Judith Trasancos Rodríguez, IBEI alumni 2010-2011
Name and Last Name: Judith Trasancos Rodríguez
Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations
Current working company, position and city: Public Affairs Officer for the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the US in New York (United States of America).
1. Why did you choose IBEI Master's programmes?
I chose to study the IBEI’s Master in International Relations because it had very good ratings and reviews and also was located in Barcelona, my hometown. Moreover, when I started university in 2006, and pursued a degree in Translation and Interpreting, there was no degree in International Relations and it was difficult to find a Masters that didn’t request any background knowledge about Politics, Law or Economics.
2. What is your experience at IBEI?
IBEI opened up a whole new world to me. Teachers were passionate about International Relations, subjects were interesting, classmates had a lot to share, and the staff was always there in case we needed help. Thanks to IBEI I also participated for the first time in a Model United Nations and I couldn’t be more grateful for that experience and the support of other colleagues who had already taken part in this kind of simulations.
3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI
To be honest, not everything has been peaches and cream… It was hard to find a first job after graduating and my career in International Relations just started a few months ago. Prior to that, I have worked in the banking, trade, and education sectors. Nevertheless, I have always tried to keep myself involved in foreign affairs and up to date cooperating with different NGOs, attending conferences, and participating in forums all over the world.
4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?
I work now as a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the US in New York. Our Delegation is composed of four departments: Tourism, Institut Ramón Llull, Catalonia Trade and Investment, and Government which actually acts as an umbrella for the rest of the agencies.
As a PAO I am the link between the Government and the Catalan community in New York; I attend events and conferences that could be of any interest for our country and write the reports; I am the voice, eyes, and ears of the Catalan Government in those events and conferences; and I follow the international agenda at the United Nations which is useful to explore new channels of communication and participation with the UN agencies.
5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?
I learnt for the first time about International Relations thanks to IBEI’s masters. Thus, I use that knowledge every day. But of course, if I am to talk more specifically about my day-to-day tasks, this Master has given me the tools to analyze and understand the dynamics at play at the United Nations.
6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?
I must say I didn’t even dream about living in New York one day but I definitely love my job.
7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?
Honestly, I think I was too young/inexperienced when I did my masters and I didn’t take advantage of all the opportunities that there were. Also, I came from a very different field which didn’t help me much to catch up on time with the rest of my peers because when I realized it, the academic year had already passed and I didn’t have more time to deepen my knowledge on the topics I discovered I was interested in. Therefore, I would advise future students who come from a non IR background like me to take some lessons before starting at IBEI so they know better which career path they want to pursue, or to take the two year Master’s option so they have more time to learn.
8. What do you miss most about the IBEI?
I miss some of my teachers and peers and the passion they all showed for International Relations. I have never felt more comfortable at a place than when I was there. It might be silly, but I still remember my first class with Pablo Pareja and how, with just a game, he showed us how the United Nations Security Council works. It certainly made an impression on me.