As a new associate professor in Suffolk University’s Accounting Department, Paolo Petacchi is looking forward to interacting with a highly diverse and motivated group of students.
At Suffolk, the percentage of international students is much higher compared to the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, where Petacchi taught previously. “The more international students you have in a class, the better,” said Petacchi, who is native to Italy. When students from all around the world convene in single class, they receive a rich educational experience that offers many different perspectives, he explained.
As a whole, Suffolk students are also highly driven and committed to their education. That is important to Petacchi because he wants to help students achieve their goals and become successful business leaders.
One of the most rewarding aspects, Petacchi said, is when students express appreciation for his class. “It’s even more rewarding when the recognition comes from someone who was struggling with the material in the beginning,” he added. Watching a student transform into a confident business professional is both motivational and gratifying, he added.
Petacchi teaches the graduate course Corporate Financial Planning and Control. In this class, “we go beyond the numbers, and we start to think about how to use that information.” Sometimes what looks good on paper, does not work in the real world because there are other factors to consider besides debits and credits.
In his class, students develop a framework for designing responsible accounting systems to map corporate strategy, key performance indicators, and risk into the managerial organization. They also learn to balance financial and non-financial measures of performance.
Petacchi has always been interested in accounting. Initially, it seemed like a natural fit for him, as he considers himself to be a very practical and logical person. “It fit into my way of thinking,” he said.
Later on, Petacchi found accounting to be more than just a good match for his skills. He discovered that it can be “a very powerful tool” when one knows how to analyze the numbers. “I’m actually more interested in accounting now than I was before,” Petacchi said.
Petacchi earned his doctorate degree in Business Administration (Accounting) from Cattolica University in Milan, Italy. He has several years of teaching experience at universities around the world, including Cattolica University and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. He has also been a Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan and University of Florida.