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Alumni Professional Stories

  • Austin Ruckstuhl

    Austin Ruckstuhl

    IBEI Alumni 2015-16, Meta (formerly Facebook), Messenger Policy Manager, Remote (USA).

    "The program taught me how to think through formal theoretical approaches and conduct rigorous research, which I still use today. I also learned how to think deeply about complex issues while considering diverse perspectives. It also opened doors for me that I had previously not been able to access. The year before IBEI, I was managing a restaurant in Los Angeles. Now I work on one of the largest Tech Policy teams in the world."

  • Susana Gonzalez Ruiz

    Susana Gonzalez Ruiz

    IBEI Alumni 2004-05, Director of Knowledge & Foresight, AMEC.

    "After having studied Sociology, I realized that what really appealed to me was the difference among different cultures and societies. The IBEI Master's in International Relations offered me a wide approach to this from economics, politics, culture, and law. Apart from learning all these different aspects of international relations, I’d like to highlight the experience of working with students from many other countries and learning from teachers who are experts in their respective fields."

  • João Lobo

    João Lobo

    IBEI alumni 2008-10 (part-time), Project Analyst, Union for the Mediterranean (Barcelona)

    "At 40 years old I arrived at Barcelona wanting to make a radical change in my personal and professional career. I was looking for a wide-open programme. Since I was a kid, I had been passionate about international relations. IBEI programme’s curriculum seemed fascinating, and the part-time option looked perfect, as I had a part-time job at the time. It gave me a proper framework to work on international relations’ matters. Furthermore, courses such as those on Euro-Mediterranean Relations and European Policies, in particular, were very much related with what I am currently doing." 

  • Rebekah Quixano Henriques

    Rebekah Quixano Henriques

    IBEI alumni 2020-21, Communications and Engagement Coordinator at Tzedek (UK) & International Events Assistant at bon’t worry (Italy/remote).

    "The professors I had always seemed open to debate and appreciated input. They were demanding but also understanding. The support provided by my personal tutor(s) were exceptional. On the whole, they did their best to make their classes engaging and up-to-date. The courses I took gave me the vital knowledge needed to teach young people about topics of social justice. The capacity approach, Colonialism, Development models, writing proposal forms, migration, poverty, sustainability, governance and GDP are now all topics I can confidently discuss."

  • Ana María Arbeláez Trujillo

    Ana María Arbeláez Trujillo

    IBEI alumni 2017-18, Phd Researcher Riverhood Project, Wageningen University (Netherlands)

    "I believe that academia must actively engage with the grand societal challenges of our times. Therefore, I want my academic work to contribute to a fairer society. The Mundus MAPP Program offers a unique blend of critical theory and practical skills that are key to heading in that direction. IBEI is a unique place to share and exchange ideas. I have very good memories of our debates in and after class. People from our cohort were very active and promoted exciting initiatives such as the Argus Magazine."

  • Luoyi Zhou

    Luoyi Zhou

    IBEI alumni 2016-17, Communication Specialist, World Health Organization, Beijing (China). 

    "My time at IBEI was intense yet rewarding. It was also a great sense of achievement when thinking how much you could work on and learn just within one year. 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. Plus, I enjoyed studying with students from all over the world who always inspired me with different perspectives. As well, I also liked the professor/student ratio which would allow you to develop closer relationships with your classmates and professors."

  • Camila Aviña Zavala

    Camila Aviña Zavala

    IBEI alumni 2005-06, Member of the Mexican Foreign Service. Deputy Director General for Development, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mexico).

    "Being a Diplomat has been a challenging but rewarding experience. Not only have I been able to apply my knowledge, but I keep learning from every country and every duty I’ve been assigned. IBEI taught me a lot about adaptation to multicultural environments, respecting the diversity of opinions and perspectives on issues on the international agenda. All these tools have been very useful to me, not only to join the Foreign Service, but to live and work in different countries. Being awarded the Carolina Scholarship to study at IBEI was one of the worthiest opportunities in my life."

  • Gemma Sykes

    Gemma Sykes

    IBEI alumni 2009-11, Deputy head of mission at the British Embassy, Quito (Ecuador)

    "It was interesting for me to get a different, non-UK perspective on IR and on the world. Meeting students and professors from different countries was a big part of the attraction for me, as well as being able to study for a bilingual Master’s degree. I learned a lot which has put me in good stead in my career. I think for anyone who wants to work in the international system (e.g. UN, international NGOs), the Master’s can be an excellent grounding. Make the most of it and don’t waste the opportunity."

  • Jennifer A. Patterson

    Jennifer A. Patterson

    IBEI alumni 2009-10, Regional Communications and Public Information Officer, Regional Office for Africa, International Labour Organization, Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire)

    "Living in Barcelona and passing the Senegalese street vendors on my way to and from class each day inspired me to write a paper on them for my African Studies class. That paper then inspired the topic of my master’s thesis on Senegalese migration in Europe, which eventually led to my work in Africa. After handing in my master’s dissertation, I travelled to Portugal on assignment for a travel magazine, then to Senegal. Soon, with luck and persistence, I was offered an internship at the United Nations Development Programme Regional Centre for West and Central Africa in Dakar. It was a dream come true to finally be working for the UN." 

  • Evan McCaffrey

    Evan McCaffrey

    IBEI alumni 2018-19, Communications Consultant, The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law, World (remote).

    "I chose the Master’s in International Relations because I realized that I was occupying a lot of my time with reading and studying about international affairs and politics. So, I figured that I might as well make a career out of my interests. The defining moment that led me to pursue this Master’s, was my reporting on the Las Ramblas terrorist attack. I realized quite clearly at that moment, that we as individuals cannot ignore international politics and issues, regardless if we want to or not. It was clear that we live in a highly globalized world that is relying on a fragile peace, that can be disrupted if we do not make a unified effort internationally."