Luoyi Zhou, IBEI alumni 2016-17
Name and Last Name: Luoyi Zhou
Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations
Current working company, position and city: Communication Specialist, World Health Organization, Beijing (China).
1. Why did you choose IBEI Master’s?
While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in China, I was lucky enough to spend a year abroad in Barcelona. Like many else, I fell in love with this city and decided to come back for my master’s. Having in mind that I wanted to further explore the social, political, and economic domains of international relation, I was attracted by the variety of courses that IBEI offered both in English and Spanish, and I also felt that, as an inter-university, it had access to the resources pooled together by all five public universities in the Barcelona. As well, I also liked the professor/student ratio which would allow you to develop closer relationships with your classmates and professors.
2. What is your experience at IBEI?
My time at IBEI was intense yet rewarding. I had already worked full-time for two years prior to studying at IBEI, so going back to school with such a heavy study load was quite a challenge at the beginning. But it was also a great sense of achievement when thinking how much you could work on and learn just within one year. Plus, I enjoyed studying with students from all over the world who always inspired me with different perspectives.
3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI
Thanks to an exchange opportunity that IBEI offered, I spent my third semester studying abroad at Université de Montréal while doing my thesis on Canada’s language policy. I then took part in a 6-month internship at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. Now I work at the World Health Organization (Beijing, China) as a communication specialist.
4. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?
The master programme equipped me with both theoretical and methodological knowledge that is essential to the realm of international relations. It also prepared me to work in a multicultural setting.
5. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?
6. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?
My advice would be – prepare for your career earlier. Working in international organizations can be very competitive, even for internships/entry-level positions previous experience can be crucial sometimes. So, take courses in the area that you want to work in, do more coursework, undertake more research, and volunteer!
7. What do you miss most about IBEI?
I miss IBEI’s international and intellectual environment where you can have open discussions around international relations/ social issues almost every day.