldn’t be able to live without it. I would love to be a Techno DJ on the side, despite a clear lack of talent.
Leveraging opportunities and possibilities
Léopold’s IE University journey started just a few months before the beginning of his first academic year. During his high school years, he only had his sights set on following an academic path within the French system. But after two months of studying French law, Léopold realized it was time for him to go abroad and challenge himself in new ways.
At the time he made this decision, one of his friends was going to study at IE Univeristy’s Segovia campus and enthusiastically told him about its innovative teaching methodologies and highly active student life. With his interest piqued, Léopold checked out the website and was impressed by the strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. The application process was equally focused on academics and extracurricular activities, which made Léopold excited for a future of personal and professional connections. Léoplold originally began to study one of IE University’s dual degree programs, but found that the Bachelor in Business Administration was a much better fit for his goals.
When reflecting on his time at IE University, Léopold highlights meeting and hanging out with the people he now calls his best friends. The communal areas and a series of memorable events allowed him to connect with new people from various backgrounds and cultures, which Léopold believes is an unexpected bonus that is still occurring in his fourth year.
Léopold considers himself lucky because he and his best friend started their IE University journeys at the same time—just in different cities. Léopold studies in Madrid and his friend in Segovia, meaning they visit each other often and are able to experience the best of both IE University worlds. Campus life in general is something that Léopold is grateful for, noting that the IE Community fosters both personal and academic achievements.
Although his lasting friendships were a big part of his university experience, Léopold credits IE University for the major role his academic path has played in his adult life. During these four years, he was able to meet 90% of his professional network, make progress on his English and Spanish skills, and build connections that he believes will last a lifetime. Léopold is proud to be part of the IE Community. The strong bond between faculty, staff and students gives him the opportunity to ask for advice and confidently take the next step on his professional path.
As for his personal life, Léopold has focused a lot of his energy into his modeling career. He was scouted during his gap year, and everything unfolded quickly after that. He spent two years working for Gucci alongside his studies, and is beyond thankful for the travel and networking opportunities that this experience presented. At the end of his second year studying at IE University, he limited his modeling to Madrid and Barcelona, and the occasional trip to Milan and Paris for fashion weeks. Léopold knew that his career in modeling wouldn’t last forever. And even though his professors were understanding, and the flexibility of IE University’s Liquid Learning methodology made travel possible, he decided to prioritize his bachelor’s degree.
When asked about his next steps, Léopold confidently states that he is open to different possibilities. Finding the unknown to be more exciting than terrifying, he thinks now is the best time to explore a variety of fields and have different experiences so that he can figure out which role suits him best. He would also love to spend a bit more time in the modeling world while he still can. His previous internships involved working to reduce inequalities in less developed parts of the globe, and he would like to explore how he can continue that work to keep making a difference. In the future, he’d like to earn a master’s degree in public affairs.
Léopold is looking forward to traveling as much as possible and taking his time to achieve big goals after graduating from IE University. His mindset for the future comes from the main message heard in a song by his favorite artist Bob Marley, “Don’t worry, be happy.” We’d like to wish Léopold the best of luck in his future endeavours.