A year in review: My experience in the Master in Digital Marketing at HST

Learn about Kristina’s experience in the Master in Digital Marketing and where it’s taking her next.

I still vividly remember the first time I came across the Master in Digital Marketing webpage in September of 2018. As a current college senior majoring in PR with a minor in marketing, after having interning on both ends, I without a doubt found a greater love for the latter, and it’s what ultimately drove me to where I am today. 

Although the fields go hand-in-hand, being able to put into practice my love for writing, media and entertainment, along with my growing curiosity in what truly shapes and drives consumer habits, I felt my most confident and creative whenever it came to content visualization and ideation in marketing strategies either at school or at the office. 

Yet despite not exactly knowing which direction to follow next as my graduation date began to approach, all I knew is that I wanted my following career step to be within the marketing realm.

After months of contemplation, I ultimately found myself deciding to pursue a Masters degree as my next big move. Besides wanting to do something in relation to marketing, I knew I wanted to shy away from what I had already experienced during my four years at an American university.

Through extensive research of countries, universities and programs themselves, IE’s School of Human Sciences & Technology (HST) caught my attention like no other

What captivated me most to HST was not just it’s notoriety for being one of the leading international universities across the EU, but even more so, it’s array of tailored programs bridging together innovation and consumer behavior, the diverse student body and emphasis on community, and lastly, a combination of different teaching methodologies to get the closest taste to what working in a fast-paced environment is actually like.

Though all programs had their own unique propositions, the MDGM program embodied everything I was looking for in this next stage of my life, and following through with it was one of my most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made. 

Trusting the process 

As I decided to pursue the full-time immersive program for a period of 10 months, although knowing that I was getting myself into a heavy workload, I had no idea I would learn to love each moment in and outside of HST to this extent. 

The first few weeks of community building activities within my own program or HST as a whole, brought to light that even though all students were there to make the most out of this educational decision, HST constantly reminded us that we also had to enjoy the full experience of living abroad in one of the greatest cities and learning to go beyond just co-existing with classmates, but to make them part of our “home away from home.”

From the very beginning, professors and faculty alike emphasized the importance of this, along with the whole student body being on the same boat– hungry and eager to learn, but above all, empathetic and open to finishing this journey side by side. 

The MDGM program in its essence, offered a combination of foundational marketing courses followed by more intrinsic technological classes that centered on omnichannel strategies, data and analytics, and digital market research and marketing plans altogether. And each day was a dynamic blend of simulations, case studies and debates through hands-on learning taught by leading experts of the field, whether offline or online. 

And even beyond that, we came in touch with visits to leading tech companies along with being offered online certifications, and recognized and reflected how what we learned in the classroom came to life through proper strategy and execution in the real world.

Yet, as much as we learned from our exemplary digital marketing professors, we also learned from one another–how our creative train of thoughts worked cooperatively to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together. If there’s one thing all MDGM students can agree on, it’s the importance of teamwork to efficiently problem solve and to continuously bring out the best of one another, no matter how big or small the task. 

A bid farewell, and a thank you 

As I reflect back on the year, the MDGM program truly fortified my pursuit of working in the digital marketing field now and onwards, living abroad and seizing opportunities as a whole. What follows next for me post graduation is a Content Creation internship in a Madrid-based digital media agency, an instance that wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance of the program, along with the unforgettable times I shared with my classmates in Madrid.

Knowing that I’m fortunate enough to extend my career in the place where it all started 10 months ago was a primary goal of mine, and ultimately achieving that even amidst times of adversity, proves to show how resilience and passion will never fail to push you through. 

To incoming students,

My piece of advice to you is to savor every instance throughout this journey. Though you’ll be busy balancing your professional and social life during this time, don’t forget to take it all in and make the most of it, (even on days when you think you can’t make it). Challenge yourself and others around you, be active on campus, but also give time to yourself to sit back and enjoy the ups and downs of this unique ride. 

To HST,

Thank you for exceeding my expectations not solely as a higher education institution, but as an overarching community I’m proud to make part of. Your dynamism through distinctive courses, events and culture as a whole, have opened my eyes to a world I’ve never seen before and opened doors to opportunities that will influence my future career for the better.

And to my MDGM classmates,

There are no words to thank you enough for making this experience so memorable. It’s safe to say that I learned something new from each and every one of you, positively impacting my outlook as a marketer and as an individual altogether, for the rest of my life. 

Although our time together in person was cut short, I’m extremely proud of us for making it this far, and for doing it so damn well. 

Some may say we were unlucky to have had a pandemic come in the middle of everything, but if anything, it taught us to take our teachings of adaptability, agility and innovation even further, within all areas of our lives. 

In the simplest of terms, I still wouldn’t have had it any other way, because my luck of the draw was to be placed amongst such an incredible group with all of you. I’m so excited to see where life takes you next, because this is just the beginning of your paths to greater successes. 

A huge congrats to the Class of 2020, and in true Madrileño lingo, “Hasta pronto.”

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Dominican-American Kristina Taveras made her move from DC, where she got her Bachelor’s degree in PR, to Madrid, to pursue a Master in Digital Marketing at HST. One can describe her as a “right-brain” thinker, with a great passion for all things creative, especially in the cinema industry, where she ultimately wants to put her Marketing expertise at play. Connect with her through LinkedIn if you want to dig deeper into her career or to simply chat movies.