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Ada Mullol, IBEI alumni 2013-2015

Name and Last Name: Ada Mullol

Nationality: Catalan

Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations

Class: 2013-2015

Current working company, position and city: Freelance Journalist and Coordinator of a publication on the MENA region, Barcelona.

1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s in International Relations?

In addition to my passion for writing and communicating, I had always been interested in politics and International Relations, so after I graduated in Journalism I decided to specialize in this area through the Master’s in International Relations at IBEI. The most important reason I chose to study at IBEI was the great team of experts that were teaching courses in it.

2. What is your experience at IBEI? 

I had a great experience at IBEI. I learned much from great professors about a variety of issues, from International Relations to economics, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and I also had a first academic introduction to the Arab world – which is now my field of expertise.

During the Master’s I also wrote a thesis, which was an enriching experience and provided me with some useful tools for academic research. I was able to expand these skills, right after I defended my thesis, through an internship in a think tank’s department specialized in the Arab world.

Towards the end of the Master, I had the chance to do a semester exchange in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to all the courses and the language learning I did during that semester, I had the opportunity to get a first-hand insight of the Turkish society and the political developments taking place in a Middle Eastern country. 

3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI

After graduating from IBEI, I decided to continue my academic formation and to specialize in the political developments, the International Relations and the society of the Arab world. In order to do so, I have been studying the Master’s of Arts in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, in Washington D.C., during the last couple of years. I just came back to Barcelona, but I will keep traveling to the United States in the coming months as I will be participating in the Muslim Women and the Media Training Institute.

4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?

I am a freelance journalist, and I have published articles in Catalan and international media covering political and social issues at large, as well as articles focused on the Muslim communities both in Europe and in the United States.

Earlier this year I was awarded an internationally recognized reporting fellowship by the United Nations Foundation and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), “The world in 2030”. As a result of this training, I had the chance to cover journalistically the situation of Muslim women in the US and publish online a couple of articles on this issue.

I just came back from the US, and I am currently working as a Coordinator of a new publication on the MENA region. In addition, a few weeks ago I was accepted to participate in the Muslim Women and the Media Training Institute, a program in the US focused on the accurate representation of Islamic cultures and Muslim women in media, which will take place in Davis, California, and New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2019.

5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now? 

The Master’s at IBEI provided me with a broad perspective on International Relations, as well as the resources to analyze political and economic developments and security issues that take place all over the world. In my case, the programme was a first contact with the field of academia, a knowledge that later on I applied during my specialization in the Arab world.

6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?

Yes! I had as a professional goal to write and publish articles about international politics and the developments taking place in the Middle East and North Africa, which I am currently doing. I look forward to keep collaborating and working with media outlets and think tanks specialized in this region, and to continue doing research on all these issues – I would love to keep traveling too!

7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students? 

My advice to all prospective IBEI students would be: take the Master’s really seriously and give the best of yourselves in every assignment and project – it is always worth it, and you will learn a great deal, even about the most unexpected topics that maybe were not among your main interests when you were thinking of studying at IBEI.

Also, I would recommend you to write a Master’s thesis, as you will learn much about the world of academia by doing that research, from collecting remarkable sources to analyzing all the data and making your findings attractive for the – hopefully large, if you publish it later on – audience.

8. What do you miss most about the IBEI? 

I miss some of the classes that I really enjoyed, such as the course on Mediterranean and Arab World Studies and the one on European Foreign Policy, given the professors’ ability to explain these topics as well as the debates that were created. I also miss my classmates, and the conversations we used to have about the world between the classes. However, we are still in touch and we meet from time to time – we end up recalling anecdotes from those times every single time!