"The IE Brown Executive MBA it’s one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional experience as an educator."

Marco, Italy

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Marco Trombetta

About me

Despite the common belief that accounting practice is simply a mechanical application of a set of rules, Marco Trombetta believes that the only way to truly account for a transaction is first to understand its economics, and only then apply the accounting mechanics. It was this intuition that positioned the theoretical economist view of accounting as a way for companies to transform raw data into useful information.

This idea is at the core of the recent developments in accounting practice. The way in which companies are created, organized and managed is in constant flux. Only a set of accounting standards and procedures that give preference to the substance of transactions over their form will be able to keep up with the business dynamic and receive international acceptance. This spirit is embedded in the International Financial Reporting Standards and underlines the on-going process of harmonizing accounting standards around the world. This is what forms the fundamental backbone of Professor Trombetta’s expertise. Marco holds a Ph.D. in economics from Oxford University.

Marco Trombetta, Italy


Professor of Financial Accounting at IE Brown Executive MBA


Financial Accounting

How did you end up becoming a faculty member for the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

I have been teaching in the program since the beginning. When I heard that IE Business School was launching this initiative, I immediately asked to be part of its faculty. The idea of an MBA centered on Humanities fascinated me and reminded me of my bachelor degree in Economics and Social Sciences, which I enjoyed immensely.

Could you tell us about your experience being a faculty member for the IE Brown Executive MBA program? 

It is one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional experience as an educator. I get challenged every year by an extremely interesting group of students and it forces me to put my subject Financial Accounting into the broader context of society.

What do you enjoy most about teaching in the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

The quality of the participants and the diversity of their backgrounds and experiences. They always nurture an engaging, challenging and rewarding discussion. 

Can you describe how this program expands on the boundaries of traditional education?

It puts humanities at the center of an MBA curriculum and combines it with a top-of-the-range liquid learning experience. Students engage with over 20 different courses throughout their 15 months with us, delivering a socially minded business leadership education with cross-industry expertise.

What sets this MBA program apart from other MBA programs?

The kind of participants that it is able to attract. This is due to its unique curriculum and organization. Having a professional musician together with a heart surgeon and a Financial Times executive together in one class, then taking all of them to visit a South African township makes for a pretty unique learning experience.

How do the two institutions (IE University/Brown School of Professional Studies) shape future leaders to drive innovation and transform industries?

By pursuing the renaissance ideal with 21st century tools. To provide disruptive solutions to societal problems, you need not only technical skills, but also a solid base in the humanities. This idea is at the heart of IE University’s educational approach.

Where do you see challenges, and what kind of opportunities are there to develop future outcomes from the program?

The IE Brown program is and needs to be global. In terms of opportunities, I would say the shift to “smart” working. The IE Brown program has been blended from the start, so it fits ideally with this shift. 

What impact do you think IE and Brown’s collaborative program has on the wider community?

It educates people to be leaders of social change. Many of our former students have started social enterprises.

What important lessons have you learned throughout your career that you’d like to share with others?

Only those who do nothing never make mistakes. Use mistakes to learn and get better. The “why” is more important than the “how.” If you only learn the “how”, you can only replicate. If you understand the “why”, you are ready to face the challenges of an ever-changing world and solve the problems of tomorrow.

What advice would you give to students just starting the IE Brown Executive MBA program?

Be curious about the world and be ready to share a life experience with the wonderful group of people who are in the program with you. This attitude will help you a great deal in surviving the intense pace of this program—and you will not be disappointed!