An ambition to see the world through different lenses
Giancarlo has always been a person who vigorously pursues his passions. Whether it’s competitive swimming (which saw him competing against some of the world’s best as he represented the Philippines), photography, or study, he gives everything to whatever he’s doing.
That was true even before he came to study at IE University. Giancarlo got his bachelor’s degree in European Studies and International Relations in Manila, attending a Model United Nations and representing his university in competitive swimming while he was there. He worked in various customer-facing roles before IE University caught his eye through our Partner Programs.
Seeing that studying a Master in International Relations at IE University would allow him to live in Madrid, a city he already adored, he took a deeper look and liked what he saw. The diversity of the program is something that Giancarlo is particularly enthusiastic about, and he recalls noticing almost 30 nationalities represented among his future classmates at the welcoming ceremony, before the program had even begun. The different perspectives they offered during class discussions is something he values very highly.
Another element of the classroom experience at IE University that has both surprised and pleased Giancarlo is just how much the professors encourage open discussion. This positive and supportive attitude has been reflected in Giancarlo’s IE University experience as a whole, where collaborating with peers has shown him the value of playing to people’s strengths when it comes to group work.
To say that Giancarlo is a keen photographer would be an understatement—and he’s been delighted with the support he’s received from IE University in pursuing his passion. From his first experiences behind the camera at high school, he has since become so accomplished at the art that he is now a freelance professional photographer. During his time at IE University, he has put this skill to very good use. Realizing that all his fellow master’s students at IE School of Global & Public Affairs would benefit from an up-to-date, professionally shot image for their professional profiles, he sought the assistance of his program management team in organizing a shoot for them.
In Giancarlo’s view, the assistance he received in sourcing a venue and scheduling the shoot to everyone’s convenience, as well as the voluntary help from his classmates, typifies the IE University experience. Giancarlo praises the program management team, without whom he suggests the shoot would not have been possible.
Looking beyond his studies, Giancarlo has his eye on a career in international security. He can see himself working in a governmental or intergovernmental role, a private-sector organization, or a think tank. This is a sector that will always need talented people, he says, due to the complexities inherent in finding ways for different cultures to collaborate. Working in groups with such a diverse set of classmates has really helped prepare him for exactly that type of challenge in future.
Giancarlo also speaks highly of the opportunities he has had to work with our partners like the UN and NATO, as part of the Capstone Project for his program. By working with world-renowned institutions that have major global influence, Giancarlo has been able to put what he’s learned to practical use. These types of partnerships, he says, show just how proactively IE Talent & Careers reaches out to students to help them with their professional ambitions.
Asked where he sees himself in five to ten years’ time, Giancarlo says that he wants to be using what he has learned to work collaboratively with diverse groups, seeking to overcome the complex international security issues that affect us all.
Looking back on his studies, Giancarlo doesn’t hesitate in offering advice to anybody considering following in his footsteps and taking our Master in International Relations. “The IE experience as a whole is truly whatever you make of it,” he asserts. “The professors will always offer additional help, clarification or feedback on your assignments—but more importantly, IE offers so many avenues to grow your network if you put the effort into it.”
While Giancarlo’s IE University experience has been defined by opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom, he believes it is the connections and friendships made that will last well beyond his graduation. He urges everyone who steps onto the IE University campuses to make an effort to meet new people there, getting the most out of what the IE Community has to offer. We couldn’t agree more!