“Tell me and I’ll forget.
Show me and I may remember.
Involve me and I’ll understand.”
- Confucius -
My Teaching Philosophy, in a Nutshell
What makes some professionals stand out from the crowd is their ability to tackle new problems, analyze them thoroughly, and come up with innovative and effective solutions. Hence, in my view, business education should prepare our students to excel at those tasks. My teaching philosophy reflects this belief. My courses blend solid understanding of theory with hands-on applications focused on problem-solving. Depending on the subject, applying concepts could demand collecting and managing data, modeling in Excel, programming econometric tests, interpreting results, or simply working out paper-based problems. Irrespective of the class, students will typically finish my courses having strengthened their analytical skills and feeling better prepared to develop valuable solutions.
In 2019 I received the University Teaching Award at Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina
Courses Recently Taught
Master's and Undergraduate Class
This is a standard introductory course to corporate finance dealing with principles of time value of money, risk and return, capital budgeting, and financing decisions. My students work with a personal computer so we can introduce the theory and next turn to real data and work on financial modeling relating to that theory. Often times, I use articles from the news to kick-start the class, which motivates the students from the first minute.
“Principles of Investment”
Master's and Undergraduate Class
Graduate and undergraduate students alike thoroughly enjoy this class. The course covers essential concepts like efficient diversification, portfolio selection, security analysis, and macroeconomic and industry analysis. We typically introduce a topic, cover the theoretical background, and move swiftly towards real-world applications. For instance, when working on portfolio selection, students will define their preferences and goals and analyze real data to create their own portfolios. Whether working as financial advisers or simply planning their personal finance, students can always come back to the notions they acquire in this class.
“Financial Markets and Institutions”
This course offers students a broad understanding of how financial markets work, and what the roles of their key institutions are. It is fun. Fast paced. Computer-intensive. Packed with concepts and applications: online data search, data analysis, Excel modeling, news reviews and discussion, online lab and exercises, videos... It has it all. And virtually every concept is closely related to everyday life.
“Making Decisions in Complex Business Environments”
This course is taught at San Andrés, Argentina, for the International Accounting Program of McCombs School of Business, UT Austin. The course blends economics, strategy, and finance to offer students experience and tools to do business in complex business environments. We start with a review of the Argentine economy, its sectors, and markets. We then move to businesses and their strategies to successfully navigate the Argentine business cycle. Next, we focus on analytical tools designed to cope with uncertainty and risks in financial management; this part puts an emphasis on financial modeling. We wrap up the course with the analysis of real business opportunities. This is, truly, a fun course.
This course is meant for students with a background in econometrics. The main objective is to become familiar with applications of a wide range of econometric models and methods. We start with a review of key notions on statistics, inference, linear and nonlinear models, and estimation methods. We then move to semi-parametric and non-parametric models. We devote the last part of the course to univariate and multivariate time-series models. I teach this course in a lab, so we can seamlessly switch back and forth between theory and applications as needed.
This course is designed and taught under the assumption that each student in the class is a researcher with a genuine need to master the theory and use of econometric methods. We work in stages starting with basics statistics, and we move forward to cover diverse methods of cross-sectional and panel data analysis. All along the way we ask when, why, and how would we use each technique and we make sure everybody is proficient at applying them. This includes designing tests, programming them, and interpreting their results. This is certainly not the easiest class of all, yet it is one that will prepare students to conduct rigorous empirical research.
Some Comments from my Students
"Santiago is incredible. He actually taught the material instead of just telling students to learn it on their own."
"Great, passionate professor! Loved his enthusiasm and willingness to help."
"Santiago is an EXCELLENT professor. I had never had such a dedicated professor. He cares about your learning, and not just about your grades."
"Fantastic professor. Pleasure to have him."
"Santiago did a great job this semester! He's very personable, seems to care, and great guy!"
"I love Santiago's energy and the encouragement he gives us."
"Santiago is a great professor who conveys his passion for finance and encourages students to become the best version of themselves. A great inspiration!"
"Thanks for your dedication to the group and the course. It was a great experience."
"The best professor."
"It was a pleasure to take his class. He provides many different real world examples of concepts we covered in class. Also, he used his own research to supplement our learning, which was awesome. Very, very knowledgeable teacher, and also flexible to students' needs. I hope to have him again if at all possible."
"I appreciate your passion for not only finance, but also wanting to see your students succeed."
"A genius. Honestly, the enthusiasm and willingness to teach he has were among the best things of this course."
"The preparation and the overall course were really amazing. Professor Barraza surely is doing an incredible work and it is very appreciated."
"The professor was a great person first, then a great teacher, always available and able to transmit his passion for the subject to students."
"He is the best professor I've ever had from ESCP."
"I couldn't have asked for a better finance teacher. He was caring, and really there for his students. I thank him very much for all he has done for us."
"The best professor the University gave me."
"He had me fall in love with Finance. He's a great teacher who cares about his students."
"The best teaching methodology that I have ever seen."
"Thoroughly enjoyed taking your class. One of the best teachers I have had thus far in my collegiate career. I want to thank you for the opportunity to learn from you."
"Keep this professor at all costs."
"Santiago is a genius and a great professor. You can tell he knows a lot and enjoys teaching. He always makes himself available to the students and makes sure the group follows the class... I really enjoyed this course."
"His performance was impeccable."
"Best class I have taken [thus far]! Professor really cares about the material and his students. He responds very quickly to questions and provides real world examples [...] An honor to have taken his class."
"Santi was an awesome and very intelligent professor."
"Santiago is one of the best professors I have ever had. I admire his passion for teaching. It is evident he loves what he does and enjoys teaching. His commitment and eagerness to have his students learn pushed me to study a lot."
"I loved the course."
"Awesome! Very good [professor], very friendly and easy to like and listen to."
"Santiago gets students interested and helps them achieve a level of concentration above normal."
"Great support, great availability. A really good example that a class during [Covid-19] can work and be fun!"
"The course was perfectly structured. [...] The professor was very student-oriented, explained everything in detail and was very motivating."
"What an incredible experience with finance. I need to extend my congratulations to the teacher. He is definitely a professor to look up to and serve as an example."
"The teacher was awesome!!"