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Deeper learning offers hope for humanity in a brave new world

Mobility of globalised youth joins the dreams of one hundred nationalities

Changing the way we teach can produce revolutionary results

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Making the big leap is the only way to learn how to fly

charting the course of

And so the idea emerges of the humanist university as a small island of humanity


IE University is Spain’s highest-ranked institution, the third best in Europe, and fifth worldwide in terms of recruiter satisfaction. It offers twelve Bachelor programs to students from over one hundred nationalities on its high-tech Madrid and Segovia campuses, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and entrepreneurship. This publication has been produced by IE University in collaboration with The Report Company. The Report Company is an international publishing house creating print and digital media for selected audiences. TRC also publishes content regularly with newspapers such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, and many more. The Report Company combines creativity with a strong journalistic background and the ability to create authoritative and engaging content.

Contents 008 . . . Through the looking glass: Salvador Carmona, Rector of IE University 012 . . . Diversity 015 . . . The global classroom 018 . . . Q&A Miguel Costa 022 . . . Q&A Julián Montaño 024 . . . Humanistic approach 025 . . . Essay The possibility of an island 028 . . . Q&A Miguel Larrañaga 030 . . . Entrepreneurship 031 . . . It is not enough to say ‘I am an architect’ 038 . . . Interview In conversation with David Goodman 042 . . . Case study Opening the family box 044 . . . Alumni 044 . . . A mosaic of inspiration 048 . . . Q&A Julia Sánchez 049 . . . Locations 049 . . . IEU’s campus cities show Spanish contrasts 065 . . . Innovation 065 . . . Behavioral science 072 . . . Interview Insights: Lee Newman 076 . . . 078 . . . 081 . . . 082 . . . 084 . . .

Careers Tomorrow’s leaders The view from the other side Infographic Employability Q&A Carlos Díez

086 . . . 087 . . . 092 . . . 096 . . .

Disruptive technologies The future of law Interview Soledad Atienza Legal practice makes perfect: Hanna Jelezovskaia

102 . . . Hands on: case studies 103 . . . Startup success: Making that leap 104 . . . International relations: Crisis talks on campus 106 . . . IEU Labs: A unique experiment in professional reality 108 . . . imPACKt Farm: Feeding the world 109 . . . International relations: An inside look at the UN Security Council

About this publication In the era of globalization and electronic revolution, a new model of university is needed. IE University was born in the 21st century alongside the disruptive technologies which have broken down international borders and ushered in an era of constant shifts and change for global business. This publication aims to open a window onto how IE University is carving a relevant space to train tomorrow’s leaders with its unique blend of academic rigor, entrepreneurial innovation, and a brave commitment to the humanities and diversity. With insights from professors, students, independent professionals and experienced writers, these pages combine features about the university with exploratory articles and essays covering cross-cutting global issues.

8 Intro


Through the looking glass

Salvador Carmona As Rector of IE University, Carmona maintains his focus on what makes this innovative institution stand out: top graduate employability, a highly international student body and entrepreneurial spirit

IE University, which sprang forth from the prestigious IE Business School, is pushing forward rapidly thanks to its unique blend of academic rigor, practical learning and a multi-disciplinary approach. The finest of balances is sought between the commercial ethos of IE and a commitment to humanities which means that all students – even law and business graduates – study elements of philosophy, literature and history. For Carmona, thanks to the “excellent starting point” provided by the Business School, IE University is accelerating towards a new canon of higher education. “We lack the baggage that tends to weigh down more traditional institutions. We’ve been able to create a modern university from the bottom up, using a set of fundamental guidelines: graduate employability and internationalization, a humanistic focus, and an entrepreneurial spirit. And these guiding principles all revolve around the university’s innovative nature.” Carmona, who took up his post in 2011, notes that IE University is already Spain’s number one university in terms of employability, tenth in Europe and 27th in the world, according to the Times Higher Education Rankings. “Now we have recognition. But the main thing is not so much what we are doing now as the fact that we are never content with that. It’s a bit like the metaphor in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, where the Red Queen tells Alice that you need to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place. We are running as fast


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“Increasingly, students are looking for a holistic education, rather than highly-specialized training” Salvador Carmona, Rector of IE University

as we can in order to remain in the same place in this fast-changing world, or, with some luck, maybe even get ahead.” But what, in Carmona’s view, does the globalized 21st-century student demand of a top university? “Increasingly, students are looking for a holistic education, rather than highly-specialized training. They are looking for a multi-disciplinary program which is flexible enough so that, upon graduation, they can either continue their studies with a Master’s Degree or else enter the job market directly. And they are also looking for practical, hands-on experience through internships. What this university strives to do is to anticipate the way the next generation is going to think, so that when our graduates go out into the world, they will not be thinking like their own generation, but like the generation that comes after them.” IE University’s innovative strength lies in the combination of theory and practice, from classroom techniques which demand a high level of student participation to yearly internship opportunities and the original system of learning laboratories, where fresh ideas rub up against external reality. Carmona believes the blend of multi-disciplinary learning and one of the world’s highest international student

rates creates an experience which is “truly unique”. “You can find international universities; you can find innovative universities; you can find universities with a humanistic approach, and ones that try to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in their students by making them think outside of the box. But you will not find another university which, like us, brings all of this together in one place.” Carmona believes the traditional model of top-down teaching from an ivory tower has entered a crisis from which it will never escape. “Teaching is not a one-way activity in which the teacher imparts knowledge and the student receives it. Students also learn a lot from one another on a wide range of topics that include diversity and gender issues. We have more female than male students, and more international students than Spaniards. This provides an extraordinary opportunity for students to learn from one another.” Looking ahead, Carmona says he is working on expansion plans at the university’s two campuses – Madrid and Segovia – as well as developing new undergraduate and graduate courses. “It is the Rector’s main job to make sure the university keeps moving forward. I consider myself very fortunate to be involved in such a first-rate project.”

meet the new generation

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“I love working in a creative digital environment and have a passion for copyright law with a focus on music and information” Abdel-Latif Arouna

Born in Lomé, Togo and raised in Germany, Abdel-Latif Arouna recently graduated from IE University with a Bachelor in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Laws. He is now putting his passion for copyright law, music and information technologies, and user experience development to work as a partner of Mandarina Hub Madrid, assisting entrepreneurs to create mobile and web applications which solve real-world problems. Pictured here near IEU’s campus in the heart of Madrid’s financial district, he says living in Spain provides a great opportunity to be part of a vibrant startup scene.

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“I truly believe every single citizen of the world is different and unique in their own way” Faina Tursynova

Faina Tursynova, 19, is currently studying for a Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University. Born to a Korean mother and Kazakh father, her upbringing was a mixture of conservative Asian values and Russian cultural influences. After completing high school in the United States, she chose to study at IEU because she felt that its focus on diversity and constant self-improvement in a European backdrop was the best fit for her personality and values. After graduating, she hopes to start a career combining marketing and accounting. The photo was taken in front of the Museo del Prado, Spain’s main national art museum.


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The global classroom The demand for international study from, and to, all the corners of the world has never been higher

Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the number of students enrolled in higher education overseas increased by 50 percent between 2005 and 2012, with 4.5 million students enrolled outside their home country in 2012 alone. According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), that number is set to reach eight million by 2025, but just who are these newly-mobile school leavers and what is driving their insatiable hunger to experience a different culture? The IIE’s research indicates that the students’ personal interest in a particular region has become less of an ‘excuse’ to travel, replaced by a desire by these adventurous, globally-aware millennials to assimilate new cultures into their own and follow in the footsteps of their parents’ generation, many of whom were born overseas and have a different world view already hard-wired into them. These Third Culture Kids, a term coined back in the 1950s by American sociologist Ruth Hill Useem, have usually lived abroad from a young age and already been exposed to diverse cultural and educational influences. University has ceased to be a means to an end for this generation, instead becoming an opportunity to leave their comfort zone and develop themselves as much as citizens of the world as academics. Here are the true citizens of the future, instilled with

a cultural intellect better suited to the new global society. For parents, the desire to give their offspring an opportunity to broaden horizons and see the world is a major factor in their decision-making, but it isn’t without its anxieties. As the US and Western Europe are caught up with by the likes of China and Singapore as the international study destinations of choice, the exposure to a new culture can also lead to feelings of isolation and imbalance if the institution isn’t watchful. For parents and students it is a calculated risk, but one that can be mitigated by choosing institutions with a proven track record of attaining success through diversity, where the expectations and working processes of different cultures are celebrated, not eroded. Of course, it isn’t just the students and their parents leading the growth. IE University’s active pursuit of diversification helps it to become that ‘third culture’ for its students. IEU’s latest admissions year will be comprised of 70 percent overseas students, with a policy that values a person’s achievements outside the classroom as highly as it does their test scores. The economic growth of emerging markets such as India, Brazil and Nigeria has fueled this shift in overseas study patterns, with China and Singapore also setting high targets for inbound students over the next ten years. These changes may

16 Diversity


“With the advance of technology and globalization, young people are able to make anywhere in the world their home - whether that be Beijing, Madrid, or London” Leslie Tam Academic Dean at Stamford American International School, Singapore

be intensifying competition, but they are also paving the way for important international collaborations. IEU’s bilateral agreements with 110 universities in more than 30 countries open the doors for a rich cultural mix on its Spanish campuses while offering important life experiences for its own students abroad. All of which means that there is now an ever-increasing number of students around the world who, when asked where it is they are from, struggle to offer an immediate answer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Asia was responsible for 53 percent of all international students in 2012/13, according to OECD figures, and with English now firmly seen as the dominant language around the world, the last major hurdle to the idea of a ‘global classroom’ is finally coming down. At the same time, globalization doesn’t mean that different destinations don’t have different appeal. English-speaking and Western European countries invariably offer more internationally recognized qualifications, while Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries are also sought by those wanting a lifestyle and cultural change. What IEU offers its students is a deep understanding of the drivers behind the millennial generation’s choices, and its active pursuit of diversity makes it an attractive opportunity for the hundreds of international students who make it their home. This is a source of pride for IEU Admissions Director Miguel Costa. “You will not find many institutions with the kind of diversity we have, and in an increasingly globalized world, this also

provides our graduates with an edge,” he says. The global students, it seems, are preparing to take on the world. The world’s new students At Stamford American International School in Singapore, Leslie Tam, Academic Dean, sees the next generation of students as more daring, globally-minded and adaptable. In her experience, they are more open to new experiences, and play it less safe than previous generations. “When I was at university, study abroad was a major thing that universities were promoting to students. Nowadays, students are choosing to study their entire undergraduate degree in another country,” she says. In her view, students are no longer looking simply to go to a traditional elite university; instead, they want fulfilling academic and social experiences, and as a result are making much more informed choices about where they will spend their post-high-school years. The students she deals with on a daily basis seek closer relationships with their professors, advisors, and mentors in order to help them navigate the often dizzying array of choices available to them in post-secondary education. “The challenge for global universities nowadays is in successfully catering to this generation’s changing stimuli and shorter attention span,” Tam says. As universities come up against more competition than before for the best students, she argues that the truly outstanding institutions are those which can move quickly and offer relevant experiences for the times we live in.

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“Flexibility and adaptability are key to my professional development” Ignacio Llopis

Barcelona-born Ignacio Llopis, pictured here in Madrid’s Plaza Mayor, has traveled more than the average 18-year-old, with six years in Sao Paulo, Brazil and a period living in Ottawa, Canada informing his outlook on life. At a recent IEU conference, he was given a Daruma doll by Ignacio Silva, CEO of Schweppes in Spain. The doll, which represents goal-setting, has become an important symbol for him as he begins to forge his own professional path; due to its shape it will always return to an upright position after being knocked down.

18 Diversity




Miguel Costa Students choose IE University because they seek a different model that transcends traditional education. Miguel Costa, who leads the university’s personalized admission process, talks about applicants’ motivations, expectations, and profiles, as well as IE University’s requirements

HOW FAR HAS IEU COME IN ACHIEVING ITS GOALS SINCE OPENING NINE YEARS AGO? We originally envisioned having around 2,000 enrolled students, but next year we will be closer to 4,000. These students hail from more than 100 countries. We have become a reference for other education centers and are routinely invited to participate in panel discussions worldwide. We are often asked to explain how we have managed to successfully compete in such a short space of time against centuries-old universities. WHY DO STUDENTS CHOOSE IEU? Our model is different. We combine the best of both educational models that are most successful globally: the one offered by US and British universities, and the one offered in continental Europe, which places greater emphasis on technical learning. We have taken the former’s flexible, participatory system that rewards teamwork and critical thinking and expects students to play an active role in the classroom, and combined it with the deeper technical training you find in continental universities. HOW DIVERSE IS THE STUDENT BODY AT IEU? You will not find many institutions with the kind of diversity we have, and in an increasingly globalized world, this also provides our graduates with an edge. At IEU, 70 percent of our student body is from other countries. And, as a reflection of that, our faculty is also international and hails from North America, China, Africa, and elsewhere. WHAT KIND OF STUDENTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Prospective students need a good academic record, intellectual

curiosity, a desire for personal development, and a certain sophistication. We have limited space, and not all applicants can be admitted. This forces us to choose the best every year. The growing recognition of IEU means that the standard gets higher each year, and the selection process more stringent. WHAT ARE YOUNG PEOPLE LOOKING FOR WHEN THEY APPLY TO IEU? They don’t see university as a means to achieve an end. They see it as an experience that they want to have. To my generation, university was something you had to go through in order to build a career. This generation appreciates that too, but additionally they understand that university can enrich their lives through the experiences gained there. Additionally, our students can spend time at any one of 110 universities across the world where we have bilateral agreements – centers with similar educational levels and student facilities as our own. Every year we send around 500 students out to these partnering centers, and we receive 500 exchange students. And then there are the internships, and the opportunities for consulting work at companies that want students to help develop ideas, to launch a new project or open up new markets. All of this contributes to a rich personal experience at IEU that is much more than just about academic learning. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR STUDENTS WHEN ADAPTING TO THIS ENVIRONMENT? The cultural differences, above all. For 17-year-olds who are thousands of kilometers from home for the first time, it can be a major shock, so we have established a series of protocols and departments to watch over their adaptation process and ensure it is as painless as possible.



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20 Diversity

“I would like to work at an international organization and truly make an impact” Angela Selzer

21-year-old Angela Selzer, who grew up in Vienna, has just completed her first year studying a Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations. After taking a gap year in Chile after high school, she realized the importance of legal knowledge in order to be able to make a sustainable impact on people’s living situations. She began to study Law and Politics in her home city, but felt the need for a more international outlook and practice-based approach, which brought her to IE University. She is photographed here on a sunny day at Madrid’s Retiro Park, which belonged to the Spanish royal family until the late 19th century, when it became a public space.

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“I wanted to do a broader university degree in order to discover more fields� Raquel Salazar

Raquel Salazar is 18 and, although she is Spanish by nationality, considers herself to be an international citizen after living in Washington DC, Beijing and Brasilia. Pictured here outside the Royal Palace, the official residence of the Spanish royal family in Madrid, she has gathered many experiences from the cities she has lived in by adapting to their culture and lifestyle. Her passion lies in marketing, and she aims to use her social and communication skills to work internationally.



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Julián Montaño Prior to joining IEU, Julián Montaño’s professional career included positions in Pearson Group and Walt Disney, while his research covers epistemology, esthetics and social philosophy. Such multifaceted work experience informs his belief that the ability to conceptualize and reframe reality is important in today’s world

WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO IE UNIVERSITY? First, it was the sense of adventure. Second, I felt a calling to teach and do research, as I’ve always been very attracted to the world of academia. And thirdly, there was a fun proposal to introduce the humanities into the curriculum at IEU. The idea seemed sufficiently new and unusual to me that I felt really drawn by it. And that is part of our character around here – we are people who like new and unusual things. That goes for the faculty, the staff and the student body. We are constantly redefining and reconstructing ourselves as unique individuals. HOW IMPORTANT IS INNOVATION TO IEU? Other institutions have very closed missions and visions, but that is not the case at IEU. We are constantly reinventing this institution within a set of parameters: entrepreneurship, the humanities, innovative methodology, and technology. We are living in a world where a center of learning cannot maintain the same educational proposals over space and time. Ours is a rapidly changing society in which the need for intellectual, personal and professional training keeps changing; a world in which the abilities required of university students and the experience of life on campus are also in a constant state of flux. So the only way you can be attractive as an institution is by having this ability to constantly adapt. And that is also the reason why the humanities are included in our curriculum. Complex times require complex minds.

HOW DO STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM THIS FOCUS ON THE HUMANITIES? A person with training in the humanities is a person with a very rich vocabulary and a much greater conceptual range than someone without it. Such a person is able to describe reality in many more ways than others. This person is able to see further. In order to create a community of innovators, we need to train individuals with a taste for the humanities who will blaze new trails and uncover unusual aspects of reality. It’s about developing the ability to constantly shake up our own mental kaleidoscope and be able to reconfigure reality again and again. That is what society, companies and institutions expect of 21st-century educators. WHAT DO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ADMISSIONS AT IEU? They need to be clear about the type of personality that the university is looking for. We greatly value academic rigor, which is one of our four main pillars together with an entrepreneurial spirit, a humanistic mindset, and innovation. All these aspects of our model correspond to traits that we look for in our students. We want students with intellectual abilities, with a good academic record, who can show personal initiative, who have demonstrated a capacity to open new avenues at their own level of experience, who have the mental flexibility to adapt to the rich diversity of our teaching methodology, who can embrace complexity from a practical standpoint, and who have a very international mindset. We look for students whose horizons are not local.

24 Humanistic approach



the possibility of an island Miranda: O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world That has such people in ‘t! The Tempest

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26 Humanistic approach


In French novelist Michel Houellebecq’s dystopian vision of a post-humanist world The Possibility of an Island, the protagonist Daniel, a name of biblical resonance, achieves a form of immortality by making a Mephistophelian pact with technology in which memory remains intact for eternity and Marcel Proust’s sponge cake, long past its sell-by date, is forever confined to the dustbin of the obsolete. The hardware, the flesh, can be replaced, but the software, the memory, remains in place in a new body. Yet in a series of lives devoted to gratuitous pleasures of the flesh, there arises a sense of disquiet in the protagonist; a vague feeling of nostalgia for humanist values. There are rumors that in this brave new world there exists an island populated by dissidents who uphold the humanist tradition. In the prospect of a post-humanist world, are there any universities left today that stand as islands of a contrarian humanist tradition in this brave new world? The Erasmus program in the European Union has so far survived the ravages of austerity, but does it uphold the humanist tradition of the Dutch thinker and the controversial concept of knowledge for knowledge’s sake? Whither the call of an intellectual community which invites the truly curious mind to recall that in the glow of Platonic discovery of the answer to any question lies the shadow of another, more profound, and as yet unformulated question? Mankind in the universe and the monastic condition The question that emerges is what do we mean by humanism? The idea stretches itself well beyond the study of humanities and the realm of Erasmus and his fellow thinkers in Europe who used Latin as the common language of learning, who upheld and preserved the wisdom of the classics, and who traveled to seek out and share their thoughts with the best minds in the continent. There are elements of the humanist in ancient Eastern philosophy and the medieval monasteries, the precursors of universities, which, quite literally in the case of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides, were beacons of light of classical knowledge in the Dark Ages. It continues into the Renaissance and the Enlightenment and now to modern times. For Miguel Larrañaga, Vice-rector of Student Affairs at IE University, upholding the humanist tradition is an essential part of the university’s DNA. The Dominican order in Spain, known for its humanistic tradition, was founded in the Cueva de Santo Domingo, now part of the ivy-walled IEU Segovia Campus. IE University also encourages graduate students to take courses in the humanities as a means of broadening their education. Whereas students once traveled Europe to exchange ideas with the best minds, IE University brings the world to Spain. There are more than 100 nationalities represented in its student body, which exposes scholars to the challenge of reconciling different takes on this globalized world. Rather than a ‘potatochip factory,’ IE University is a laboratory of ideas where cross-fertilization is the order of the day. The ethical consideration In the opening scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s iconoclastic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, a tribe of apelike precursors of man is displaced from its watering hole by a rival tribe. The ousted tribe discovers a mysterious megalith, which one of its members touches. Brooding in an ossuary of dead animals and perhaps his own ancestors, one of the tribe hits upon the idea of leveraging the inert power of objects in order to acquire a force that goes well beyond the constraints of individual strength; the idea that a bone can serve as a tool and like any tool as a weapon. He uses the bone to smite one of his rivals dead and drive off the enemy tribe. That bone is also used to kill animals which, up to that point, had lived in coexistence with the apes. The flesh so provided allowed the apes to increase the power of their brains and eventually to evolve into human beings. As in the case of Kubrick’s bone-wielding ape, knowledge imbues the human being with power, and in such, the manner in which that power is used or abused is at the forefront. All of which is to say that in the humanist tradition there is always an ethical component to knowledge. Think of the Manhattan Project: it brought together the finest scientific minds of the time during World War II


Humanistic approach 27

to put an end to fascist tyranny, only to unleash the terror of the atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are countless examples in history of how political leaders have latched onto noble ideas to pursue nefarious designs. As the Wall Street guru Warren Buffett recently said: “In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you… If you hire somebody without [integrity], you really want them to be dumb and lazy.” Intellectual companionship in the pool of knowledge A man walks into a bar and says to the waiter he has a great idea but wants money for it. “Do you know of anyone who might like to buy it? I’m not talking about the Emperor’s New Clothes here. This is the genuine article.” To which the barman replies, “What sort of idea is this? Can I try it on or are you trying me on?” Basic ideas are the most invaluable of commodities. They can be traded for the common good although no market exists for them. In a famous intermittent windshield wiper system patent-infringement case that pitted US engineer Robert Kearns against Ford Motors, the Detroit automobile giant claimed that Kearns’ patent was invalid because it did not involve any new components. Kearns argued that his invention was a novel, non-evident combination of parts. The film Flash of Genius, which dramatizes the case, has Kearns backing his argument by asking Ford’s counsel to read the opening paragraph of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, which he said contained no new words but the arrangement of the established words was unique. Kearns won. The lesson to be learned here is that there is a difference between creativity and innovation. Curiosity and the awe of discovery The other fundamental idea of humanism is curiosity and the ability to preserve that curiosity to one’s dying days. This sense of wonderment is expressed in William Blake’s poem Tyger, from his Songs of Innocence and Experience. Tyger Tyger, burning bright, In the forests of the night; What immortal hand or eye, Could frame thy fearful symmetry? To which he adds: “Did he who make the Lamb make thee?” In the closing scenes of 2001: A Space Odyssey, after unplugging the talking supercomputer Hal, which begins to take on the human qualities of the men who invented it, such as hubris, and starts to make malicious mistakes, Dave, the last survivor of the expedition, embarks on the final leg of his odyssey. The scene is one of a homecoming through rebirth. He emerges to find himself in the suite of a futuristic luxury hotel surrounded by classical artifacts. He looks at the face of the old man before him in the mirror only to summon up the question: “I believe I might know this man. But from where and when?” The film ends with the image of a fetus, with the faint hint of a beatific smile upon its lips and bulging eyes orbiting the earth, swathed in amniotic wonderment. In Christian mythology, man was banished from the Garden of Eden in defying God by eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Could this have been part of the grand plan, in the sense that to err is divine, and to learn from our errant ways brings us only a finger’s touch away from divinity? And so the idea emerges of the humanist university as a small island of humanity. It reclaims the domain of the universal, in which ideas are forged in the collective mill of the mind as weapons of mass illumination with the power to disrupt conventional wisdom. Provided that there are universities of this nature, populated by “goodly creatures” who wish to embark on an odyssey without fear of failure, who can put to use the tools afforded by their acquisition of knowledge to the common good and in so doing leave their mark on the world, there is room for hope. Even if in that hope, Pandora’s box opens, releasing an ape wielding the jawbone of an unknown ancestor.

28 Humanistic approach



Miguel Larrañaga Professor of Medieval Art and Culture, director of Art History Studies and Vice-rector of Student Affairs for IE University, Miguel Larrañaga explains how IEU’s culture of diversity and innovation brings out the best in its students

WHAT MAKES THIS UNIVERSITY SO INNOVATIVE? We at IE University have a very international profile at the undergraduate level, and that creates a whole new mentality that is very open to different world views. This makes us stand out. AS AN EDUCATOR, DOES THIS DIVERSITY PRESENT A CHALLENGE? At IE University you are confronted by people who think differently and who may question what you’re saying, and this is very, very interesting. This possibility of throwing different ideas around and considering a variety of viewpoints on a single issue is what makes this university special. You can get a degree just about anywhere, but you will not find another classroom with so many points of view. WHAT SOFT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO WORK AT IE UNIVERSITY? You need flexibility in your personal and educational relations. You also need to strive for academic rigor. The university is originally a medieval institution, and students back then used to travel around seeking the best professors. We are trying to recover something of that old spirit that has been lost through the rigidity of academic structures. Ours is a humanistic project, because the humanities are one of our pillars. WHAT DO YOU THINK STUDENTS AND THEIR PARENTS ARE LOOKING FOR WHEN THEY

COME TO IE UNIVERSITY, AND WHAT DO YOU WANT THEM TO COME AWAY WITH? Parents come because of our good reputation and our outstanding performance in international rankings. They want a good education for their children in a secure environment within an international community. And they certainly come away with all that. We meet those expectations. But I think we also go above and beyond them, because I don’t think parents realize how much of an impact this international exposure can have on such young minds. HOW IS IE UNIVERSITY CHANGING THE EDUCATION SCENE IN SPAIN? We are contributing something new, but ours is a long-term project. Oxford is 800 years old, Stanford is around 200. We cannot say that we’re changing things yet. We need to stay humble. Fifty years from now, we will really see what our impact has been and where our students have gone from here. HOW IMPORTANT IS INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY TO THE UNIVERSITY? In class, I try to push my students past the syllabus by giving them absolute creative freedom, while ensuring that they preserve the kind of rigor and structure required of an academic paper. We want our students to be able to imagine new solutions to problems. We want to create entrepreneurs in the broad sense of the term, meaning people who will design an investigation in an original way. And the many different viewpoints at this university make it a propitious environment for that.


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design entrepreneurs


32 Entrepreneurship


David Goodman, Director of IEU’s Bachelor in Architecture, wants his students to have a broader vision about what their acquired skills could enable them to do

It is about playing the role they want to play in society, whether this is through urban reconstruction in an inner city, designing a brand or building a giant stadium. This is an architecture department that means business, literally. There is nothing wrong with a big slab of a building or a flashy design – creativity is paramount. But after a century in which architects have been at times too isolated from the needs and opinions of end users, while also shielding themselves from the financial strains faced by developers, the idea is to return to the point of departure. The question students have to ask themselves is not what but why. Architecture is a field in transition; the big and bold modern statements of the past century are increasingly undermined by doubts borne of the financial crisis period of the past decade and greater awareness of the need for sustainable structures and use of energy and materials. This vision of an architect does not mean producing someone who will fit into an existing niche in the profession, but rather a fresh thinker who can conceptualize from the bottom up what we as people need in any given space. This approach, which is simultaneously humble, practical, and creative, is a perfect fit with IEU’s mission to humanize the corporate world. As in other departments, the idea is to form leaders who are also citizens. Building business sense One of the criticisms of the architecture profession is that it

has tended to keep apart from the sharp end of the business surrounding a new building or venture. As a result, clients’ interests are often separated from those of the designers. In keeping with the IE Business School pedigree of the university, the faculty in Segovia focuses on drawing these strands together so that there is no opposition or contradiction between business and architecture. In applying to study architecture at IEU, students are asked if they want to become design entrepreneurs. Goodman is absolutely clear that he does not want a school which specializes in “architecture for architects”. Instead, it should be a space in which students are aware of the world about them and what is happening in other academic areas. In a world in which bigger, faster and cheaper are dominant ideas, IEU’s architecture students are expected to step back and ask questions before they are sucked into the frenetic pace of the marketplace. Architecture is hard work, and long hours are needed. Designing, drawing and modeling are labor-intensive activities. There are no short cuts. Speaking at the 2016 American Institute of Architects’ convention, Pritzker Prize-winning Dutch architect and theorist Rem Koolhaas underlined this idea. “Architecture is a profession that takes an enormous amount of time. The least architectural effort takes at least four, five or six years, and that speed is really too slow for the revolutions that are taking place.” He argued that architects could, however, continue to offer deeper thinking than the technological designers of


the present. “You could say that we’re the last profession that has a memory, or the last profession whose roots go back 3,000 years and still demonstrates the relevance of those long roads today.” Movement in architecture is inevitably slow, and society is perhaps even slower at digesting change. As Goodman points out, if we think back to the New York of the 1930s or 1940s and picture a car parked outside a skyscraper, the car looks like a dinosaur today, but not the building. It still looks modern, and there are still plenty of people who reject the large-scale pragmatism of most 20th-century architecture as a ‘modern’ abhorrence. Slowing the thought process While the public at large is still digesting modernism, architects are having to grapple with the technological transformation taking place in today’s world as well as a crisis of confidence – at least in the current financial landscape of Europe and North America. However, some of IEU’s students come from places in Asia where buildings cannot be built fast enough and where cities many people in the West have never heard of already have populations of over 10 million. The capacity to stop and rethink the urban environment as it spirals upward in the new capitals of the 21st century will be a key value in the development of civilization. “Regardless of our speed, which is too slow for Silicon Valley, we can perhaps think of the modern world maybe not always in the form of buildings, but in the form of knowledge organization and structure and society that we can offer and provide,” Koolhaas argues. To provide this knowledge and structure, architects have to engage. IEU is looking for passion in its undergraduates, not necessarily a perfectly planned academic grounding for architectural study. Goodman says that what students bring with them in terms of technical drawing skills and related learning often needs unpicking as it can stifle their creativity. Crude as they may be, teachers at IEU are more encouraged by students’ inquisitive use of software like SketchUp, a 3D design application, or even Minecraft, the internet game that has hooked millions of children around the world on its limitless world-building possibilities – plus killer zombies, spiders and abundant deadly lava. The school, complete with the enticingly named FabLab for 3D printing and other mechanical wizardry, is conceived as an open environment, in which students will gradually find their mission and hone the skills required for its fulfillment. The architecture school avoids having internal departments, preferring to encourage an open, collaborative atmos-

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phere. Even physically, the environment students find themselves in is open and transparent, with all students from all years working side by side in an undivided workshop space. “You cannot help but overhear the conversation any given student is having with their tutor,” points out one member of the teaching staff. After a campaign on the part of the department chiefs, the architecture workshop is open 24 hours, seven days a week, so that students can develop their ideas at the moment they strike. However laid-back the atmosphere may be in this small department in the comfortable surroundings of the refitted convent campus in Segovia, students must however engage with the outside world. Internships are a key part of the IEU learning ethos, helping to produce that dialogue between business and architecture that Goodman covets for his charges. Practical solutions While many other schools focus on architecture for architects and an enclosed dialogue, Goodman is interested in practical solutions to real problems and needs. “Making a difference” is the target placed in front of future leaders in architecture or, alternatively, other fields including graphic design and marketing. Projects tend not to be of the ‘how’ variety, as in how to build a school on a given site – but rather ‘what’ and ‘why’. Third-year students were presented with four streets around the world and asked to come up with projects that would enhance these environments. A recent final-year project was entitled simply “Tourism: Ibiza”. It is not about how to fill a hole on a map, but redraw that map with an improved panorama for the future. The design entrepreneur is by definition someone who starts something, not someone who follows a well-worn path. “The way that we have to describe our projects is the way an office would describe them, so we have to be really convincing. You are convincing your professor or jury as if he was the client with a strong narrative, making it seem that your project is the only possible solution; really selling it to your professors and your colleagues,” says fourth-year student Nathalie Lagard. Lagard says that she is looking forward to the alternative practices sequence of the first semester in the final year, where next year’s graduates are bombarded with different possible career directions. Minds are opened and then specific ideas begin to flow, aided by advanced technological facilities. And it is by no means limited to building things; design and technology feature strongly. An overarching module in the series is entrepreneurial skills and management, in which

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The FabLab is open 24 hours, seven days a week, so that students can develop their ideas at the moment they strike

students have to plan a business organization and work out how to run it. But how effectively does the school create “design entrepreneurs” and how far are graduates rising in their chosen specializations? Goodman says it is early yet to judge the scope of the output of graduates, who, he adds, are now starting to successfully self-select as the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial group for whom the course is intended after a Spanish intake continued to dominate during the first years of IEU’s existence. Employment rates for graduates are healthily high, in keeping with the 92 percent level attained by the university as a whole, according to a survey of last year’s graduates at the end of 2015. What is even more striking is the broad array of career directions being taken by IEU architecture graduates, ranging from visual marketing to positions at hard-core engineering firms. This suggests that graduates come away from the Segovia campus with an interesting blend of business nous and a robust technical background. Carlos Díez, IEU’s Director of Career Services, says architecture graduates have gone out to find work across the board of design options, from large-scale infrastructure projects to running viral marketing initiatives. Two recent graduates ended up staying in Madrid, taking on singular challenges in extremely high-profile corporate environments. One became a store designer for the eccentric Spanish luxury company Loewe, a match which resulted from a successful and

much-enjoyed internship placement at the design retailer. Another graduate plunged headlong into the discipline of interior design, and impressively landed the job of redesigning Coca-Cola’s corporate headquarters in Madrid. At the opposite end of the design scale, Goodman says that a former student has taken a good job at Arup, a leading engineering group with a global reputation which has been involved in top-level projects such as the construction of the Sydney Opera House. The school’s directors believe they are giving their students an effective launch pad from which they can aim as high as they wish, with a 360-degree choice of direction. By coming to Segovia, they have taken up the challenge set to them. One way students test their aptitudes is through the extracurricular network of clubs. In this context, a group of fifth-year students set out to tackle the problem of the psychological distance between the bulk of IEU students and the city of Segovia, despite the campus’s convenient proximity to the old city center. Their answer was to design and launch an app which brings together various culture-related websites with information on what is happening in Segovia into one portal. The problem, they surmised, was too much noise from disparate channels, failing to move in a single direction. At IEU, architecture can mean a lot of things. Solutions are the currency being dealt in by these design entrepreneurs. Students exchange ideas during a session in the FabLab at IEU’s Segovia campus. The FabLab is equipped with the latest technology and tools for Architecture and Design, and students are encouraged to use the facilities for learning and experimentation

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Model businesses David Goodman, director of IEU’s Bachelor in Architecture, admits to being hard to impress after so many years involved in the subject, which is why he was so moved by Rem Koolhaas’s Seattle Central Library. “It’s maybe only once every five years that something makes your jaw drop, but this project really affected me.” As he has shown in the dramatic and daring glass encasement of a public library in Seattle and elsewhere, Koolhaas is a major creative force. But Goodman also underlines the Dutchman’s entrepreneurial way of thinking about architecture through the synergies between the Koolhaas-led OMA architectural partnership and the AMO research and design studio. “He has created a methodology rather than just the delivery of a building”. Goodman also singles out the Manhattan-based firm SHoP Architects as trailblazers in terms of combining beautiful work with an innovative and savvy approach to business. SHoP, which is busy reshaping the New York skyline and also bidding to build the Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, takes equity in the project it is designing rather than a traditional fee. The company’s success stands and falls with the building it makes, a new and pure model for design entrepreneurs.




1. The Porter House by SHoP Architects. Photo: Seong Kwon Photography 2. Rem Koolhaas’s Seattle Central Library. Photo: Yvette Wohn, CC BY 2.0 3. Rem Koolhaas’s Seattle Central Library. Photo: Geldmond, CC BY 2.0 4. Rem Koolhaas’s Seattle Central Library. Photo: J. Brew, CC BY 2.0



The Director of Undergraduate Studies in Architecture seeks out enthusiastic students with an open mind as to where their eventual contribution to the world may lie. Innovation, technology, and a questioning approach are his tools to shape that future

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40 Entrepreneurship


“I want passionate young entrepreneurs”

DAVID GOODMAN HAS A MASTER’S DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE FROM HARVARD. BEFORE FOUNDING HIS FIRM R+D STUDIO, HE WORKED IN THE RAFAEL MONEO STUDIO IN MADRID, AND WITH DAVID WOODHOUSE AND NAGLE HARTRAY ARCHITECTS IN CHICAGO. HE HAS TAUGHT AT THE ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL OF DESIGN. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO IEU? I was in my second year of university at Cornell. I wanted to study abroad and I saw they had a program in Spain. I ended up studying literature in Seville; I was on a street corner, looking at a strange building in the Plaza Nueva, and I said out loud, “What am I doing? I want to be an architect.” I went back to the States and went through the process of transferring to architecture, and ended up going to Harvard graduate school. Then five years ago I was interested in coming back to Spain and I’d heard about IE University. When I saw that there is a way of combining business and entrepreneurial training with architectural training, I thought, why didn’t I get that as a student? I also thought: I want to be a part of that. WHAT IS THE VISION BEHIND THE BACHELOR IN ARCHITECTURE? It is international. It is entrepreneurial. It is melding things from the European model and the American model. When you graduate from architecture school in the States, you are still five or six years away from holding a license; in Spain, you graduate and you can become an architect. So what happens in the States is that you can do crazy things. My thesis project was about time and space and infrastructure. It could never be built but you have that luxury because you’re not an architect yet so you can develop this kind of crazy side, knowing full well that if you want to be an architect, you

still have to take your internship and you have to do your exams. In Spain, and in most architectural schools in Europe, courses are very orientated to practice but they can be a little less provocative and a little less theoretically innovative. We are interested in practice but we don’t want the naive wonderful visions of the students to be crushed by all that practicality. I believe that we need to train architects to be generalists, at least in school. You need to be able to do a range of things. We don’t only need training to be architects; we need to train to be citizens, to be designers, whose primary medium is architecture − although it might not be. We spend the first half of the final year showing students different ways that they can use the training, from landscape architecture and video games to coordinating events. We begin to ask them how specifically they want to use these generalist skills. HOW IS ARCHITECTURE CHANGING AS A PROFESSION? We are at a transitional point where certain ideas of modern architecture are starting to be questioned. Stylistically, we are in an era in which we may be about to have a huge shift toward functionalism linked to issues of sustainability and climate change. If there’s going to be a massive global crisis, then architects will be part of the solution, which means that a lot of our internal debates about form might become irrelevant. Another way that things may change is that new technologies might open up practice so radically that new possibilities will emerge. I think that we are at a point where huge shifts in economy, in technology, and in environmental crises are combining to create this very interesting, but uncertain, moment for architecture. It is fascinating but a bit scary. HOW DO YOU PREPARE STUDENTS TO BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH THESE CHALLENGES? There is an entrepreneurial aspect embedded in the way we teach.


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“We may be about to have a huge shift toward functionalism linked to issues of sustainability and climate change”

For example, we rarely give them set projects. In the thesis project, the question is architecture in tourism. The site this year is Ibiza. We are not giving them a specific site or program. We are giving them a question: What is needed here? We teach our students that no one is going to give it to you; you have to go out and get it. That’s from the very first semester. Most of our students go out on internships, not only in architecture but in related fields as well, such as graphic design, engineering, and branding. They do this over three years and get three different kinds of experiences. One of the modules in the alternative practices sequence in the fifth year is entrepreneurial skills and management, so students have to form an organization, design the organization, and make a management plan for the company. In the IE University model there is also transversal business training. It’s not that our students end up with a bachelor degree in business − they don’t − but they have enough to understand the basics. HOW DOES THE HUMANISTIC APPROACH OF IEU TIE IN WITH THE ARCHITECTURE COURSE? There is a very interesting social aspect in architecture. Architecture is people. It sounds obvious when I say this, but there has been a lot of highly disciplinary work done that was really architecture for other architects, and there are schools that do a wonderful job of this. What characterizes us is that we have an architecture that is linked to use, to engagement with everyday life, to engagement with everyday problems. We are more linked to making a difference. WHAT IS THE STUDENT PROFILE FOR THE COURSE? We don’t have to convince them to be entrepreneurs. Most of them come with that already in their DNA. We develop it, but they intuitively seem to know that that’s important and many of them chose this school because of that. We’d like our students to become

design entrepeneurs. I think that it is self-selecting; our students want to start something. When students ask me what I’m looking for, I usually say that I’m looking for evidence that you are an interesting person. We are looking for students who are interested in something, passionate about anything. It can be a marching band, karate, drawing… I don’t really mind what. Our students are passionate, and you have to be in architecture because we work really hard. There are not a lot of shortcuts in architecture. Some students might have a preconception about what architecture is, and they can sometimes be surprised or frustrated by the fact that we challenge them to think outside the box. We are very demanding and very few students leave us. I think we’re getting the right message out, because we fail very few people. WHAT DIFFERENTIATES THIS PROGRAM? The entrepreneurial approach, both social entrepreneurship and in terms of running a business. I would also say the relationship of the architecture program to the rest of the university. We are really connected and we have transversal classes. Then the internship program where our students spend four months a year over three different years engaged in different kinds of practice − that is different. We do online learning during that period. No one else does it to the extent that we do. Another thing that makes it different is simply the approach of the program itself, in that we are young and that we try to experiment. GIVEN THE TOUGH JOBS MARKET AT THE MOMENT, HOW EMPLOYABLE ARE YOUR STUDENTS? Right now it is still a challenging time for young architects in Spain, but our students are able to find jobs because they have already been employed for three summers, outside Spain typically; they have a good level of English and they have high technical proficiency, which is something that firms look for.

Clockwise from top: IEU Architecture student Nathalie Lagard exhibits her “Mira el Sol� project at the Madrid campus; a model of the flexible communal space envisaged in the project; students take part in an architecture class

Case study

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Maker’s culture

Opening the family box Family dwellings are the buildings which seem to have the greatest resistance of all to change, but IEU Architecture student Nathalie Lagard has come up with a concept that questions tradition with a cantilevered collection of flexible spaces for today’s single-parent families. For her fourth-year innovation project, Lagard first took a step back and thought hard about her “mission as an architect”, looking into the daily lives of families and stumbling on the shocking fact that in Spain, a developed country, there are still large numbers of children who live below the poverty line. Her idea was to create flexible communal spaces which would help to bring such families out of marginalized isolation. Conceived for the diverse downtown Madrid neighborhood of Lavapiés, Mira el Sol is a multifamily construction, bringing together individuals from the same generation on various levels: children’s bedrooms at the base, communal spac-

es in the middle, and parents’ rooms above, plus the option of creating large semi-independent chambers for teenagers or families with newborns. Within the frame of steel columns – hollow for storage space – the wooden frames making the rooms are on rails so spaces can be adapted to changing needs. Even furniture and features such as miniature hanging gardens are incorporated into the frame concept, with the cantilevered angles allowing in natural light to save energy. Lagard made at least four different models of the project in the school’s FabLab (fabrication lab), where maker-culture technology boosts the imagination of tomorrow’s design entrepreneurs. “The model should not be seen as a final design of the building but a concept which is the technique of making a home. I am not destroying the traditional family, but giving them more opportunities to mix than in standard social housing units which are closed boxes.”


Nathalie Lagard How important is technology and the FabLab in making architecture at IEU different? Technology is always a plus. You can do more daring things even though you’re not sure how they will come out. Using computers does not just make things easier, but also faster so you can test more prototypes and get to the solution that you’re looking for. The FabLab has two 3D printers, a laser cutter and a CNC drill, all of which means we can actually reproduce the things we dream digitally.

What makes the IE School of Architecture and Design stand out? While you’re at university, it’s good to test different things and let your creativity run free. The teachers at IEU are positive. They listen to you and try to understand why you did what you did. And classes are so small that it’s like a constant one-toone tutorial. Is there a balance between theoretical and practical learning? You always need theory to have an idea

and know what others are thinking. There is a balance between the theory, the history, knowing how to explain your project and then knowing how to construct it and knowing how to make a model. How do you see your future? I would like to be an independent architect with my own office, and make buildings that contribute to society and the environment. I see architecture as something that should be more connected to people and everyday life, as something which is more fun.

ALUMNI: A MOSAIC OF INSPIRATION The IE Alumni Association is a truly global network of professional contacts and talent


The theme of the IE Alumni Association’s 2016 Forum meeting in Real Madrid’s Bernabéu stadium was to challenge classical notions of success. The subject was apt because, in keeping with the university and business school’s philosophy, the buoyant alumni association has a mission beyond the mere enhancement of personal gain. Among the inspiring speakers at the Forum was Helen Young Hayes, who described her 1989 experience of being one of 184 people who survived a crash landing of a jet which had no brakes and no steering. “We received a miracle,” she said of the emergency landing at Sioux City airport, Iowa. “As a result, my vision widened.” The successful investor began to devote her time and energy to charity, first in her city of Denver, before broadening her vision yet more to Africa, the AIDS pandemic and other killer diseases. Now she is a board advisor to MalarVx, a malaria vaccine company, and Children of Hope Africa. “My definition of success, indeed my thirst for success, was profoundly changed. I began to see that I was not what I do or what I possess, but who I was becoming,” said Young Hayes, as she challenged the 1,500 alumni present to redefine success with a broader, deeper vision. Taking up a similar theme at Challenging Success, Yousef Tuqan Tuqan explained how it was that he was the most celebrated tech entrepreneur in the Middle East and “absolutely miserable” at the same time. While developing and eventually selling Flip Media to the advertising agency Leo Burnett, he lost his waistline, his health, his happiness, and his marriage. He got his mojo back through exercise,

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going from 10k runs to marathons and super-marathons. The Dubai-based entrepreneur’s vision of sustainability was summed up by a pyramid where health, friends, and family make up the broad base, with work achievements as the pinnacle. With more than 50,000 professional contacts over 160 countries, the networking opportunities provided by the IE Alumni Association speak for themselves. But there is so much more on offer, as Virginia Ríos, Communications Manager at IE Global Alumni Relations, points out. “IE is a mosaic of cultures, of ways of thinking and even expectations from life. This enriches the classroom but also the alumni community because whatever you need, we have it. You just have to name it.” This willingness to remain in the community and leverage the connections made in Madrid and Segovia are channeled by the large number of alumni clubs and facilitated by a network of 28 international offices. An online directory, the alumni app, and social networks make it easy to keep up to date. The Forum is the single most important alumni event, held annually in Madrid, but the calendar is bursting with talks and reunions all over the globe. Earlier this year, an alumni weekend in Dubai saw 200 former IE students discussing the post-oil era. The next event of that kind will take place in Colombia. Somewhere in the world today, chances are IE and IEU alumni are meeting to redefine success.

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1. Santiago Bernabéu arena - the official stadium of FC Real Madrid. Photo: Yuri Turkov | Shutterstock 2-5. IE’s 2016 Alumni Forum in Madrid took place on May 27th at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu stadium 6. Virginia Ríos, Communications Manager - Global Alumni Relations, IE

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Julia Sánchez WHAT MAKES IEU GRADUATES DIFFERENT? IEU graduates have entrepreneurial skills that they can put to work in different contexts, in the corporate world, in a startup ecosystem, and to make a positive impact on society. Given their exposure to so many different cultures during the program, they have the capacity to look at problems from many different perspectives and find creative solutions. They have a fundamental understanding of the humanities and the importance of taking a humanistic approach to business. In the words of our founder, “great people always mean possibilities.” WHAT ARE THE STRENGTHS OF THE ALUMNI NETWORK? The IE Alumni Network provides current students and alumni alike a wide array of contacts – 50,000 across more than 160 countries – that they can leverage to make business connections, exchange information and know-how, and build knowledge around

different markets. The network also serves as a source of inspiration as current students have countless examples of alumni across different sectors, industries, and countries outperforming in their respective fields. HOW MUCH INTEREST IS THERE FROM FORMER STUDENTS IN REMAINING IN TOUCH WITH THE SCHOOL? Through alumni events worldwide and volunteer opportunities, we provide alumni with ways to stay connected to IE and each other. Some examples include the IE Alumni Forum, IE Alumni Weekends, IE Class Reunions, and our extensive network of clubs worldwide. Our alumni look forward to the alumni events around the world as an opportunity to reconnect with classmates, make new contacts within the alumni community, enhance knowledge through access to top speakers and content, and stay up to date on IE news and developments.


IEU’s campus cities show Spanish contrasts The cities hosting IE University’s two campuses are only a 25-minute train ride apart, but the contrast could hardly be greater. Segovia is stately, serene, and shrouded in history, while modern Madrid is all bustle and entrepreneurial buzz. Both cities possess great cultural wealth and are extremely safe destinations for international students

Historical inspiration for the bright sparks of the future Segovia campus

IEU’s Segovia site is not just an amazing university campus; it is an extraordinarily valuable chunk of history and architectural heritage whose latest function is to host students from all over the world. Nestled against the slope between the medieval walls of old Segovia and the Eresma river, the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real is made up of multiple layers of history. Dating from the 13th century, the former abode of devoted Dominican monks now encases the university’s modern structure, whose glass and wood paneling now forms shells of well-lit learning spaces within stone walls which have weathered so much time and circumstance. The building was awarded national heritage status in 1931. The situation poses an interesting question: why is one of Segovia’s most important buildings set outside the city proper? Although a brief and pleasant stroll up some steps and through a few arches will take the walker from the campus into the heart of spectacular historical Segovia, the building is situated in its semi-concealed niche precisely because Saint Dominic, the founder of the Dominican religious order, chose a cave on this spot as his place of penance when he arrived in the city in 1218. Humility was to be replaced by pomp and power in the 15th century, however, when the Catholic monarchs,

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, gave their patronage to the convent. A new cloistered building and a mighty church were built on top of the simple original Romanesque structure. The Holy Cross (Santa Cruz) became Royal (Real) and the convent a central building in the life of the Spanish kingdom, with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella attending mass in a church which, now deconsecrated, serves as the campus’s ceremonial hall. With the collapse of Segovia’s Dominican order during Spain’s convulsive 19th century, the convent fulfilled various functions, acting at different times as a residence for the elderly and an orphanage. Centuries on, IEU’s diverse body of students and faculty today get the best of all worlds in an inspirational historical setting with state-ofthe-art facilities. The director of the IE School of Architecture and Design, David Goodman, gives the refit his professional seal of approval as a “beautiful piece of work”, respecting history while providing ample space for technologically-advanced spaces such as the FabLab, where architect and design students’ imaginings become reality through 3D printing and other forms of digital wizardry. Likewise, communication undergraduates have a functioning media studio in a corner of the campus, a facility which also comes in handy when the international rela-


tions department needs to film a press conference after a mock political summit meeting. In short, the history of Santa Cruz la Real serves as an inspiration for tomorrow’s community leaders. Within the classrooms, study spaces, and several cafeterias on campus, students of over 100 nationalities come together in what for many is an invaluable cultural exchange at a formative moment in their lives. According to the Vice-rector of Student Affairs, Miguel Larrañaga, there are over 40 student clubs on offer in Segovia, a city he describes as a parent’s fantasy for their child’s first experience away from home. Segovia, Larrañaga says, provides a safe and welcoming atmosphere for young minds to develop in. “There is no question in my mind that Segovia is a great campus, because the experience as part of the student body is so intense here; the sense of community is very strong here.” Larrañaga encourages students to start initiatives and come to him and the Student Life department if they need support. The department can, for example, help with funding a project and will lay on bus transport to the place where an activity is held whenever enough students express an interest. “We will listen and are prepared to help. It’s the best way to learn,” he says. “I have learnt so much from listening to my classmates

from different countries. They have opened my eyes and made me think much more about the world we live in,” says María Paula Botero, a Colombian Psychology student and active club member who is happy to have spent her four years in the safe and comfortable environs of Segovia, with Madrid just a 25-minute train ride away for the occasional big-city jaunt. Accommodation is plentiful, varied to suit all tastes, and reasonably priced for those on a tight budget. Mixing with locals and other students could not be easier in such a compact city with less than a mile separating the famous Roman aqueduct at the old quarter’s entrance and the dreamy Alcázar castle at the other extreme. “Segovia is small and you can walk everywhere, but at the same time you have all the services you need, like cinemas, places to go shopping, and nice restaurants,” says Guzmán Noya Nardo, a Uruguayan Business Administration student. “We have a beautiful park right by the university for walking or running, with great views of the Alcázar. If you carry on, you quickly get out into the mountains. The countryside is a big bonus here.” Secured between its ancient walls and fortresses, Segovia offers an immersion in thought and academic exploration in a perfect environment for the student of any discipline.










1. Historic span Segovia’s aqueduct is arguably the most spectacular surviving Roman construction in Spain, and marks the start of a magical trail up through the old city that takes in magnificent architecture from the medieval and Renaissance eras. The romantic Alcázar fortress means Segovia has the luxury of possessing two of Spain’s most iconic monuments. 2. Space in time The origins of IEU’s Santa Cruz la Real campus may date from the 13th century, but the building has been adapted to state-of-the-art technology inside. 3. Set in stone An atmosphere of secluded calm


pervades IEU’s Segovia campus, even in this snack bar in the cellar. 4. Convent cloister Centuries ago as a Dominican convent, Santa Cruz la Real once had three separate cloisters. One still remains intact, providing today’s secular university campus with a hub for impromptu meetings and conversation. 5. An inspirational setting Once a church attended by Spanish royalty as far back as the 15th century, the campus uses this deconsecrated space for talks, ceremonies and other events. It has, as one would expect, magnificent acoustics.

6. Compact city Segovia is a small, safe and compact city. From the campus entrance, next to the striking façade of the old church, a five-minute walk will take you to the city centre. 7. Community IEU’s Segovia campus is furnished with modern facilities thanks to tasteful development of the historical site, including a cafeteria bathed in natural light. 8. Accommodation Segovia offers plentiful accommodation options for visiting students, from the on-campus residence (pictured) to a wide array of home rental deals in the city. Prices are lower than in the capital.

9. Participative learning Students are always expected to play an active role in IEU classes. 10. The old and the new The restored historical campus in Segovia provides a perfect metaphor for IE University’s commitment to modern methods alongside solid academic foundations. 11. Perfect study conditions Whether it be architecture, business, international relations or another course, Segovia is a great campus in which to become immersed in the subject due to the calm surroundings and excellent facilities, such as inside the Reyes Católicos residence.

A warm Madrid welcome Madrid campus

Madrid has long been a beacon of opportunity for Spaniards seeking big-city life. Successive waves of migration have seen the city’s population grow exponentially, steadily converting the country’s capital into a modern, thriving hub of commerce, culture, and countrywide traditions. Unlike many other European metropolises, size has not spoiled the city’s enviable quality of life. Madrid continues to be a city of both comfort and convenience; a capital that basks in sunlight and is characterized by its safe streets and a proud Spanish identity. Sitting in the heart of the bustling urban center, the IEU Madrid campus is part of the constantly moving urban tapestry. Inside, students have cutting-edge facilities at their fingertips as they rub shoulders with over 100 nationalities. Over 70 percent of enrolments are international, meaning the campus’s vibrant intellectual dialogue is both framed and enhanced by everyday diversity. This overarching value is brought to life through a dynamic network of student clubs where skills are acquired and relationships forged both in and outside of the classroom. However, as students step beyond the campus boundaries, it is the greater city that becomes the laboratory for learning and cultural enrichment. Boasting some of Europe’s most prominent galleries and museums, a world-renowned culinary scene, and a booming entrepreneurial landscape that has spurred an impressive citywide transformation in recent years, the Spanish capital is a constant source of stimulation and opportunity. Essentially a patchwork of characterful neighborhoods, Madrid is often best traversed by foot. However, a worldclass transport network – from the underground to buses and even an electric city bike scheme – binds each corner of the capital together too. Madrileños have a reputation for their enthusiastic (and year-round) use of public space, and from summer to winter locals flock to their generous city parks and picturesque plazas with gusto. This not only endows the city with an upbeat, so-

cial atmosphere, but also makes Madrid’s streets some of the safest in Europe. In comparison to other capital cities in the region, the local cost of living – from food to accommodation – is considerably lower, allowing students to settle into city life quickly and without the worry of letting financial pressures affect their focus. This combination of safety, sustainable costs, and a venerable abundance of sunlight (over 300 days to be exact), saw Madrid ranked seventh in the 2015 European Cities Ranking, which compared the continent’s 25 largest metropolises. As Madrid has fast become a destination of choice for young European startups, a burgeoning network of supportive infrastructure for entrepreneurs has sprouted across the city map. From municipal-funded facilities such as the former neo-Mudéjar slaughterhouse turned cultural precinct El Matadero, to a former sawmill that has been converted into the MediaLab Prado, a modern hub for digital culture and technology – the city is dotted with open-access spaces that provide a boost to any upand-coming business mind. In 2015, Google even chose Madrid as the location for its startup incubator Google Campus, which can be found inside a former submarine factory not far from the park-straddled banks of the Manzanares river. However, if there is one unifying thread that weaves through Madrid’s ever-evolving narrative, it is the city’s warm and welcoming attitude to outsiders. A long history of receiving economic migrants from both around the country and abroad has nurtured deeply-held attitudes of acceptance and affability. When visitors arrive in Madrid, they aren’t just encouraged to fit in, but are made to feel as if they belong too. This shared spirit of conviviality is what gives both the city and IEU’s Madrid campus its distinctive verve – an exuberance that is as much a part of the city’s identity as it is a daily expression of the local way of life.










1. Night and day Madrid is just a short journey away from Segovia, but there is a world of difference in atmosphere between the two cities. 2. Modern campus IEU’s Madrid campus is modern and easily accessible, situated in the heart of the capital’s business district. 3. Technological platform IEU’s classrooms are well equipped with technological teaching aids and allow students to participate in hands-on sessions of practical learning. 4. Beating heart The campus’s location in Madrid’s


financial district means opportunities for internships and networking in downtown Madrid are close at hand. 5. Objective: integration When anxious students - and parents – turn up at IEU, they will be taken in hand by the genial Juan Barrio, the Director of Student Life who has teams at both campuses working toward the goal of integration: “Everything we do is in pursuit of this objective: integration between years, between courses, and the two campuses.” Social clubs, guest speakers, trips and cultural events are all designed to make students mix, while amplifying their university experience. Barrio’s office also offers help with mundane

matters such as apartment rentals and subway passes. 6. The Student Hub The university encourages students to stay on site after class by providing inspiring and practical study spaces. 7. Smart library IEU’s library guarantees users access to the best virtual databases and online academic resources, as well as offering premium access to the best international media. 8. Teamwork For those who do not want to exercise only their minds, IEU has representative teams, in football as well as other sports. Students

who need somewhere to train will be assisted by the Student Life department, which has agreements with gyms and sports clubs around Madrid. 9. First home IE Business School started operating in 1973 and a year later created its first campus in a large and charming house at number 13, María Molina street. 10. Towering ambition Set to open in 2019, the Campus IE tower in the north of the capital next to Madrid’s giant four skyscrapers will take the university to a new level. The 195-meter building will have an aggregate capacity for 3,500 students.

IEU at a glance Fast facts


• 45+ languages spoken on campus

•12 Bachelor programs: Architecture, Business Administration (BBA), Communication, Information Systems Management, Laws (LLB), Psychology, International Relations (BIR), Dual Degree in BBA + LLB, Dual Degree in BBA + BIR, Dual Degree in LLB + BIR, Design and Politics, Laws and Economics (PLE)

• 100 nationalities are represented across both campuses • Established in 2006 as an extension of the graduate schools IE Business School and IE Law School (established in 1973) • 2 campuses (Segovia & Madrid) • 65% students come from abroad • Facilities: Wi-Fi all around campus, Virtual classrooms, Art and exhibition rooms, Center of Applied Psychology, Fully equipped media studios, Architecture FabLab

•Language Proficiency Track: BBA, LLB •Gradual

(Spanish to English programs): Dual BBA + LLB, Dual LLB + BIR

•Scholarship opportunities for all bachelors offered •Semester abroad network of over 95 partner universities, spread over 5 continents •Career facilities: IEU Career Management Center, access to IE Alumni network, networking events

Global rankings

Employability rankings

• 1st university in Spain

• 1st university in Spain

• 3rd best Bachelor in Business Administration worldwide

• 8th university in Europe • 25th university in the world

• 4th university in Europe • 5th in recruiter satisfaction worldwide • 6th in student satisfaction worldwide • 14th top university worldwide

Sources: Youth Incorporated, Global University Rankings 2015 Times Higher Education 2016 IE University



Behavioral science IE University’s Lee Newman argues that despite mankind’s evolution, we are still programmed with default behaviors that aren’t useful in the modern world, such as quickly judging people and reacting competitively to opposing arguments. If we are to become more effective decision-makers, we need to break free of that unproductive coding

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66 Innovation


Could you train your brain to make better decisions? With today’s global jobs market not only volatile but perennially morphing, splintering, and innovating, how can higher education institutions effectively tackle the enormous challenge of keeping up and producing graduates relevant to its needs? The answer, according to employers, is a greater focus on soft skills. A 2015 survey from the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that three out of five employers wanted a greater range of knowledge as well as specific skills from graduates. At the same time, while 57 percent of graduates believed themselves to be sufficiently creative and innovative, business leaders considered that just 25 percent of those entering work in fact were. The gap between presumption and reality is striking. Forward-thinking universities are already taking responsibility for the new context in which mind training and exposing students to wider concepts produces better decision-makers who are more valuable to companies. According to Kenneth Freeman, Dean of the Boston University School of Management, business advantage today is achieved by those organizations which have built teams of engaged people who both think and perform better. With knowledge and innovation knowing no borders, this is precisely the new competitive advantage that informs many companies’ recruitment processes. Just as important as the technical know-how behind a start-up is the confidence to be able to build and lead its workforce, or effectively market it.

ever. Everything from innovation to terrorism can shift the paradigm, making flexibility and adaptability essential traits in decision-makers. While rational thought was behind the Scientific Revolution, today this bombardment of outside factors brings with it confusion and a greater need to resort to intuitive decisions. But does that make us more susceptible to making the wrong ones? If the left side of the brain is responsible for rational thought and the right for intuition and creativity, leading business thinkers like Martin Reeves of the Boston Consulting Group are championing the latter. Instead of being really good at doing one particular thing, companies, and by extension their employees, “must now be really good at learning how to do new things,” he says. The secret to successfully gaining competitive advantage, it seems, can now be found by creating a workforce that is, in essence, less rational, more engaged, and given an environment where they are able to take better decisions in order to ultimately perform better. Looking from the other side of the jobs market fence, Lee Newman, Dean of Human Sciences and Technology at IE University, argues that companies would be better off looking at behavioral traits such as mindfulness, self-awareness, and empathy in their recruitment criteria, and that graduates would do well to pursue this “emotional intelligence”. Role-specific skills remain important in the short term, but technical know-how will only get you so far and these are now the personal attributes considered to fit those most capable of greater career progression in the long term.

Soft skills for hard decisions We are constantly bombarded by so many outside influences. As a result, taking control of the processes that inform our decisions, be they the daily and mundane or fundamental and even life-changing, is more challenging than

Mindware Learning new ways of thinking and re-programming the brain to avoid falling into default responses is one route towards better decision-making. In his book Mindware, Tools for Smart Thinking, Richard Nisbett suggests


Learning new ways of thinking and re-programming the brain is one route towards better decision-making

that we are so easily influenced by trivial factors that we don’t notice that we need to look at questions in different contexts. As we are so susceptible to social influences we don’t even see, we therefore need to create environments where better decisions can be taken. It isn’t just external factors that can muddy the waters, either. Scott Rick of the University of Michigan’s Ross Business School suggests that the brain is hard-wired with the idea of ‘loss aversion’, whereby humans are twice as sensitive to avoiding loss as they are to accumulating gain. Throw in other factors widely considered to affect our decisions – mood, conditions, circumstances – and the brain inevitably begins to challenge itself. Default behaviors can be just as damaging and even harder to control in the decision-making process. In Lee Newman’s experience, given that human behavior is erratic and unpredictable, the fact that so many of us resort unconsciously to default reactions rather than assessing a situation and responding accordingly means a huge amount of self-control is needed to break the cycle. Only once you have identified your own defaults, says Newman, can you begin to try to anticipate and override them. Training yourself to overcome those hardwired factors is therefore key. In the Scientific American, Alan G. Sanfey and Luke J.

Chang talk of two systems at work in the decision-making process. ‘System 1’ is generally automatic and quickly proposes intuitive answers to problems as they arise, while ‘System 2’ is slow, conscious, rule-based and can also monitor the quality of the answer provided by System 1. If it’s convinced that our intuition is wrong, then it is capable of correcting or overriding the automatic judgments. System 2 in this case is more rational and long-term, while System 1 is more concerned with the moment. Mindfulness Following a series of studies led by American behavioral expert Andrew Hafenbrack, it was found that mindfulness – pausing to think only in the present moment – could play its part as a useful solution to recognizing your defaults and counteracting deep-rooted tendencies. Increasingly offered in the workplace by corporations from IBM to Google, mindfulness seeks to promote clarity of thought by the removal of external factors in the decision-making process. Hafenbrack’s research found that even a brief period of mindfulness can allow people to make more rational decisions by shutting out confusing ‘noise’ and considering only the information available in the present. Nicole E. Reudy and Maurice E. Schweitzer discovered that an individual’s awareness of his or her present experience impacts ethical

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Lee Newman's whiteboard at his office


decision-making. Writing in the Journal of Business Ethics, they say that “Individuals high in mindfulness report that they are more likely to act ethically, are more likely to value upholding ethical standards and are more likely to use a principled approach to ethical decision-making.” Whilst also an advocate of the practice, Natalia Karelaia, INSEAD Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences, does suggest caution. By neglecting some external factors, she says, important considerations may become overlooked, while there are the inherent time issues implied by a strategy that involves clearing the mind and meditation. Positive leadership While mindfulness stresses the importance of the individual, positive leadership is a more inclusive tool that takes elements of modern psychology and applies them to the workplace. By encouraging organizations to understand the behavior of their employees, rather than getting people to adapt to systems, the systems can adapt to them, reducing negative emotional waste. According to Lee Newman, “positive leadership is about understanding the conditions I can put in place as a leader in which other people are going to perform at their peak and at their best.” Researchers at the Queens School of Business showed that disengaged workers in the US had 37 percent higher absenteeism rates. Returning to the core soft skills such as empathy and communication, which are precisely the ingredients that foster a positive workplace, could provide a solution. Creative learning Running contrary to the inflexible reputation of many higher educational institutions, when embraced and trusted, or even allowed to take risks, giving academics influence into the de-

cision-making process of universities can make them more flexible. In 2010, Lee Newman was able to launch the Executive Master in Positive Leadership and Strategy at IE University with elements that included yoga and mindfulness at a time when they were still largely foreign concepts in graduate schools. “In my second, third, and fourth years, we launched three master’s programs,” says Newman. “Find me another school that can do that. One of them, in market research and consumer behavior, was the biggest in the world by the second year. We launched degrees that became world-class very quickly.” If the corporate world is looking to meet its human resources demands, then these are the kind of solutions that need to be explored. “I think people confuse creativity and innovation,” adds Newman. “There is some evidence that creativity can be learned, but some people are just naturally much more creative than others. Innovation, however, is a mindset that anybody can learn.” In the same way that single-faculty teaching is losing relevance to modern commercial demands, so rational thinking in business has become outmoded, with businesses more intent on disruptive technologies where success often demands passion and commitment. Where the world-weary once talked of gleaning their formative experiences from the mystical ‘University of Life’, in our fast-moving times, the phrase assumes fresh and literal new meaning. Like IE University, today’s more progressive higher education institutions are increasingly concerned with a broadening of learning beyond the confinements of traditional faculties to produce graduates with a range of soft skills more capable of solving problems, blessed with greater powers of persuasion and better communication. Better prepared, in short, for life in and out of the boardroom.

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Work hard, play hard: an energetic game of ping pong not only allows IEU students to break a little sweat, but also enables them to build positive relationships that foster an innovative mindset and collaborative projects

72 Innovation


Insights Lee


For Dr. Newman, innovation is central to success. As a founder of two technology companies in New York City and a former consultant for McKinsey & Company, he developed organizational performance strategies, as well as gaining extensive experience in the design and development of interactive technologies

74 Innovation


HOW OPEN IS IE UNIVERSITY TO NEW IDEAS? Let me give you one example: we launched an Executive Master in Positive Leadership and Strategy, with yoga and mindfulness in it. Today, that makes sense, because mindfulness is on the cover of every magazine, but we launched it in 2010, at a time when very few people in Europe were talking about mindfulness, especially in graduate schools. To be able to clear that through the executive decision-making body of IE University in short order and then get the faculty to launch the program is an indicator of the kind of culture that we have. WHAT ENABLES IE UNIVERSITY TO MOVE SO QUICKLY? It is in part because we are not a huge institution, but it is not entirely because of this. I believe it is because of the culture created by IE Business School. The business school is in our DNA. That has a positive advantage in the sense that business schools are oriented towards the marketplace, and as a result of that, we move fast. I started my first year as a professor and I started my second year as a Dean. In my second, third, and fourth years, we launched three master’s programs. Find me another school that can do that. One of them, in market research and consumer behavior, was the biggest in the world by the second year. We launched degrees that became world-class very quickly. WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE IE SCHOOL OF HUMAN SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY? There are a lot of huge schools all over the world, especially in Europe, the US, and Asia, that have massive government funding to do heavy technology and science. Our focus is not on that. Our focus is on agile technology. A 12-year-old can build an app in two weeks now, launch it and put it on the Android or the Apple Store, and, if they are lucky, make thousands in a month. That is fast, agile technology. Whereas sending rockets into space or engineering batteries that are going to drive the next electric car is heavy stuff. It doesn’t happen overnight. We are focused on the kind of technology that has a super-high return with fast time cycles and low investment. What we are really talking about most is information technology, but it doesn’t have to be. Algorithms cost nothing, but the whole business of Google was built around a new algorithm. The same goes for Uber or Airbnb.

There is no new technology there, but they put technology together in new ways to completely disrupt business. What we are doing is using technology to innovate and disrupt businesses, industries, and create value. We are about assembling and putting together the pieces to disrupt business using technology. The difference between smart technology and not smart technology is behavior. If you look at the most successful start-ups and tech companies in the agile technology world, one of the key ingredients of their success is that they took into account human behavior in the way that they designed their products, their services, and the way that they do business. WHAT IS THE TYPICAL STUDENT PROFILE AT THE SCHOOL? There are unique groups of students. There are certain types of students who come from very strong, career-focused, professional families who want to have a well-paid job when they finish their studies. If we look at what’s happening with the psychographics of the millennials, that group is shrinking. Then there is another group of students who have the idea that they want to change the world. That could be in society or in business, but they are more interested in impact than they are in the money part. We appeal to both of those kinds of students, because to have an innovative mindset is the path towards a successful and wealthy career, and it’s also the path towards social impact. Too much theory and listening to professionals lecture you is a path to neither of those places. HOW DO YOU PROMOTE INNOVATIVE THINKING AT THE SCHOOL? We focus on positive leadership. Positive leadership is positive psychology applied to leadership. Positive leadership is about understanding the conditions I can put in place as a leader in which other people are going to perform at their peak and at their best. Research shows very clearly that when you put in place conditions under which the average day in the life of an employee has more positive than negative emotions, people feel more open-minded and they are more innovative. They see more collaborative opportunities with people rather than conflict. We have courses in positive leadership in the undergraduate program and in our master’s programs, and we teach some of the same components in a more condensed format. We also try to walk our


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“For us, the most important thing is that students get as far beyond theory as possible”

talk, so within our own management team, we have autonomous decision-making, giving people the freedom to move quickly. We have a culture of trying to break rules and innovate. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE YOU HAVE IN MIND WHEN YOU ARE DESIGNING COURSES? For us, the most important thing is that students get as far beyond theory as possible. In fact, I don’t even like the word “theory”. I like conceptual learning, and then application and innovation. You’ve got to learn the concepts because no-one wants to hire someone who is running around and making things up when they don’t have any basis for them. Once you have the foundations, you then move on to understanding how to take the concepts and apply them to something real.

But that’s not innovation, that’s just application. Innovation is going on to create something that has not been created yet. CAN ANY STUDENT LEARN TO INNOVATE? I think people confuse creativity and innovation. There is some evidence that creativity can be learned, but some people are just naturally much more creative than others. Innovation, however, is a mindset that anybody can learn. The concept of design thinking is based on exactly that claim. Design thinking is not for creative people, like artists. Design thinking is for people who aren’t so creative, and it’s a structural process you go through to learn how to break barriers, break the status quo, and do new things. That is different from creativity. Innovation can be a structured process that attempts to invent something new.



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Teresa Artaza is 18 years old and has chosen to study a Dual Degree in Laws and International Relations as the first step toward her goal of either becoming a diplomat or working for an international inter-governmental organization. At IEU, she aims to build the necessary knowledge and the open mind required to seek solutions to the complex problems that are common to many nations

78 Careers


Tomorrow’s leaders The old vertical career ladder has been washed away by a tide of globalization and a new generation’s changing aspirations

Employers know they need graduates with 21st-century skills to cope with the challenges constantly thrown up by a fast-moving technological environment. For their part, many graduates sense there is something out there in the future that they want to put their stamp on. Even if they don’t know what that difference is yet, these millennials want to be in a position to make it. The challenge for an elite university today is to connect corporate anxiety about the shape of the future with the right kind of young talent to seize the initiative in any given sector. Who is going to have the next big idea that turns a whole market on its head? Where is the next Amazon or Google revolution going to strike? Will my company be able to cope with it? Are we going to lead change, or is change going to lead us to our doom? Millennials know their worth in this volatile environment: according to a recent study by Deloitte, 44 percent are looking to leave their current jobs within the next two years; 66 percent give their position no more than five years. While careers advisors note that leading companies are still on the lookout for basic skills, knowledge, and analytical prowess – especially when it comes to big data – there is an increasing emphasis on soft skills. The precise technical demands may

change beyond recognition over the current century; even in traditionally conservative sectors such as engineering and banking, employers are convinced that communication and people skills will be absolutely vital. The 2015 Bloomberg Recruiter Report found that the golden four skills which are least common and most sought-after by today’s employers are strategic thinking, creative problem solving, leadership, and communication skills. The same report saw IE Business School rank an impressive 14th in the world in terms of leadership skills, as well as scoring well in communication. The nature of leadership and communication varies slightly from sector to sector and also in geographical terms. While in North America, the ability to speak in public and be a dynamic communicator is extremely prized, the typically more hierarchical corporate structures of Asia place greater emphasis on inter-personal communication and achieving quiet effectiveness. The death of Mammon? When Goldman Sachs tells its junior investment-banking analysts not to work on Saturdays, this means that something has changed. The emergence of alternative empires in the


Google age has changed how companies view their workers, and how workers view companies. Google has gone out of its way to show the world that happy employees are more creative and productive. And across-the-board OECD data backs up the idea that long hours do not make for higher productivity. The usual suspects are still offering dazzling rewards – a UK survey of 2015 graduates’ starting salaries by London’s High Fliers research group had investment banks top with a median of £40,000, just ahead of banking and finance firms on £36,500 – but it may be that all that glisters is not gold for millennials. It is as if the alluring nature of transformative possibilities provided by new technologies has distracted their attention from the age-old attraction of Mammon. “They want to do something that matters. They want to have an impact on society and other people’s lives,” says Carlos Díez, the Director of IEU’s Career Services and someone who sees close up the way tomorrow’s thought leaders are drifting. It is this changing reality, as well as the competition provided by the tech giants to the Morgan Stanleys and other longstanding corporate icons of this world, which is making companies start to adapt and make room for the rounded individual, as opposed to simply connecting the latest bright spark to their established grid. A top university’s role is therefore to be the vector which seeks out meaningful work for its graduates and provides talent to those who need it most in order to roll with the times. How is IEU faring in such a role? Less than a decade in, it is still early to make a definitive judgment on how IEU graduates rate alongside their peers from other elite institutions in terms of influence and impact on the world. But a start appears to have been made. According to the Times Higher Education rankings, IEU is number one in Spain, number ten in Europe and 27th worldwide in terms of employability. Of leavers who become jobseekers, 92 percent are in work six months after graduation. But perhaps even more encouraging is that many graduates are finding themselves where they most wanted to be, with the A-list of companies where IEU alumni are currently employed including Google, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, Cisco, PwC, Morgan Stanley, Oliver Wyman, Porsche, and many more.

As for other graduates from the class of 2015, 11 percent became entrepreneurs or worked in startups, while 20 percent went straight into a master’s degree. IEU’s plan is to be practical. Learning must be solid, but the aim is to create flexible minds, and not merely masters of a given technique or approach. Law students, for example, are taught plenty of law. But that’s not all; they are encouraged to engage with the subject from the word go and think about how the law can be used. Away from the confines of, say, property or corporate law, students do a course called Law Unplugged from the very first year in which they have to grapple with the ideas behind the jargon in real-life simulations. IEU aims to make sure that all students get real-life workplace experience from the very first year of their degree. Carlos Díez explains that the career service’s approach is to open students’ minds and widen their options in order to home in on a clear professional objective by the time they leave. Yearly placements and internships are arranged through first-class corporate contacts, a positive spin-off from IE Business School’s strong position in its market. Part-time during term time, or full-time over the summer, internships or a workplace lab, where a student might, for example, shadow an employee at a leading firm, are viewed as research by both sides - companies also appreciate getting an early look at the talent of the future and the direction in which these millennials’ thinking is going. According to the 2015 High Fliers report, recruiters now say that 31 percent of entry-level positions go to university leavers who have already worked for their organizations as interns or by doing vacation work. Half of 2015’s batch of graduates did their final placement at banking or consultancy firms, with the other 50 percent choosing a variety of options among NGOs, consumer goods companies, and social impact organizations. For a student whose research and work experience is not helping to define a career path, the career office has time for individual sessions and will seek out mentors in possible areas of interest from the alumni network for a face-to-face meeting or a Skype chat. Even after graduates have technically flown the nest, monthly surveys keep the careers office up to date on their progress. The alumni network also means that IEU students continue to benefit from the contacts established in Madrid and Segovia long after they have gone out into the world.

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Fernando González, HR Executive at international law firm Clifford Chance LLP, which has a long-term relationship with IE University. The firm welcomes individuals with talent who are committed to professional excellence and motivated by intellectual challenges


The view from the other side “What stands out at IE University is the diversity of profiles and the multinational background of its students” Olga Núñez, HR Specialist at Samsung Electronics Iberia

As graduates look to join the job market where they will compete against the brightest minds from around the world, leaving university armed with work experience on top of their degree can help them gain an edge. The vast majority of IE University students participate in an internship program before gaining their degree, and have the opportunity to work internationally, or in international settings, in top companies. Multinational technology conglomerate Samsung is one of those companies. “What stands out especially at IE University is the diversity of profiles and the multinational background of its students. We have had several IEU students who started with us as interns and who are now part of our apprentice program, the objective of which is to develop new talent for our organization,” says Olga Núñez, HR Specialist at Samsung Electronics Iberia. “A key point for us is the enthusiasm that they show right from the first point of contact.” She recalls meeting one student at an IEU employment forum who gained a place as an intern after describing how they had collaborated with Samsung’s public affairs team at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as a brand influencer. Clifford Chance LLP, a multinational law firm headquartered in London and a member of the ‘Magic Circle’ of the UK’s five leading law firms, is another destination for IEU interns. The firm offers students of Spanish law the opportunity to undertake a period of work experience over the summer. These positions are remunerated and last for between five and eight weeks starting in May and July, respectively, with students being assigned to one of the firm’s legal areas. “These internships have always been an effective way to get to know a law firm and decide whether it is a good fit. I always recommend young graduates to do them,” says Fernando González, HR Executive at the firm’s Madrid office. While the companies themselves vary, the core qualities they seek in potential employees are often very similar. “The most important skills a young graduate needs are flexibility, empathy, and adaptability, all of which can make a difference to their professional future,” says Núñez, while for González, qualifications are still important, but so are ambition, resilience, the right attitude, and an enthusiasm to do the job.


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Recruiter insight A report looking at international recruitment practices asked employers around the world how they selected candidates and what their recruitment methods were, with on-campus interviews the most common Most effective recruitment methods

What recruiters look for when selecting candidates

On-campus interviews 80%

92% Proven ability to perform

Recruit from past and current interns 70%

89% Strong oral communication skills

Employee referrals 63%

84% Strong technical and/or quantitative skills

Information sessions or campus presentations 56%

62% History of increased job responsibility

Official partnership with universities 53%

56% Strong writing skills 52% Industry of prior work experience 51% Strong academic success 50% Occupation in prior work experience 49% Years of work experience 48% Relevant language skills 46% History of leading teams 43% Reputation of business school

Disciplines in demand

41% Company of prior work experience 38% Internships

Information Technology 29.2%

33% Professional or employee recommendation

Business & Economics 26.4%

32% Managing people in a formal reporting role

Health/Social Sciences 18.1%

32% Previous leadership recognition/awards

Research Engineering /Earth Sciences 15.3%

31% Specialization/concentration

Other Engineering 11.1%

29% Managing people in an informal role

Mathematics/Statistics 8.3%

26% Global experience

Accounting 6.9%

21% Professional certifications/licenses

Sciences 4.2%

7% Positive social media presence

Sources: 2015 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), 2013 Graduate Outlook Survey of graduate employers

Global corporate hiring outlook Year-on-year hiring projections of bachelor’s graduates around the world 2008-2016 88%








Source: 2016 Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC)






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Marketable skills A survey of 1,320 job recruiters at over 600 companies showed that the skills employers want but struggle to find among candidates include strategic thinking and creative problem-solving Less common

Strategic thinking Creative problem-solving Industry-related work experience

Leadership skills Adaptability

Communication skills

Less desired Initiative/risk-taking

Decision-making Analytical thinking

Global mindset Entrepreneurship Quantitative skills

Motivation/ Drive

Ability to work collaboratively

More common Source: The Bloomberg Recruiter Report: Job skills companies want but can’t get

More desired

84 Careers



Carlos Díez Director of Careers Services at IE University, Carlos Díez draws on his professional background in several global human resources firms in Madrid and London to provide IEU students with the best possible preparation to achieve their career goals in today’s competitive job market

HOW DOES YOUR CURRENT ROLE COMPARE WITH YOUR PREVIOUS WORK IN EXECUTIVE SEARCH FIRMS? The job that I do now with the undergraduates is the same as I did in London with senior executives. It’s a different conversation, a different level, with different expectations and different profiles, but at the end of the day it’s talking about career management. However, the people I worked with when I was a headhunter wanted to go to a company and they wanted to progress within one firm because the market expected that. Students nowadays have totally different expectations. They want to do something that matters. They want to have an impact on society and other people’s lives, and improve the world. WHAT DO EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR IN CANDIDATES? Ten years ago, companies in the market used to look for technical skills, specific experience, and hard skills that they could use from day one. I’ve seen a transition towards soft skills. Companies still look for knowledge of course, and they look for analytical people particularly given the explosion of big data. However, even in the traditionally conservative fields such as banking, there is a shift in focus and the softer skills such as emotional intelligence are now rewarded in the workplace. WHAT DO YOU WORK ON WITH STUDENTS? With the students in the first half of their studies, it is very much about educating them and giving them a vision of different career opportunities. We open their minds to the multitude of career options that are available now as compared

to ten years ago. We provide students with exposure to companies from year one. This means that they understand what it is like to work in the industry so they can make a more educated decision, and they also have an edge. HOW DOES THE METHODOLOGY OF THE UNIVERSITY REPLICATE WHAT LIFE IS GOING TO BE LIKE IN THE PROFESSIONAL WORLD? There is a focus on employability. It’s not just the careers initiative; it’s the whole university. For example, ten years ago technical skills were the main thing to look at when you are considering a candidate. Right now, since the need for soft skills is much higher, we need to include that somehow in the university, so we do that with higher interaction between students. It is not just the classic teacher-led class where you take notes and then have an exam; it’s much more interactive. The good thing is that we were born from IE Business School, so we leverage on the experience of the professors to generate discussions in class, to generate different points of view, and incentivize brainstorms. Having so many different nationalities in the class is also definitely a good way to generate that discussion and bring in different points of view, and the fact that they can go on exchanges everywhere gives them that advantage in the business world. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR ROLE? What I am enjoying most is the fact that you can have a bigger impact on the students than on senior executives in London. They are beginning their professional lives, so the advice, experiences, and insight you give them is going to change at least their initial career path. We have the resources and the support of the university to make a positive impact.

disruptive technologies

The future of law The digital revolution has changed the way we work, relate to each other and learn. A new generation of lawyers is looking at the profession in a different light—through the lens of technology that they have grown up with. How can legal training keep up in a fast-changing world?

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The emerging digital economy throws up a multitude of central legal challenges

“Move fast and break things.” As Facebook’s early motto becomes a mantra for startups and innovative firms around the world, the legal profession is scrambling to keep up. Take Uber for example. An entirely unheard-of concept until recently, the ride-hailing app has disrupted the entire taxi industry, growing rapidly from scratch to a reported valuation of over $60 billion, and facing legal issues in each of the 60 countries in which it operates – sometimes differing from city to city within the same jurisdiction. Is the company a tech platform or a transportation company? Are its drivers independent contractors or employees? Navigating these legal and regulatory issues across national borders and different legal systems is certainly not for the fainthearted, and requires an ability to take both a hyper-local and transnational perspective. The emerging digital economy throws up a multitude of central legal challenges. How does anti-money laundering and counterterrorist financing legislation apply to cryptocurrencies? What does distributed ledger technology mean for contract law? How can copyright law be applied to digital content without stifling the beneficial use of works? And, perhaps most importantly, is it possible to maneuver within the international legislative framework to enable the use of innovative technologies, applications, and business models of digital business? It is not just the application of law which is being transformed, but the practice in and of itself. The legal profession, although renowned for its conservatism, is beginning to adopt new technologies. Change is already upon us: AmLaw 100 law firm BakerHostetler recently announced it would use ROSS, an artificial intelligence legal research product created by ROSS Intelligence. “Emerging technologies like cognitive computing and other forms of machine learning can help enhance the services we deliver to our clients,” says Bob Craig, the law firm’s chief information officer. Built upon Watson, IBM’s cognitive computer, ROSS uses

cognitive computing and natural language-processing capabilities so that lawyers can ask it their research question in natural language, as they would a person. ROSS then reads through the law, gathers evidence, draws inferences, and returns evidence-based candidate answers. It also monitors the law around the clock to notify users of new court decisions that can affect a case. The program continually learns from the lawyers who use it to bring back better results each time. In Civilisation 2030: The near future for law firms, British legal management consultancy Jomati Consultants predicts that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate legal practice within 15 years, automating the work of associates. It also points to demographic shifts influencing the nature of lawyers’ work, highlighting that an ageing population means more advice needed by healthcare and specialist construction companies on the building and financing of hospitals, and on pension investment businesses, as well more age-related litigation and intellectual property battles between pharmaceutical companies. Meanwhile, a recent study by McKinsey & Co estimates that 23 percent of lawyer time is automatable. Can AI be used to free up lawyers from the drudgery of tasks that can be performed by robots, such as poring over documents collected during discovery, allowing them more time for interesting work? Harnessing technological advances does not just provide opportunities to make legal practice easier. It also creates possibilities to expand or even democratize the practice of law. Websites such as LegalZoom, which offers online legal services including company formations and divorce documents, are part of a wave of legal tech startups beginning to disrupt the traditionally conservative legal market. Its co-founder, Eddie Hartman, a Wharton-trained MBA, Yale lecturer, and legal-tech innovator, has recently advocated for greater involvement of non-lawyers − or, at the very least, lawyers with the mindset of businesspeople, technologists, and managers −

IEU’s Laws students receive a multifaceted education with an individual approach

90 Disruptive technologies

IEU students attend a LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) event





Disruptive technologies 91

The latest generation of law students demand an innovative approach to their learning experience

in the profession in order to drive the level of competition, experimentation, and change seen in other sectors of the global economy. But this isn’t without its issues, as Christine Duhaime explains. A financial crime lawyer and founder of the Digital Finance Institute, she cautions that the heavy regulation of legal practice – so necessary for consumer protection – may also stifle progress. “The issue that we are facing, more than anything, is that we are about to have a massive clash between tech and law. The profession will end up stuck in the middle if it doesn’t move quickly to deal with the advancement of new technology.” For her, change needs to come from law schools themselves, who are uniquely positioned to influence the development of the profession. “In order to create the best law graduates, we need to use technology, and we need to help students understand that the practice of law is not just going to be based on the thousands of books in the law library; it’s going to be online and it’s going to be about different ways of doing things.” The latest generation of law students are demanding this kind of approach to their learning experience. They understand that within a new global, complex, and multi-disciplinary legal marketplace, successful lawyers must also be creative, able to natively handle technology and social media, and communicate on a variety of platforms. As such, it is increasingly normal for them to seek legal training which matches the reality in which they will eventually practice. “The legal profession is radically different compared to ten to fifteen years ago and I expect to see significant change over the next decade. Technology, employee expectations, changing client demands and other external factors have altered the nature of jobs and skills and will keep altering it. We need to recruit lawyers with skills and behaviors different from those required today,” says Fernando González, HR Executive at Clifford Chance LLP, which partners with IEU to provide internship opportunities to law students. A combination of essential training and interactive learning, the internships are designed to develop key skills and working practices.

As well as bringing legal practice to life for students, law schools need to ensure that there is opportunity for innovation, technology, and flexibility in course delivery methods. LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) is one such opportunity. A project founded in Miami Law School by Harvard Professor Michele DeStephano, it is a part-virtual global collaborator of 750+ change agents dedicated to changing the way lawyers and business professionals partner to solve problems. Its aim is to create a global, trans-disciplinary think-tank around technology, innovation, and law, and it allows students from top law schools such as IEU, Stanford, Harvard Sciences Po, McGill, and several other universities to subscribe to a three-month online course taught by today’s most prestigious law, entrepreneur, and academic mentors. There are also kick-off events, such as the two-day intensive program held at IEU’s Madrid campus in January 2016, where students are challenged to create “projects of worth”. This year, IEU attendees came up with ideas as varied as a legal startup called CourtUniformITy, which solves the lack of legal technology uniformity between different courthouses; Caspecto, which uses revolutionary cognitive computing technology to calculate whether or not an individual should pursue a legal case, by comparing and contrasting the variables of their particular case to the outcomes produced in practice by the legal system; and an online platform which links transitioning lawyers who have led long and successful careers in big law firms and startups on a low budget in need of legal advice. For lawyers today, legal practice is no longer about reacting to new clients as they come to you. The future of law means being part of the growing changes in society, applying legal knowledge to the challenges that spring up, and creating solutions to problems no-one could have imagined just a few years ago. It is only thus that the legal profession can move with the times and be more synchronized with the very society it exists to serve.

92 Law





Legal practice does not stand still and nor does the Director of IE University’s Bachelor of Laws. Here she explains why her innovative, hands-on approach is the way forward to prepare the legal minds of the future

Law 93

94 Law


“We were the first to launch such an ambitious program in terms of international focus”

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? I spend time talking to our professors and to our students to gain a deep and sincere understanding of their issues, difficulties and goals. For students, these issues could be around how to access the profession in their jurisdiction, where they should go on exchange, or which elective course they should take. For professors, it could be around finding teaching materials in their area, how they can create a more active course, what kind of challenge or contest we can create for their students, or how we can involve students from both campuses in Madrid and Segovia. I also spend time looking at other academic institutions to identify trends. It’s not so much about the competition, but for example, we took a risk when we launched the law program. We were the first to launch such an ambitious program in terms of international focus, so we are happy to see that other universities are doing something similar now. We absolutely consider ourselves pioneers, but there are other universities in Europe who are doing very interesting things and adding international elements and experiences to their programs too. I also spend time looking at the legal market and at what the law professionals in the legal field are doing, who the leaders are, who the relevant players are, and what are they looking for. This constant research and contact with the legal industry is very important for us to keep shaping and updating our program based on true market needs. WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LAW UNPLUGGED COURSE? Law Unplugged is a course on lawyering and legal skills. It is

a very innovative and different course which represents the personality of the Bachelor of Laws at IE University. It runs from year one to year three, and the objective is to bring legal practice to life for students. We want students to understand what it means to work as a lawyer, think as a lawyer, interview a client as a lawyer, or write for a client as a lawyer. This course runs at the same time as all of the other technical and legal courses, so students take civil law, commercial law, labor law, and Law Unplugged simultaneously. CAN YOU PROVIDE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW YOU BRING LEGAL PRACTICE TO LIFE IN THE LAW UNPLUGGED COURSE? My students are now preparing to do a simulation of a negotiation of a contract in the Madrid office of Jones Day. Some of them will act as buyers, and some of them will act as sellers. It is the first time they will be working on such a long and complex contract, and they not only have to focus on the legal issues, but also on the way that they talk to their clients, on the way that they negotiate, and on the way that they work among themselves and organize their teams. They will be put in a situation where they have to deal with real-life problems and issues, and they will find that soft skills are actually hard. It is always good to have some pressure, in order to get the best out of students. Our university and our programs are very challenging and very demanding. We want to get the best out of the students, and to do that, we need to push them sometimes. ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO DO THESE KINDS OF SIMULATIONS WITH OTHER LAW FIRMS? The IE Law School has very tight connections with the le-


“The class is structured in such a way that it is impossible for students not to participate actively”

gal profession. We work with many of the top Spanish and top international law firms around the world. As well as with Jones Day, we do the same kind of simulation with Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, and White & Case. We have very stable and long-term relationships with all of these firms. WHAT DO EMPLOYERS WANT FROM LAW GRADUATES? What law firms appreciate from our students is a deep and serious understanding of legal problems. Critical thinking and work capacity, which are the traditional values that you look for in a lawyer, are still very relevant. But firms now also appreciate students like ours who speak three languages, who have been able to study law and business at the same time, who have experience in public speaking and teamwork, who have been leaders in their debate club, and who have represented the university abroad, and I believe this is what makes the difference. There are very few universities which give this kind of training. IS THE DEGREE COURSE THEREFORE ORIENTED TOWARDS FINDING JOBS FOR STUDENTS? Our approach is not just about finding jobs for students, but it is very focused on the legal practice because of our connection with the IE Business School and our connection with the legal profession in Spain and internationally. We want them to have the best training and the best preparation when the time comes for them to join the professional market. We believe that the training we provide will help our students move faster into a legal career. HOW DO YOU ENSURE TEACHING METHOD-

OLOGY KEEPS UP WITH THE INCREASINGLY INTERNATIONAL PRACTICE OF LAW? Because all of the jurisdictions in Europe are civil law jurisdictions, law has been taught for many years in a very traditional and conservative way, based on students learning the law and listening to lectures. The very opposite is the teaching methodology in the US, which is based on the case method, where students read cases and debate them in class. At IE University, we try to use that active teaching methodology to teach civil law. It is not that the professor is saying things and the students are copying. Students have to prepare before they come to class, and they have to participate in class. The class is structured in such a way that there is a debate, there is a simulation, and there is a moot court where each student has a role to play. It is impossible for students not to participate in an active way. What makes our program special is the methodology, together with the focus, because on the one side we have this active methodology, and on the other side we have this focus on the legal practice rather than on research or academics. We use active methodology to prepare students for a career in legal practice. We train students to have an open mind. They have to excel in the practice of law and we want them to be able not only to understand law, but to be able to give real solutions to legal problems. But this is not possible if we only teach them law. We need to teach them in other areas. Some of these other areas are mandatory, because they are a complement to the legal course, such as accounting, economics, and management. But further than this, they have to take courses in humanities. They also have the opportunity of signing up for seminars, workshops, and electives in architecture, psychology, communication, and other areas that are not directly linked to law.

Law 95

96 Law


Legal practice makes perfect

Hanna Jelezovskaia “It is fascinating to have the opportunity to get out there in the real world and see a legal scenario that you studied at university”

Hanna Jelezovskaia’s explanation of how a month-long placement at top law firm Uría Menéndez in Madrid has opened her eyes to the realities of legal practice underlines the importance of internships, and why workplace experience forms an integral part of the IE University experience. Jelezovskaia gives the example of a transfer of undertakings, which, students like her learn, is a labor law concept designed to protect employees’ rights when their company is taken over by another. “Then you actually practice and have a case where the transfer of a parking slot can give rise to that situation.” Originally from Belarus, Hanna’s family moved to Mallorca, Spain, when she was 14. She speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Russian, is busy learning French, and describes herself as a passionate legal student, now in her third year at IE University in Madrid. “I am going to practice, and I have always loved labor law. Now that I have done the month’s placement at Uría Menéndez, I am even more sure about that.” Founded in the 1940s, Uría Menéndez is one of the most prestigious law firms in Spain, having expanded into international markets to the point that it now has over 500 lawyers operating in 17 offices located in financial centers across Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The firm has recently sealed deals with local practices to enter new markets in Chile, Colombia, and Peru, with Mexico next up as part of a major expansion plan in Latin America.

Hanna standing by the office building of law firm UrĂ­a MenĂŠndez in central Madrid

98 Law


Uría Menéndez constantly employs a high number of interns who occupy positions according to their preferences. Hanna works in the labor law department

Uría Menéndez has a longstanding relationship with IEU, and Jelezovskaia came into contact with the firm at IE University’s placement fair at the start of the year. “I liked their attitude and of course I had heard a lot about Uría Menéndez because it is a top-level firm.” Before gaining the placement, Jelezovskaia had to pass written tests and an interview. Now, as company partner Sergio Ponce explains, the firm is reaping the rewards of getting the first look at a potential star of the future. “We ensure that the student’s experience is as ‘real’ as possible, although of course we supervise them in their tasks, as we are not talking about a qualified lawyer yet,” Ponce explains. “We ask them to study legal issues and look at precedents as we prepare a case, but we don’t want it to be too monotonous, either, so we make sure that the student attends training sessions in which lawyers talk about experiences they have learned from.” Ponce stresses that the firm stays in touch with the student after the placement has finished. “We value the fact that we have been able to get to know a potential future lawyer. We have seen how she

has got on with the work and what she likes doing, so it’s clear that Hanna has a chance of coming back here one day.” He adds that the IEU students he has come into contact with have shown themselves to be adaptable, competent, multilingual, and very diverse – all qualities valued by the firm. Whatever her professional future may hold, Jelezovskaia is enthusiastic about her experience at Uría Menéndez. “If you like studying the basis of law, then building upon it is a great pleasure.” But 21-year-old Hanna also has a young life to lead beyond the contents of close-printed legal tomes, and she appreciates Madrid’s varied cultural offering. “For art fanatics like me, here you have vast possibilities to discover diverse collections in great museums and galleries.” Jelezovskaia also loves the way Madrid, while bustling, never feels overcrowded. “It totally lacks the crazy metropolitan lifestyle that most people associate with capital cities.” She finds there is an abundance of great restaurants, cinemas, shops, and a vibrant live music scene, making Madrid “highly enriching, but not excessively overwhelming.”


Law 99

Hanna with Sergio Ponce during a meeting

HANDS ON: CASE STUDIES The opportunity to use real-world perspectives to implement topics covered in the classroom is a major pillar of IE University’s unique approach to learning. The following case studies present just some examples of IEU students’ impact on the world around them

Case studies 103



1. Participants at the inaugural LEAP conference 2. Sofia Benjumea, the head of Google Campus in Madrid 3. LEAP general manager María Paula Botero (far right) with the LEAP team 4. Food-sustainability entrepreneur Edward Silva



Startup success

Students host inspirational event The inaugural LEAP Conference, held in Segovia in April, featured speakers including Sofia Benjumea, the head of Google Campus in Madrid, and food-sustainability entrepreneur Edward Silva. Not bad for a startup run by six IEU students who wish to bring the inspiration of “breakthrough experiences” closer to their peers and the public at large. LEAP, which plans to extend to bigger and better things in the future starting with a second conference in the fall, showcases the confidence-giving platform IEU provides to students who wish to take their knowledge out of the classroom in search of real-world achievements. The LEAP team went out and got support in the business community, citing CaixaBank among their sponsors alongside local Segovia businesses who helped the kick-off event get off the ground. “If you are passionate about what you are doing, you will be able to have your own breakthrough experience. We all have the opportunity to leave a path everywhere we go and go beyond the status quo,” says LEAP general manager and Colombian Psychology undergraduate María Paula Botero.

Making that leap

104 Case studies


1. José Piquer, Executive Director of the Bachelor in International Relations 2. Students work in teams at a simulated EU summit 3. Participants, who were guided through the day by the EU Commission’s political counselor in Spain, Jochen Müller



Case studies 105

International relations

Crisis talks on campus

IEU students participate in a simulated EU summit on the migration emergency There is no greater challenge facing the European Union today than the migration crisis as thousands of refugees fleeing war in Syria and conflicts elsewhere make desperate journeys to the bloc’s southern shores on a daily basis. And there is no better way of understanding an issue than having to tackle it personally. So was the thinking behind a simulation exercise earlier this year at IEU’s Segovia campus in which students had to negotiate a deal on how to tackle the crisis, based on the September 2015 EU talks on the resettling of 120,000 migrants “in clear need of international protection” after arriving in Greece and Italy. José Piquer, the Executive Director of the Bachelor in International Relations, described the first simulation of this kind IEU had organized as a “unique way to understand the European decision-making process”. As well as boosting students’ knowledge of complex legal situations and how institutions operate, they also honed their negotiating, problem-solving, public speaking and presentation skills – and all in the presence of the EU Commission’s political counselor in Spain, Jochen Müller. Müller, who guided students throughout the day, helped create “a flavor of European negotiation which is as close as possible to real life”. After a three-hour theory-and-debate session, in which students critically discussed the functioning of EU institutions, it was time to

move on to the simulation proper. Split into teams of four or five, the students found themselves assigned an individual role according to the objectives laid out in the briefing, be they members of the Dutch EU Council presidency, a member state delegation such as Italy or Greece, or from the potentially hostile media corps. “Once they had a deal, getting them out there in front of the cameras to defend an agreement which was not ideal was perhaps the best part of it, really taking them out of their comfort zone,” said Piquer of the grilling that took place in the communications department’s TV studio. “Instead of sitting and only hearing about all these different situations around the world, we get to apply it in real life. We can get a window into the world of the European Union,” said participant Karan Khosla, currently doing a Dual Degree in Business Administration and International Relations. He highlighted the need for teamwork skills, “not just to work with your team, but also members of the other team to try to reach a deal.” Iris Tschank, an International Relations undergraduate, agreed that the hands-on experience was a rewarding bonus for students. “It’s good to know the theory, but in the end it comes down to having this kind of discussion, meeting different people and coming up with solutions to problems like this one which is so important, the refugee crisis. We have to come prepared to say what we really think but also be open-minded to listen to people from different cultures.”


IEU Labs

The university’s innovative Labs program offers students unlimited opportunities to develop their skills IEU’s unique and innovative Labs program for students was launched seven years ago when staff members such as Isabel Sánchez noticed that companies were sometimes reticent about offering internships to first- and second-year students, preferring the pick of a more mature crop. Sánchez, the Vice-rector of IE University and Director of the IEU Labs, realized that IEU would have to find its own way to ensure that students got practical experience from their very first year. The Labs give students a genuine taste of work as members of a consultancy team in the sector of their choice, from design to finance. Already, various Labs have had real-world successes, providing solutions for clients including Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza museum and the investment bank Arcano. Admissions staff say the Labs program is something that new students show an interest in, and they are invited to the Labs Fair as soon as they arrive so that they can apply. The work begins in the second semester, starting with planning meetings for the teams of around eight, before the assignment kicks off in earnest after exams are out of the way from midMay through June. Lab groups are led by university teachers and sometimes third- or fourth-year students

A unique experiment in professional reality

Case studies 107

1. Students take part in a Lab 2. Lab groups are led by university teachers and sometimes third- or fourth-year students 3. Isabel Sánchez, Vice-rector of IE University and Director of IEU Labs


who wish to remain involved, but the key motivation is that there is a real client demanding results. Even if that client is sometimes an internal one, a university department or even another Lab team, this is no soft alternative to a job placement. “We are demanding clients,” Sánchez says gravely. The companies and NGOs who hire a Lab have everything to win. They only need to spend a little time, and no money, on presenting their needs to the team. Then they can sit back and watch bright young minds tussle with a problem they may not have solved themselves. So it was with the Thyssen, which asked the Communications Lab to help attract young people to the museum. The team came up with a Pinterest social media profile for the institution which remains in use. The Law Lab, known as the Legal Clinic, helps NGOs and law firms by doing a lot of the difficult research legwork, while the Finance Lab looks into firms’ medium-term investment plans, seeking clues and pitfalls littering the way forward. The International Relations Lab can produce country risk reports, as used by the Spain-based auto parts maker Gestamp before it launched an internationalization drive. Segovia City Hall has also become a client, tasking the Design Lab with improving and promoting the restoration and landscaping of the neglected northern end of the old town. The Start-Up Lab is something of an exception in that there is no client. Typically, teams work on projects which emerge from IEU’s Business Plan Challenge for all first-year students. A shining recent example is Pich, a tech firm which uses banking sector infrastructure to provide any company or developer with easy access to financial data, and which is now well on its way to international success.


108 Case studies

IEU student Sofya Abramchuk

imPACKt Farm

imPACKt Farm’s innovative hydroponic system

“How do we feed the world’s projected population of nine billion people by 2050?” This was the question posed to IEU students participating in the 2015 Thought For Food Challenge, an annual competition to catalyze university students from all fields of study to learn more about the complex challenges surrounding food security. imPACKt Farm, co-founded by IEU student Sofya Abramchuk, may well have the answer. Like any brilliant solution, imPACKt Farm’s is simple: easy-to-assemble, flat-packed mini-farms which can be rapidly deployed anywhere, from post-disaster scenarios to schools, providing food security and kick-starting hyper-local agriculture. Using aquaponics, a disruptive agriculture technique which allows people with no prior farming experience to grow food anywhere, imPACKt Farm hopes to tackle two major global issues: lack of food security in the developing world, and lack of access to nutritious, fresh food in parts of the developed world. The main challenge is getting the solution to scale, which, as Abramchuk explains, took some trial and error. “Our main focus was around vertical farming. We pitched the idea to IEU and they supported it. They gave us space for our greenhouse, and we started with different systems growing different vegetables like cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, and broccoli,” says Abramchuk. But not everything went smoothly at first: “Because winter is cold in Segovia, everything just died!” The team went on to develop flat-pack towers in which to grow food. These are 3D printed at present, although plans are underway for mass production. The eventual aim is to create a platform for customized systems which can be created according to the varying needs of people around the globe. “In the future, we have bigger plans to make this system a common thing to have in the developed world and in the developing world,” she says. Abramchuk, who describes herself as an architect, artist, innovator, sustainability promoter, and technology ambassador, studies Business Administration in order to support her entrepreneurial focus. She contrasts her upbringing in Russia, where there was little opportunity for young people to have much impact on the world, to her current environment, where she feels inspired to make a difference. Currently, her focus is on finding testers for the imPACKt Farm system, although she also has other disruptive ideas in the pipeline, including the development of a customizable digital music platform.

Feeding the world

Case studies 109

Elena San Deogracias outside the UN in New York

International relations

The United Nations headquarters

IEU interns go to the United Nations headquarters in New York Last October, Spain was elected to occupy a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-2016 term. To mark the occasion, the Spanish ministry of foreign affairs gave ten Spanish students the opportunity to travel to New York and work as interns at the permanent mission of Spain at the United Nations. Four of the ten selected come from IEU’s Bachelor in International Relations: Celia de la Hoz, Claudia Ochoa, Elena San Deogracias, and Marco Pastor, who will join the mission in September when he returns from an exchange in Paris. “As a recent graduate of International Relations, I could not have found anything more appropriate than this internship to see how the biggest international organization works,” says San Deogracias. For Ochoa, the most surprising aspect of this experience has been the opportunity she has been given to attend meetings that will become history and will be studied by International Relations students for years to come. “This experience has allowed me to take a critical look at the UN from within,” she adds. “I have realized the large potential that this organization has, yet the failure of the current format of the UN and Security Council to overcome certain issues.” While you’d be forgiven for thinking that spending your days rubbing shoulders with diplomats at the UN in New York would be somewhat intimidating, De la Hoz says that she felt quite well-prepared for the experience. “The quality of learning we had at IEU was outstanding, making it possible to follow high-level political meetings with no difficulty at all in terms of concepts and notions of public international law or in peacekeeping operations. All the subjects taken at IEU were fundamental in order for me to make an impact here and apply all the knowledge obtained.” In their spare time, the interns are making sure they make the most out of their time in the cultural capital of the world, soaking up the atmosphere and living like native New Yorkers. As for their future plans, all say that this internship will, without doubt, open doors to a potential diplomatic career. As De la Hoz puts it: “I have always considered myself a change-maker. Having the opportunity of interning at the UN is a great step for starting a career in foreign relations.”

An inside look at the UN Security Council

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Published in 2016

This material has been prepared for general informational purposes only. Some information has been compiled by third party sources that we consider to be reliable. However, we do not guarantee and are not responsible for the accuracy of such. The views of third parties set out in this publication are not necessarily the views of IE University and they should be seen in the context of the time they were made.

It reclaims the domain of the universal, in which ideas are forged in the collective mill of the mind as weapons of mass illumination with the power to disrupt conventional wisdom


Beyond the Deep Blue IE University  
Beyond the Deep Blue IE University  

In the era of globalization and electronic revolution, a new model of university is needed. IE University was born in the 21st century along...