HST alumni Lucía Díez de los Ríos works for a major Spanish media group in corporate comms. Today, she tells us all the ways the Master in Corporate & Marketing Communication made her the perfect candidate for the role.
Picture this: you’re in a big room full of people from all over the world. You feel the butterflies in your stomach as you look around and smile at the unfamiliar faces around you. It’s April 2018, and it’s the first day of the Master in Corporate Marketing and Communication (Part-Time) at IE School of Human Sciences & Technology. At that moment, I had no idea how well the program would prepare me for the next stage of my career in corporate comms.
Today, I work at PRISA, a top Spanish and Latin American media group, where I focus on corporate comms. There are countless ways the master’s has benefited me on a personal level. But today, let’s focus on some of the professional benefits I gained from this innovative program—from hard skills to the joys of remote working and everything in between.
Time management & relationship building
We all know the struggle of balancing studies, work, and life with varying degrees of success. When I started the program, I understood the importance of organization and communication, especially with teammates living in different time zones with different schedules. Learning how to arrange group meetings while simultaneously completing all individual and group assignments as well as participating in online forums and classes was quite the task!
A few takeaways: learn how your teammates work. They’re your safety net! Today, I can better connect with my coworkers, and together we remind each other of deliverables, share laughs, and work toward bigger goals. This is so important when you work in a fast-paced environment. Things change fast, and you’ve got to react in turn. When you have a good relationship with your colleagues and have built a high-performance team, they’re the ones who end up helping you find the best ideas for improving your content, every day.
The corporate comms program prepares you for a work environment where you will continuously be multitasking. Using teamwork to manage my time and deliver the best results was—and is—essential in work and life.
Ready for remote
Looking back at my time in a remote program, I never could have imagined how vital these skills would be in a global pandemic. In March 2020, as media professionals worldwide began to work from home in improvised offices, newsrooms, and radio studios, I benefited from already being in this “remote” mindset. The program taught me how and when to take the lead in situations where someone may be struggling to adapt to this style of working. By the time the pandemic began, Google Drive, Skype, and Zoom were already my best friends. The better acquainted I was with these technologies, the easier it was for me to adapt to my media job! Going from a noisy office with non-stop ringing phones to a home office full of Microsoft Teams meetings, constantly beeping messages, and phone calls was quite a transition!
Diversity is key
The Master in Corporate & Marketing Communication is notoriously diverse. Working with so many people with different cultures, work histories, and experiences is one of the program’s cornerstones. Having this opportunity to learn how to navigate these differences makes students and alumni resilient later on in the professional world. I learned and developed a more profound collaboration capacity across different teams, which is crucial when developing projects involving international teams. Thinking about how employees could perceive internal communications or organizing the company’s participation in international fairs has helped me adapt in so many ways.
Navigating corporate comms in a VUCA future
It’s undeniable we’re living in a time of VUCA—a now-popular acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. This was one of the first subjects we discussed in the Internal Communications and Change Management course, and the concept stuck with me.
It seems almost surreal how much those four words encapsulate life today, especially within the media industry. Some days it almost seems like there isn’t enough space in the news for so many historical events! 2020 was also a year where many Spanish media outlets ventured in digital pricing strategies, with digital subscription models becoming the new normal. Having learned about this in my Customer-Centric Business and Digital Transformation course, and preparing the final project for the company I work for, I was already excited to see how I could implement these changes at my job.
The road to the future can seem bumpy until we reach our destination. The road through the Master in Corporate & Marketing Communication helped me become a better professional, entrepreneur, and self-advocate to find a job that fulfilled me. One of the most extraordinary things the program taught me was to step back and observe the situation with as much external perspective as I can, any time I am at a crossroads. If the solution doesn’t come easily, I can always ask my safety net—my teammates!
After completing her undergrad in Journalism and Media Studies, Lucía Díez de Los Ríos began working in PR, events, and corporate media at the top Spanish media company PRISA. Looking to shift her career, she joined the Master in Corporate & Marketing Communication class of 2019 to grow her career and approach communications with a new perspective. She now works in the corporate comms department, utilizing the skills learned in the program across the company.