Bárbara Huerta | IE

Bárbara Huerta

About me

Thanks to my parents, sports and ballet, I grew up in a culture of effort and improvement, which I have transferred to my educational and professional career. My first contact with IE University was as a student of the Executive Master in Finance, where I graduated top of my class in 2006. During that program, I met many great professionals who have become inspiring teachers in my life since then. Soon, my interest in learning led me to the pleasure of teaching, which fulfills me every day. I have been a professor of Financial Accounting and Financial Analysis in different IE University programs since 2008 and now, I’m the academic director of the Master in Finance. I have also authored one book and coauthored a second one.

shapeBárbara Huerta
case2Academic Director of the Master in Finance

“My interest in learning led me to the pleasure of teaching, which fulfills me every day.”

Bárbara Huerta

One-of-a-kind experiences on a unique career path

Bárbara Huerta’s life before academia was defined by passion, discipline and hard work. After an idyllic but active childhood in Madrid, she enrolled at Universidad CEU San Pablo for her undergraduate studies in Economics. Bárbara soon found herself juggling classes and professional obligations when she snagged a competitive fellowship at the Bank of America’s macro research division.

Graduation brought with it a strong desire to launch her career in the corporate world. So when she finally joined Arthur Andersen as an auditor, it was the realization of a long-held dream. As it turned out, this decision would lead to one of the most defining periods of her career.

Arthur Andersen was once one of the biggest accounting firms and multinational corporations in the world. There, Bárbara spent almost five years sharpening her practical competencies in finance and financial accounting. Understanding how both aspects affect corporate operations has been instrumental to her professional success since then.

But in 2002, the hammer dropped. The company’s implication in the Enron scandal led to its ultimate collapse and demise; what was left was acquired by other leading firms like KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte. By this point, Bárbara was barely a second-year junior associate at the company and so, after all the smoke cleared, she got to continue her professional journey at Deloitte for another year. While there, she also taught several courses and seminars, unearthing her love for teaching for the first time.

Bárbara started nurturing a growing interest in technology and telecommunications around this time. It led to another career pivot—this time to Telefónica—and kicked off the next stage of her growth: in the last 20 years, Bárbara has quickly and steadily climbed up the ladder, moving through several leadership positions before culminating in her current role as the Corporate Director of Internal Financial Audit and Processes.

Bárbara first entered the IE University universe through the Executive Master in Finance. As top of her class in 2006, she credits the program with helping her land her most recent promotion at Telefónica. More importantly, it gave her the chance to finally turn her dreams of teaching into a reality. Bárbara led her very first class in Creative Accounting and Advanced Valuation alongside professor Ignacio de la Torre and the positive reviews were proof of her unique value in the classroom.

“Arthur Andersen left a special imprint on my future professional career: the relevance of internal controls,” says Bárbara. That’s a lesson she’s taken to every professional role since then—and one she’s determined to share with students of the Master in Finance. As the program’s new academic director, her primary objective is to emphasize the growing need for skilled, ethical financial professionals in the field.

This shapes how she teaches different courses, including Finance, Financial Accounting, Financial Analysis and Valuation. Bárbara is especially concerned with Creative Accounting and Advanced Valuation, a field of specialization that developed in response to the need to read balance sheets and spot irregularities. As she sees it, “Understanding financial statements and accounting is no longer just desirable, but fundamental and indispensable for anybody who works in the financial industry.”

It’s a course Bárbara is uniquely qualified to tutor. Drawing upon her unique professional experiences and vast knowledge of the industry, she’s able to show students how to identify, tackle and neutralize through the most common accounting games companies practice using a series of hands-on accounting minefield practicums. As Bárbara points out, this skill set is incredibly vital for the future of the global economy: “It is key to consider the practical financial and human consequences of financial irregularities and the relevance of sustainable growth for economy and society,” she says.

For Bárbara, the Master in Finance is a complete, holistic program that prepares students for the realities of the field. Not only does it cut down barriers to access in terms of technical expertise, its curriculum is responsive to the changing needs and increasing specialization of the labor market. It also blends knowledge in finance, business and accounting with opportunities for students to hone their leadership abilities, leading to a thoroughly well-rounded profile As Bárbara explains, “Our students will have every important comparative advantage.”

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“My interest in learning led me to the pleasure of teaching, which fulfills me every day.”

Bárbara Huerta

Academic Director of the Master in Finance