Laura Milà Tugues, IBEI Alumni 2017-18
1. Why did you choose IBEI Master’s?
I knew I wanted to study a Masters in International Relations after graduating. I finally chose IBEI because I was attracted by the international academic faculty, the high number of elective courses to choose from and the internship options.
2. What is your experience at IBEI?
I remember my experience at IBEI to be incredibly enriching, intense and fun. We had this mix of engaging discussions at class where everyone shared their insights and expertise, but at the same time I remember working a lot in papers, presentations and group assignments that required a lot of preparation and group meetings. But the most rewarding aspect was undoubtedly the friendships you make along the way. Spending long hours together in the library for study sessions was just one part of it; we also shared memorable moments at parties, hangouts, and trips. The year was intense, but it left me very good memories and lifelong friends.
3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI
After graduating I started an internship at the same company I am working now, doing mainly Business Development for EU institutions. After some months I got hired in the team responsible of managing international development projects for multilateral organizations, including INTPA, EBRD, UN, EIB. I started doing business development in the sector and now I am the Project Manager of projects funded by INTPA, ECHO, EIB on green cities, gender, and humanitarian action.
4. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?
The masters provided me with the analytical skills and research tools that I am using now in my work with international donors. It also provided me with a deep knowledge about the EU functioning, which is very useful now to navigate the complex structure of the EU institutions and their work with other multilateral donors.
Additionally, studying and working with people from different countries and cultures has helped me now in addressing cultural differences and ways of communication with partners and other colleagues. Moreover, the emphasis on fostering teamwork during the Masters program has proven to be an invaluable asset in my work as Project Manager.
5. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?
In this field, it's wise to keep expectations in check due to its high level of competitiveness. I envisioned myself working for a big international organization, naively believing I could make a significant impact. However, the positive thing is that eventually I found a position that allows me to work with big international organizations but from the private sector, which provides you with a different perspective and still gives you the opportunity to be engaged in their projects and initiatives.
6. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?
The advice I wanted to receive during my masters is to engage in as much activities as possible. They can be a very good opportunity to discover what you like, and what you don’t and find fields of work you haven’t thought of. Also, it is a great opportunity to broaden your professional network and any activity can become valuable experience to add to your CV.
Moreover, I'd advise being selective and targeted when choosing elective courses, as they can play a crucial role in shaping your professional opportunities.
7. What do you miss most about IBEI?
I miss the fact that every day it doesn’t matter the hour, you could just hang out with someone, in between classes, or after them.