Testimony of an International Relations graduate

Miguel Hernandez-Bronchud is 22 years old and is Deloitte's youngest strategic consultant. He did the last internship of his degree at Deloitte and once he had graduated, they quickly hired him.

When you choose this degree, did you already know what you wanted to do?

It was clear to me that I wanted to do something related to economics but I also knew that I didn't want to be the typical profile of Business Administration or Economics. International Relations has a multidisciplinary nature. During the first year you study history, philosophy, international law ... but also economics. You end up with a global knowledge that prepares you much more for conducting future interviews or for when you want to be singled out for your personal qualities in the face of competition; it allows you to work on a more competitive profile. I think that nowadays companies are looking for this professional versatility that a degree such as International Relations provides. Now everything is so connected that, the more you know, the better.

What do you say when someone asks you what your occupation is?

I always say that I’ve studied International Relations with economics. In the third year you have the option of specializing in economics, communication or foreign policy, which is more like diplomacy. And I took the economics track. But, of course, I have colleagues that have done the communication track and want to be war journalists, or colleagues who have done the diplomacy track who want to be ambassadors and I have colleagues who, like myself, have done the economics track and want to work for different economic institutions. It is always better to say what your specialization is because it gives a clearer idea of what you have studied.  I understand that people are a bit disconcerted when you say that you’ve studied International Relations, because it seems as if it’s a very open discipline that includes a wide variety of topics.

Did you imagine what you would end up doing when you decided to study this degree? Especially, since the degree was just starting off…

It was a bit of an adventure for everyone. There was no feedback from any Alumni member. They did not do this degree in other universities; there was only one in Madrid, but it was still an experimental degree. I really liked the option that was given to us to go and study abroad and do an internship: in my case, I studied in South Korea for a semester, in a Korean university that has an agreement with ours, the Kyonggi University, located next to Seoul, and then I complemented it with a full-time internship semester at Deloitte.

It is a very different degree concept…

Of course, it is a degree that gives you the opportunity to organize yourself. I have the same qualification as my classmate, but my experiences and his are completely different. He specialized in war journalism or in diplomacy and I specialized in economics, and perhaps he has lived in Brussels and China for a year, and I have lived in Korea and in London... Within this degree, everyone takes his or her own path. This is the positive side of such a vast degree program. 

What were the classes like?

The training units included experts in international relations, such as Andrei Grachev, historian, ex spokesman of President Gorbachev and chairman of the New Policy Forum's Scientific Committee. We had very interesting people, who had actively participated in key moments of global issues, professors from Yale ... There were subjects that lasted three or four days, and we lived them with intensity and took advantage of them. The fact that there were small groups, of ten people, allowed us to ask questions, talk, discuss.

Which is your most reminiscent aspect of university?

What I remember most from university is the classmates. In the end it is with them who you spend the most time, with whom you end up making friendships. And from an academic point of view, what I remember most are the debates that we had in class. We were taught to speak in public, a quality not taught very often in Spain.

Tell me about the career opportunities. What do your classmates do?

Many of my classmates are doing a master's degree to specialize in a topic of their interest. There are others that work in the United Nations, or in international organizations, or in consultancies, there are also some in NGOs and there are still others who are learning languages ​​such as Arabic or Russian, because they want to work in geopolitics, and speaking those languages ​​is a plus.

If you compare this moment with the expectations you had when you started this degree. How do you see it?

If four years ago I'd been told that I would be the youngest person at Deloitte, I would have signed up for it in the blink of an eye.

What profile should prospective International Relations students have?

They should have a lot of intellectual curiosity, be eager to learn from everything and not limit themselves to a very specific profile. That is, if you love physics, do not come here, go and study physics. If you have the intellectual curiosity to understand what is happening in the world, why it is happening, and why it is happening right now, it is a very interesting degree.

Text and photos: Maria Girona. Interview published in La Revista of Blanquerna nº 38.