“Post written by current Master in Visual and Digital Media student Kelsey Krach.”
Dodging cars, bikes, and pedestrians as I rush to class through the busy streets, I have a thousand thoughts running through my mind: “What’s due today? Lunch? What event am I going to this afternoon? Will I be able to go grocery shopping before the store closes?” Not necessarily the exciting and ‘glamorous’ European experience that many of my friends and family back home imagine for me.
Then, my attention is caught by the shining rays of light that brighten the beautiful 18th Century architecture crowding the streets of Madrid. In that moment, my thoughts stop in their tracks and I remind myself how lucky I am to live in such a vibrant, fun, and lovely city in España—in fact, the very first city I visited outside of the USA.
Since then, my love affair with Madrid grew and I dreamed of returning, through I never
realized that it would be to live here for a year to get a Master in Visual and Digital Media (MVDM) at IE. After graduating from university with a BA in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish as well as working for 1.5 years, I knew that I needed a Master in order to pursue my future career goals in business and communications. In a way, IE fell into my lap and I instantly fell in love with the idea of coming to Madrid for the MVDM. After an application, interview, acceptance letter, scholarship, and year-long wait, I found myself getting lost in the streets of Madrid once again.
The MVDM experience has been challenging in the best ways. Throughout the process, I have learned topics in my field and much more due to the team-based classes and practical hands-on skills. It seems like everyday there is an interesting event happening on campus where you have the opportunity to meet amazing business leaders (and do not forget to network!). Expanding outside of class on campus, a team of students from my program and I joined the Venture Lab, which is a startup accelerator on campus. With this four-month experience, we are able to hone our entrepreneurial skills and build our own business in order to launch. With access to some of the top experts in this field, we are able to work hard on our goals and create our startup!
Outside of IE, I have been able to explore Madrid to get a mix of the traditional and
current experience of this bustling city. From all-night parties to amazing world-class art to beautiful city parks, Madrid always has something to do. Beyond this usual image of Madrid, I wanted to learn what else the city offers. At Google Campus, MediaLab at Museo del Prado, at El Matadero there are plenty of events happening weekly that help fill up the time. By attending these events outside of IE, I built my network, opportunities, and knowledge even further. In addition to classes and events, I have had the opportunity to volunteer with an organization called Madrid For Refugees which helps refugees in Madrid connect with
jobs, network, build a social life in the city, as well as spreads awareness about the obstacles many refugees face. We also love to talk about all the successes that Madrid provides refugees by being a welcoming city. As well, I have been able to volunteer with the UN World Food Programme and various other organizations to help spread their cause. IE encourages us to follow our passions and engage in its four values: humanities, entrepreneurship, social innovation, and diversity. The combined experiences of IE and those off-campus have helped to build an extremely robust, international, and diverse experience that I could not have had in the USA.
Compared to big-city lifestyle in the US, Madrid is relaxed and laid-back; however, that isn’t to say that we at IE don’t work hard. Students joke about the “Three Ss”: sleep, study, social (life). You can only have two of the three while you’re at IE. No matter which program you’re in, you will work hard and learn a lot. At the same time, you will have an incredible amount of fun, meet an amazing international group of friends, and fall in love with Madrid.