María Isabel Merino - Student Story | IE

María Isabel Merino

About me

I'm originally from Bogota, Colombia and lived there until my final two years of high school when I made the decision to enroll at United World College Maastricht, an international boarding school in the Netherlands. Being exposed to a variety of cultures at an early age at school shaped the person I am today, which also led to IE University to continue my educational journey in a multinational environment. Currently, I'm a second-year Dual Degree in Economics and International Relations student based at the Segovia Campus.

shapeMaría Isabel Merino
case2Undergraduate student
studentDual Degree in Economics + International Relations
María Isabel Merino - Student Story | IE

"I've discovered that IE University has given me the freedom to delve deeper into my interests and gradually define my chosen career path."

María Isabel Merino

Following a passion across the globe to make an impact

After being immersed in an international environment at school, Maria wanted to continue this enriching experience. She finds being in an international community helps her better understand the world from a variety of perspectives that she wouldn’t explore otherwise. She also wanted to stay in Europe and that’s where IE University came in—it perfectly balanced an international community and an adventure away from home. The determining factor in coming to IE University was the program she selected: the Dual Degree in Economics + International Relations.

Almost three semesters in, Maria can confidently say that IE University has exceeded her expectations. She enjoys her program’s approach and how it allows her to better understand the world; bringing her closer to her goal to make a positive impact on society. Maria has also enjoyed living in Spain so far—from the lifestyle to the people she’s met, she’s made many memories which have made her experience all the better and easier.

During her first year, Maria joined the SDG Club as a research coordinator. This position allowed her to develop her research skills by keeping up with the news and being able to connect it with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and her classes. This position also made her realize her passion for writing, which inspired her to join The Stork—the IE University newspaper—as an opinion editor. This experience has taught her more about leadership and teamwork while giving her the opportunity to express her opinions about the world. 

While it’s been a challenge to manage her extra-curricular responsibilities, Maria has really enjoyed the experience and has met many people along the way. She also gets to make the most of her program’s content as she often finds inspiration in her international relations classes. 

María Isabel Merino - Student Story | IEDuring her time in the dual degree, Maria has discovered that IE University gives its students the freedom to delve deeper into their interests and gradually define their chosen career path. When Maria joined the IE Community, she knew she wanted to make a social impact, but she wasn’t sure how to go about it. Now, through IE Seminars, she has been able to explore different fields that have piqued her interest to decide whether she can see herself working in them in the future. For example, Maria has participated in the Humanitarian Action Seminar, which made her consider the United Nations as a possible career goal. The IE Experience has given Maria clarity to narrow down her interests into possible career paths, teaching her about herself, her passions and who she wants to become. 

As it’s important to maintain a work-life balance, Maria likes to read in her free time, especially books of the magical realism genre. She also loves discovering new authors and titles and writing about current issues or her life in general. What's more, she likes to play the ukulele and explore Segovia. One of her favorite things about studying at the Segovia Campus is that she lives close to all of her friends, so they can easily spend time together. As a true global citizen, she also loves to travel and discover new places and cultures.

In terms of the future, Maria is still figuring out what she wants to do. She wants to pursue the social side of economics to make a positive impact but she’s not sure whether that will lead her back to Latin America or to stay in Europe. However, while at IE University, Maria has realized she can see herself working in NGOs, as a policymaker, or in a company related to sustainable finance and ESG departments. She still has a long way to go before she graduates and wants to remain open-minded to the possibilities that her dual degree will offer.