Posts Tagged ‘entrevista#8217;

Second year Communications student Sebastián Carmona Soto gives an up-close and personal interview of Iván Wong Veros from the Student Office of Segovia


It’s ten-past-three and I go up to the third floor of the IE University in Segovia and knock on Ivan Wong’s door. Of course he is talking to a student, this time about  maybe creating a workshop for Manga drawing. “Ivan, when can we talk? Remember we had a meeting at three?” He looks at his timetable on the computer “Oh yes, sorry.” He’s not usually late, but he is always doing things and talking to people, especially students, to talk about their ideas and thoughts. Like his co-worker Ana Martín says “He is an incredible PR, always willing to listen and dedicates a lot of time to the students. Sometimes there are students who are talking to him for hours and when I go and ask him, he says they just needed to talk to him.” 

Ivan Wong was born in England but when he was three years old his family moved to Vancouver, Canada. His mother is a Spaniard from Burgos and his father is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, but he grew up with the Chinese community there. Ivan lived in Vancouver until he went to Montreal to study Political Science in McGill university. When he finished his studies he realised he did not like it all too much and so went back home to Vancouver and worked for few years as advisor in a bank, until a friend told him to come with him to Asia to visit new countries. “I did something I don’t usually do, I took a risk”, Ivan says referring to his decision.

After dismissing the other student he was talking to, Ivan leads the way to a class on the second floor in which we were going to meet. He sits down in front of me and says “What do you want me to tell you?” He is a man who looks like he is in his late twenties or early thirties, he probably measures about 1,80m and has a decent amount of black hair on his head. His face looks Occidental with some Asian traits, like his slightly slanted eyes. He likes to walk around energetically, wearing jeans and a shirt. He describes himself as “an open-minded person tolerant, in general, but also impulsive and lacking patience. I like to encourage the spirit of being kind and sharing and I like to hear people’s opinions and respect people as I want to be respected myself.” His philosophical approach to life nowadays is “Push yourself, but have fun.”

He went with his friend to South Korea where they stayed as a base to journey around Asia and taught English in academies there. He was there for two years in which he met many people and gathered different experiences. He laughs when he remembers the differences in culture and things that surprised him there. “There they have public saunas and I would go with other teachers, most of us from Anglo-Saxon countries, and we felt super self-conscious with so many naked people in the saunas. Some of them are like tall buildings and there was one with a terrace on the attic. Of course it was divided for men and women, but only by a wall. And actually you could see that the wall could be climbed, so it had like war-time barbed wire on the top, so that the men would not try to peek onto the women’s side. There is also a very curious thing that they did, I suppose it’s cultural; they would brush each other’s backs, so they would form long lines of men and children brushing their backs!.” He laughs at the memory.

“In hobbies I am a sort of geek, I could say it a bit softer, that that’s what I am.” He has had many hobbies throughout his lifetime, and very varied ones also. He likes to do scuba-diving, which he has done in Vancouver, South Korea and Spain, but it has been a couple of years since he did it. He has also done golf and squash for some time. He likes skiing and he did climbing for a while. Nowadays he sings in a local choir; Coralia Artists, in the tenor section, because he says that bass is less varied. In a more indoor aspect, he likes to read and watch cinema, but he also loves videogames. He has been at it since he was young and he has a PC, and Xbox and a PS3 to play. His most recent hobby came to him not even three months ago. “It was almost like waking up one day and deciding my new hobby”, this new hobby is board games. He has actually purchased seven or eight different board games during this past couple of months, and planning on getting more. They are mostly thematic, such as Lords of Waterdeep, which is somewhat similar to Dungeons and Dragons but more strategic , or Descent (which is similar to the most famous Warhammer). He not only likes these games for the fun itself, but because he loves the quality of the crafting of the pieces. “Es que flipo,” he says in Spanish, “in videogames you do not notice it, but when you receive a heavy box, with all the details in it, I don’t know, I like it a lot.”

After his two years in South Korea he went to live to Spain where his family had moved to while he was away. He did different jobs as administrative and advisor (for example for Kraft) and he worked in Clifford Chance in accounting, but when the chance to work for IE University arose, he gladly took it because when he had been working in South Korea he had realised that he liked working with younger people and actually enjoyed the company of people who were younger than him “maybe because of my lack of maturity”. This is confirmed by the fact that he gets along very well with the students at the university, as Gonzalo Muelas, a 1st year Law student says “He’s the shit, really great as a person and with a sense of humour.” “He’s a big kid, with a peculiar sense of humour.” mentions Ana Martín, “He’s our [the department’s] baby.”

 Ivan is nowadays the coordinator of the extracurricular activities and also helps with the student office. He basically organizes the administrative and non-academic life of the students, like he says “If there is anything non-academic I probably have a hand in it.” “He is the best colleague you can ask for.” says Nicky Sharp, another co-worker, “He is there when times are hard, always willing to give a helping hand, he even takes me to the bus station.”

When the interview is finished he tells me that if he remembers anything else we will send me an email, and leaves because he had had an extra long day yesterday and he is leaving early today. Later on, while I interview his colleagues, I find that he hasn’t left still because he wanted to finish off some work.


Raúl Revuelta, responsable de los Estudios de Turismo y Director de Actividades Extracurriculares de IE University, nos habla en esta entrevista sobre el sector turístico, cómo llegó a IE University, cuál es su día a día y cómo es su vida fuera del IE.

English version below

¿De dónde eres, cuál es tu formación, tu trayectoria profesional? ¿Cómo llegaste al IE?

Nací en Madrid aunque siempre he mantenido un fuerte vínculo con León, lugar de origen de mi familia y donde pasé largas temporadas e vacaciones.

Durante años compaginé mis estudios con el trabajo en la empresa familiar, una pyme en el sector de la distribución alimentaria. Mi trabajo en la Universidad comenzó hace… un montón de años. De una u otra manera siempre he estado vinculado a la formación universitaria, en ocasiones simultaneando colaboraciones como docente con el trabajo en el sector turístico.

Soy Doctor en Geografía e Historia por la Universidad Complutense, Máster en Dirección de Recursos Humanos y especialista en Gestión de Calidad. En los últimos años mi trayectoria profesional y mi labor docente e investigadora se ha desarrollado fundamentalmente en torno a dos temas: por un lado la integración de los principios de calidad y sostenibilidad en el turismo, y por otro el turismo deportivo y de aventura y, de manera especial, la gestión de las estaciones de esquí y montaña.

La oportunidad de incorporarme al IE llegó como consecuencia de la apertura de IE University. Desde el año 97 venía desempeñando diversas funciones en distintos centros universitarios: Profesor, Director de los estudios de Turismo, Director del Servicio de Asistencia e Información Laboral.

¿Cómo es tu día a día en IE University? ¿Qué es lo más gratificante de tu trabajo? ¿Lo que más te gusta?

Me considero verdaderamente afortunado, me apasiona mi trabajo. Trabajar en educación puede ser tremendamente gratificante.

Como responsable de los Estudios de Turismo y Director de Actividades Extracurriculares, mí día a día en la Universidad podemos dividirlo en dos partes. Por un lado está mi trabajo como profesor, dedicado a la investigación y la elaboración de casos de estudio, donde traslado mi experiencia profesional en el sector turístico a las clases que imparto. En los últimos años he tenido la oportunidad de trabajar con un perfil de alumnos internacionales, que han enriquecido notablemente mi labor como profesor. Además, el alto nivel de alfabetización digital del alumno me ha obligado a incorporar las nuevas tecnologías y las herramientas de comunicación a mi tarea docente e investigadora. Hoy día mantengo una web, un blog y participo activamente en las redes sociales.

Como responsable de las actividades extracurriculares de IE University, mi trabajo consiste en la gestión de todas aquellas actividades que no están incluidas en los “curricula” académicos de los distintos grados. Deportes, clubs de alumnos, y la organización y gestión de todo tipo de eventos, algunos de ellos en colaboración con otros departamentos de la Universidad como la “Orientation Week”, o con otras instituciones como el Cine Fórum sobre Liderazgo que realizamos en colaboración con la Academia de Artillería desde hace dos años.

España cuenta con un sector turístico importante y compañías presentes en todo el mundo. ¿Cuáles han sido las claves del éxito en la expansión internacional de esas grandes compañías? ¿Qué retos afrontan en la actualidad?

La posición de liderazgo que España ocupa desde hace ya mucho tiempo y el conocimiento acumulado por muchos empresarios del sector ha permitido a nuestras empresas dar el salto y exportar modelos de éxito a otros países. Y dentro del sector, los empresarios hoteleros han destacado sobre el resto. Los principales retos para el sector son aquellos que vienen derivados de los importantes cambios que se han producido en los últimos años en el entorno competitivo, fruto de la globalización, la aparición de la red y de la sociedad del conocimiento.

¿Qué debe reforzar España para consolidarse como destino turístico más allá del “sol y playa”?

Diversos estudios internacionales señalan que en los próximos años la cuota de mercado del turismo de ocio y vacaciones se verá reducida en favor de otras modalidades. Esto debe impulsar a España a superar su identificación de manera casi exclusiva como un destino turístico de sol y playa, que concentra el 75% de la demanda receptora. Gracias a la diversidad cultural y geográfica y a la variedad y calidad de recursos culturales y naturales, España debe posicionarse como un referente de otros modelos de turismo (cultural y de ciudad, gastronómico, de naturaleza, deportivo, etc.) y liderar el proceso de desarrollo de nuevos productos turísticos capaces de captar nuevos segmentos y desestacionalizar la demanda.

¿Qué perfil, qué tipo de conocimientos, habilidades y capacidades debe desarrollar el gestor del sector turístico?

El sector turístico viene demandando una formación acorde a las necesidades planteadas por una industria globalizada y en continua transformación. El futuro gestor deberá desarrollar un currículo personalizado que, partiendo de una formación generalista, le permita al mismo tiempo la especialización técnica y de gestión.

La diversidad de la actividad turística y su carácter multidisciplinar lleva aparejada una amplia variedad de perfiles profesionales. La especialización deberá cubrir las necesidades formativas de los que consideramos principales ámbitos de trabajo en el mundo del turismo: Gestión Hotelera, Gestión del Transporte y la Movilidad, Turoperación y Agencias de Viajes, y Gestión de Destinos.

¿Qué tipo de formación en Turismo se impulsa desde IE University?

La formación está diseñada para dar al alumno una perspectiva de 360º sobre la naturaleza única del sector turístico y una base profunda de los principios empresariales y de gestión. Buscamos dotar al alumno de las habilidades necesarias para tener éxito en un sector competitivo y cambiante. Para ello combinamos un aprendizaje práctico con periodos de formación en empresas líderes del sector.

Nuestro objetivo es formar a una nueva generación de profesionales del turismo que cuenten con las competencias y el conocimiento necesario para forjar una carrera profesional de éxito. La industria turística es global y como tal debe ser analizada. Los futuros graduados deben comprender la realidad del turismo en todas sus vertientes, desde una perspectiva empresarial orientada por la sostenibilidad y la responsabilidad social.

¿Cómo es tu vida fuera del IE? ¿A qué dedicas tu tiempo libre?

Tener como campo de especialización el sector turístico tiene muchas ventajas, pero también un pequeño inconveniente: no siempre es fácil establecer los límites entre tu trabajo y tu tiempo libre. Por ejemplo, mis vacaciones siempre acaban en algún destino donde creo que hay algo innovador, algo nuevo que aprender.

Mi tiempo libre lo ocupan la montaña y disfrutar de la naturaleza, pero sobre todo mi gran pasión: el esquí.


Where are you from, what is your academic background, and where did you work before you came to IE? How did you come to IE?

I was born in Madrid although I have always had a strong connection with León, where my family are from, and where I have spent long periods of time as well as holidays.

For years I combined my study with work in the family business, a small to mid-sized business in the food distribution sector. I started working in the university sector years ago. In one way or another I have always had some kind of connection with university education, occasionally combining teaching work with my work in the tourism sector.

I hold a Doctorate in Geography and History from Madrid’s Complutense University together with a Master in Human Resources, specialized in Quality Management. In recent years my career and teaching and research work has centered around two areas: on the one hand, the integration of the principles of quality and sustainability in tourism, and on the other, sports and adventure tourism, with a special focus on the management of ski and mountain resorts.

The opportunity to join IE came with the launch of IE University. From 1997 I had been working in different universities in a range of positions: Professor, Director of Tourism Studies, Director of Assistance Service and Labor Information.

What is your day to day like at IE University? What is the most rewarding part of your work? What do you like most about it?

I consider myself extremely fortunate because I am passionate about my work. Working in education can be tremendously rewarding.

As Head of Tourism Studies and Director of Extracurricular Activities, my day to day can be divided into two parts. First, my work as a professor, dedicated to research and the preparation of case studies, which entails the transfer of my personal experience in the tourism sector to the classes I give. In recent years I have had the opportunity to work with students with international profiles, which has further enriched my work as a professor. Moreover, the high level of digital literacy among the student body has forced me to incorporate new technologies and communication tools into my teaching and research work. Today I have my own website, blog, and I participate actively in social networks.

As head of extracurricular activities at IE University, my work consists of managing all activities that do not form part of the academic curricula of the different degree programs. Sports, student clubs, and the organization and management of all types of events, some in collaboration with other departments, like the Orientation Week, or with other institutions like the Cinema Forum on Leadership that we have been holding in collaboration with the Artillery Academy for the last two years.

Spain has a large tourism sector, with companies that operate all over the world. What are the key factors in the successful international expansion of these companies? What challenges are they currently facing?

The leading position held by Spain for so long and the knowledge accumulated by many entrepreneurs in the sector has permitted Spanish companies to take a big step forward and export successful models to other countries. Within the sector hotel entrepreneurs stand out from the rest. The main challenges for the sector are those related to the significant changes that have taken place over the last few years in the competitive environment resulting from globalization, the Internet, and the knowledge society.

What should Spain focus on in order to consolidate its position as a tourist destination that is more than just “sun and sea”?

Different international studies indicate that over the next few years the market share of the tourism, leisure and vacation market will be reduced in favor of other types. This should push Spain to go beyond its reputation as being practically exclusively a tourism destination for sun and sea, which accounts for 75% of demand. The cultural and geographical variety of Spain and the quality of cultural and natural resources could position it as a reference for other tourism models (cultural, city, gastronomic, nature, sports, etc.) and enable it to lead the process of developing new tourism products capable of capturing new segments that would create demand all year round

What profile, and what type of knowledge, skills, and competences should a manager in the tourism sector have?

The tourism sector is now demanding knowledge and skills that meet the needs of a globalized industry that is continually changing. The future manager will have to develop a personalized curriculum which can take a generalist education as a starting point, but which must also feature some kind of technical and management specialization.

The diversity of tourism activity and its multidisciplinary nature mean that the sector requires a broad range of professional profiles. Specialization will have to cover the needs of what we consider to be the main areas of work in the world of tourism, like hotel management, transport and mobility management, tour operation and travel agencies, and destination management.

What type of preparation does IE University offer for the tourism sector?

IE programs are designed to provide the student with a 360º perspective of the unique nature of the tourism sector and a solid grounding in the main principles of business and management. We seek to equip the student with the skills needed to enjoy success in a competitive and changing sector. In order to achieve this we combine a practical learning experience with periods spent in leading companies in the sector.

Our objective is to shape a new generation of tourism professionals that have the competences and knowledge to forge a successful career. The tourism industry is global and as such it must be analyzed. Future graduates have to understand the realities of every aspect of tourism, from the perspective of business oriented to sustainability and social responsibility.

What is your life like outside IE? What do you do in your spare time?

Having tourism as a field of specialization has a lot of advantages, but there is also a disadvantage, namely that it is not always easy to establish the limits between your work and your free time. For example, I will always end up taking my holidays somewhere I think there is something innovative, something new I can learn.

I spend my spare time enjoying mountains and nature in general, but my biggest passion by far is skiing.


Onda Cero ha entrevistado a los alumnos de Comunicación con motivo de las I Jornadas “Democracia en red, una política enredada”. Estas jornadas reunieron en el campus de Segovia  de IE University a responsables de redes sociales de los principales partidos, que debatieron sobre cómo Internet ha cambiado la forma de hacer política. Fueron organizadas por los alumnos de cuarto curso de Comunicación de IE University.

Audio: Entrevista_Onda Cero_Democracia en red

Noticias relacionadas:


Arqueomanía, an online documentary on, interviewed the Director of the Archeology Unit of IE University, Mr. Cesáreo Pérez González, on the celtiberian and roman site in Tiermes, Soria. Professor Pérez is the technical director of the archeological excavation there for the project “Tiermes, Laboratorio Cultural”. See more

La Unidad de Arqueología de IE University, en el programa “Arqueomanía” de

Arqueomanía, programa de documentales online en, ha entrevistado al Director de la Unidad de Arqueología de IE University, Cesáreo Pérez González, sobre el yacimiento celtibérico y romano de Tiermes, Soria. El profesor Pérez es director técnico de las excavaciones arqueológicas a través del proyecto “Tiermes, Laboratorio Cultural”.  Dirigido y presentado por Manuel Pimentel, el magazine “Arqueomanía” recorre algunos de los principales hitos arqueológicos e históricos de España.

En este capítulo se recuerda que el poderío de Roma llegó a someter la totalidad de la Península Ibérica. Hispania cayó ante la potencia de las legiones, bajo un plan de conquista perfectamente trazado y ejecutado. Pero hubo lugares como Numancia que escribieron su nombre en la Historia por su feroz resistencia. En este capítulo se narra su historia y la de Astúrica Augusta, custodia del noroeste y de las minas de oro de Las Médulas. Dos ciudades en las que todavía se ve la sombra de un Imperio. Ver programa


A coffee chat with Tarun

Written on January 20, 2012 by Roberto Arribas in Business

The other day we met with Tarun to talk about his first impressions on his new life at IE University. He started the BBA program in September 2011 and met with classmates from over 70 different countries. Tarun graduated with his IB Diploma from the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) in Singapore.

What attracted you to come to IE University?
I have always wanted to study business or economics for my career and was on the lookout for exceptional universities in this area. IE University’s exceptional and innovative style of education was what drew me so strongly towards it. Its methodology and emphasis on practical knowledge through experience sets it apart from the other universities.

Tell us a little about your first impressions after your first semester studying the BBA and about the diversity on campus.
At first, I was under the impression that if I didn’t brush up my Spanish skills, I would find it difficult to adjust here. However, my experience here proved otherwise, especially due to the warm and friendly nature of the students here. Due to the extreme diversity, I have had first hand experience with people from all walks of life and have managed to build relationships regardless of borders and regions. If globalization is the ultimate goal of the world, IE University is probably Utopia already.

What is the thing you find most exciting about life at IE University so far, any difference with your country?
The most exciting difference is the abundance of opportunity that IE provides. While people would support freedom to pursue my own dreams in any part of the world, IE takes it a step further with the inclusion of the advisor, who does whatever they can to help you achieve what you want, and give direction and shape to your dreams. At IE, one can aspire to be anything, and the university will do its best, on its part, to help achieve that dream.

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