11
Feb

I would like to introduce you our Dean Begoña. She is a smiling and sensitive person, and at the same time she is also a high-level professional with strong character, in charge of two new master programs at IE School of Communication and one more program that is in its third intake.

Personal approach

Age: 47

Married: No

Children: No

Studies: She studied a BA in Spanish Philology at  Navarra University and obtained her PHD in  Literature, focusing her with a thesis on Mexican  poet Octavio Paz.

Cities in which Begoña has lived: Gijón, where  she is originally from, Pamplona during her studies  at the University, and Madrid since 1996.

Her favorite city in the world: New York and Paris  (Impossible to choose just one of them).

Last book she read and liked: D’autres vies que la  mienne by Emmanuel Carrère. However, her  favorites books are: Cien años de soledad by  Gabriel García Márquez (novel), Duineser  Elegien by Rainer Maria Rilke (poetry) and Los  límites del mundo by Eugenio Trías (essay).

One song: One, by U2 and Mary J. Blige.

A film: Although David Lynch is her favorite  director; the latest movie she liked a lot was  Amour by Michael Haneke.

A hobby: Reading, watching movies and to go out  with friends.

A secret: No secrets.

A sin: (Maybe) to have a very strong character.

 

 

Beatriz García de Prado: There are two new masters in Communication being taught this academic year. How do you feel about them?

Begoña González-Cuesta: I am very happy with how things are going with the programs so far. We have received feedback from both, students and professors, and it is very positive. Students are very happy with the all they are learning. For this they are working very hard, they understand how necessary it is to do so. From the point of view of the professors (which is also very important for me) they are very happy with the quality of the students and the energy they bring to the classroom, especially because of the diversity of the students and their commitment to learning.

Beatriz: What are the key aspects of these programs?

Begoña: The kind of school that we are building relies on three balanced elements: the first one is a conceptual and strategic component; we want the students to be able to think critically and to build on the foundations of their profession, with a strategic vision of their own development. The second is the practical side. Students develop a learning process very closely aligned to the professions, focusing on being very creative and updated with the latest developments in the fields. Finally, there is the managerial side, which is very much the core of IE; we believe that by offering management education within every field we are preparing people to be better journalists, visual and corporate communicators, but also professionals that are able to manage teams and businesses.

Beatriz: Do you choose the field in which to teach a master program, or is it assigned to you?

Begoña: I am mostly free to make decisions about the programs, although not completely free; which is good. I lead in establishing the vision of the school and selecting which programs we want to teach, but I don’t make those decisions by myself. I work with a team that includes the academic directors of the programs, Manuel Fernández de Villalta, the Dean of Graduate Programs for IE University, and also our Admissions and Marketing team.  It is very important to us not only to have programs that are interesting from the academic point of view, but also programs that meet the needs of our society and of our potential students.

Beatriz: Why are these master programs important for IE?

Begoña: Because communication is, now more than ever, at the center of both our personal and professional lives; it plays a key role in the development of any institution or company. Given this importance, having programs that teach professionals to manage the communication process is an asset for the strategic development of IE as an educational institution

Beatriz:  Do you think that the students are meeting your expectations?

Begoña: Absolutely! And in many cases, they exceed our expectations. We currently have the two new programs we have talked about, but we also have the Master in Corporate Communication, already in its third intake and an upcoming fourth one in the fall. We recently performed a job placement survey which reflects that our alumni are getting hired for very interesting positions all over the world. We will publish very soon the results on our webpage.

Beatriz: And now a little bit of self-criticism, do you think you are IE meeting expectations?

Begoña: I think we are doing well in terms of the academic quality of the programs, our faculty, and program management. Naturally we have to deal with some shortcomings, but I think in the most cases we are ok. Maybe the biggest challenge that we have is that the School of Communication is very young within the IE system. In comparison, the Business Schools is a far larger and worldwide renowned school, with thousands students and over twenty Master programs. In some cases, to be the youngest of the family has its disadvantages. An example of this is not being able to choose the classrooms or classroom layouts we would prefer, given that our groups are smaller than those in business programs.  However as our school keeps growing, we will do away with these small constraints.

 

Beatriz: What is your day to day job as Dean of IE School of Communication?

Begoña: My daily job has to do with coordinating and driving all the activities and initiatives related to the School. I am happy doing this, especially because I am working with a great team. I also invest much of my time updating myself about the field of Communication, both in the academic and the professional sides, trying to keep abreast about the latest trends and innovations. It is also very important for me to create a network for the School: professors, companies, and associations.

And the same time I am also a professor, which is my passion and is how I got started. For sure I consider myself more a professor than a Dean. I spend an important part of my time preparing classes, teaching, reading, and writing.

Beatriz: Being a Dean, do you miss being in contact with the students?

Begoña: I don’t miss it because I am in touch with the students. This is something that I don´t plan on giving up. Not only because I like but because I think that a Dean, or anyone holding a Director position in an academic institution has to be in contact with the students. For me this is a must.

Beatriz: Best and worst things of being a teacher?

Begoña: The best part is that it is very rewarding to see how people evolve, learn and develop their skills, and this is something that you can feel being a professor. I also love the fact that it allows you to spend a lot of time thinking, reading, discussing and interacting with others at an intellectual level. The worst part is when you have students that lack motivation. I think that the relationship between a professor and the students is like a dialogue, and if the other person doesn’t feel compelled to talk, then that connection is difficult.

Beatriz: What behavior or what attitude do you appreciate the most in the student?

Begoña: Interest, no fear of working hard, curiosity and an open mind. I like students who combine reflection and action, who are willing to learn about different cultures, values and lifestyles.  More so, I like student who are aware of how important these factors are in their learning development both personally and professionally and how all this fits in the role are going to assume in the future. Lastly, I appreciate people who are very professional and ethically committed.

 

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