She is currently a tax consultancy manager for EY’s financial sector, and has over seven years of experience advising the major financial institutions that operate in Spain. Carlota also plays a very active role in the selection process for her team, and asserts her total confidence in the training that IE Law School provides to future tax advisors through its master’s program.
Carlota Villalonga, Spain
MORE ABOUT CARLOTA
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree at IE Law School?
I’ve known I wanted to work in taxation ever since I was in high school. I was also lucky enough to have a good friend tell me about IE Law School’s Máster en Asesoría Fiscal de Empresas. They explained how much it could contribute to my career and professional development. After conducting my own research, I came to the conclusion that this master’s program was the boost I needed to begin my career as a tax consultant.
What stands out from your experience (both professionally and personally) at IE Law School? Are there any stories you’d like to share?
On both a personal and professional level, the year I spent at IE was an experience I can recommend wholeheartedly. I gained some truly great friends and colleagues. One of the most important things about my time at IE was the relationship forged between me and my classmates, who were also my partners for case studies. This is very similar to the day-to-day experience at large companies like KPMG and EY (among others, of course).
As for stories, I have plenty! But it was so long ago… I remember one that clearly demonstrates the camaraderie created in LL.M. programs. The answers to an exam were passed from one class to another, who hadn’t taken the exam yet. Given the striking differences between the results of the two classes, the class who had received the answers owned up and offered to repeat the exam with new questions. It was a lovely gesture of camaraderie, especially when you consider the fact that IE’s evaluation system is based on a bell curve.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the master’s program, which you apply to your professional life today?
In addition to excellent technical training, the master’s program at IE Law School gave me a realistic perspective of the current tax, legal and business world, which has allowed me to take on the challenges that have emerged in my professional life.
Do you think that IE provides a more global and comparative perspective of law?
Without a doubt. One of the highlights of an IE education is the focus with which each subject is taught. Their 360° approach lets you develop a global perspective of the relationships that exist between all the areas of law that influence business development.
What are your professional goals?
My greatest professional goal has always been the same: to become a leading expert on tax knowledge in the legal sector. Because of the specialized expertise I’ve gained throughout my career, this objective has become increasingly focused on the specific taxation of the financial sector.
What do you like most about your profession?
In my profession, every day is a challenge. Constant improvement is essential, as is finding the perfect balance between technical excellence and attention to each client’s needs. This need for improvement and balance is what I enjoy most, and it’s also my biggest motivation.
What advice would you give to future lawyers?
My advice can be summarized as follows: to be a good professional, you must enjoy what you do. If you enjoy your profession and work hard, there’s no doubt that you will become a great lawyer.
How did the master’s program help you access the labor market, especially when it came to KPMG and, later, EY?
The IE master’s program is highly renowned among larger firms and companies, both in Spain and abroad. My good performance in the program opened up the doors to companies like KPMG and EY. They value IE’s reputation, as well as the fact that its students are trained by professionals who work at the country’s biggest firms and companies.
Did you ever imagine you’d be advising such high-level clients on such relevant issues?
The truth is that I’ve always aspired to this. My decision to earn this degree at IE was entirely geared toward achieving this goal and, ultimately, the result was just as good as I hoped it would be.