Being Part of the Change: Recent Graduate Ignacio Moreno
Originally from Venezuela, Ignacio Moreno is a double major in International Affairs and Business Administration who graduated in Spring 2021. Ignacio recently received a scholarship to pursue an M.Sc. in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics.
What brought you to JCU?
Before deciding what to study, I wanted to become a soccer player. I then discovered Model United Nations during high school, and this activity made me want to study International Affairs. This passion for football and diplomacy brought me to Europe, and with the help of Adriana Mejia Merino, JCU’s Latin America Admissions Counselor, I applied to the University.
Congratulations on being accepted for an M.Sc. in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics. What was the application process like?
Thank you! I applied in my first semester as a Senior. The application process consisted of completing an online form with the programs of your choice and sending a CV, two recommendation letters, a tentative transcript, and a statement of purpose. The latter was the most important document. I started crafting it a year before the start of the program. This way, I could enter the pool of candidates as early as possible. Professors Pamela Harris, Seth Jaffe, and former Professor Bridget Welsh advised me on how to structure the content, while professors Conor Deane and Jonathan Jones put up with my syntax errors during the million hours I scheduled at the Writing Center.
After finishing the statement, I applied to LSE’s Graduate Support Scheme, the main program for scholarships for graduate students. I wrote another statement for it, and today I can happily share that I have been awarded a scholarship. If there is something I would like students to take away is to be diligent, to not hesitate to reach out to their professors, and to take advantage of the services offered by the University.
You’re an International Affairs & Business Administration double major. What made you decide to combine these two fields?
I have always liked politics and the way it affects every aspect of our lives. While taking courses at JCU, however, I realized that businesses are among the most important factors that influence policy-making, and sometimes, they even have more leverage than politicians themselves. Understanding this made me want to incorporate Business Administration into my studies.
You were Vice-President of JCU Model United Nations and the Organization of Latin Americans, and you were also active in other clubs. What’s your fondest memory about these activities?
My fondest memories go back to the times we spent together as a group. I was lucky to be part of different clubs, with mostly the same group of friends. The Organization of Latin Americans always strives to share our cultures with the community. As you may know, one of the best ways to share someone’s culture is through food. That is exactly what we did. We organized events where we would cook from scratch the typical food of a specific Latin American country. In case you are wondering, yes, arepas are the next big thing!
With the Model United Nations, I remember that traveling and participating in conferences was incredible. For me, St. Gallen (Switzerland) 2018 marked my experience as a delegate. I also got to serve as the coordinator of Vo.Re.Co, one of the centers with which the STAND club collaborates, where I learned how valuable it is to share your time with others.
You also had many volunteering experiences, and did internships and a research assistantship. How did you manage to juggle your studies and all the extracurriculars? What tips and/or advice would you give to students who might be struggling to keep up with their commitments?
One of the main challenges is learning how to prioritize your tasks. Truth is, we all have ups and downs and can lose sight of our goals from time to time. One piece of advice is to set a time after which you clock out and stop working. Remember, it is useless to do coursework without internalizing and grasping the things you are learning; as well as it is useless to bury your head in books and not hone your skills. Spend time on your hobbies, try new things, enjoy your time with friends, and know that life goes way beyond college. Learn that everything needs its own time.
What advice would you give to students who are considering applying to JCU?
My dad used to say: “the what-ifs do not matter. Do not even think about them. You will just worry needlessly.” I knew that applying to JCU meant studying a subject I liked in an international environment, having the opportunity to travel, and learning from bright professors. However, I certainly did not expect all the things that came along the way. JCU changed my life in ways I cannot describe. Apply and remember: the what-ifs do not matter.
What are your plans for the future?
Right now, I am focusing on the short run. I am fortunate enough to have an internship in a field I like, especially in these unprecedented times. I am happy to be volunteering for the UEFA Euro 2020, which will take place here in Rome between June 11 and July 11, 2021.
I cannot wait to move to London, to be intellectually stimulated, to grow my network, and to keep creating fond memories. But most importantly, I cannot wait to keep growing on a personal and professional level. As for the long run, I have one goal that has accompanied me since the day I left Venezuela, which is currently going through one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever seen. I want to see my country break free. I want to see it get better. I want to be part of that change.