Archive for October, 2011
So yet again Sunday evening comes around 5 minutes after I left work on Friday. It been a busy week; our documentary about the Brent Pope Rugby Legends Foundation was on RTE 1 and hits to our site shot up 250% on average every day since it was shown. There are 1 in 4 charities shutting down and we are managing to stay afloat, it’s been tough out there but we’re offering team building products to corporates that seem to be really catching on, plus we’re hiring so that can only be positive. Now it’s just about sustaining that momentum, building more houses and keeping in the media to raise the profile. That’s just the 9-5 though.
Like I said, the weekend just zips by. Saturday morning and team 5 are huddled around a laptop in a coffee shop off the M50. Donal dials in on Skype from Wicklow. Papers strewn around the table and we’re debating the best strategy for our mobile phone company. We look like a team from the apprentice (minus the cameras and the bad attitude). I would have said Charlies Angels but we’re taking about the MBA here – we use our brains, not our judo skills, plus I haven’t been to the gym in 6 weeks.
My brain is getting a lot of exercise though; back in the coffee shop, debating tactics and discussing all our projects. I’m project lead this week and we’re talking about what Ford can learn from Dell. It’s tough but it’s brilliant. 7 weeks in and I’m surprised at how much I enjoy the classes and discussions, how eager I am to pick up my books after a long day and how much I look forward to meeting up at 10am on Saturday mornings. It’s practical, it’s relevant and it’s more challenging than anything I’ve done in a long time. It’s like a rollercoaster – uphill battle to get to a deadline and then the thrill of delivering a presentation knowing you’ve nailed it. I know I’m not the only one. 3 hours in we call it a morning and Dermot hooks his rucksack on his back and smiles – “Maire says I’ve not been this happy about working on a Saturday before, I’m enjoying this, even though it’s taking up all my free time.”
I hop back into my car, drive around the corner into a 30 minute tailback – roadworks for the third time this week; it seems the country has decided to start preparing for the future again. I turn on the radio and it’s Bertie. I’m glad we’ve moved away from that type of leadership, and we’re demanding more, but even more importantly than that, it seems people are engaging and owning that leadership more. My money is on Michael D for president next week and I’ve just had an idea, if he wins, I’m going to try and get him to open our new renovation partnership with St. Michaels house 2 days later. Who knows, my next blog post might have that photo….
- Karen Kennedy, Exec-MBA 2010-2011
D-day has finally arrived! This morning we have our Financial Reporting exam, the first of many that will test what we have learned from this comprehensive and intense curriculum.
Living in North County Dublin, my commute normally has echoes of the film ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’. I walk to the bus stop, get a bus into the city centre, walk to the train station, get a train to Blackrock and then cycle to the college. It’s a long and arduous trek but a small price to pay for attending a world-leading business school. Yes, the guys down the back of the bus give me funny looks when I use my laptop on the bus but I take every opportunity I can to tackle the workload. Today, however, I need to get in very early for some last minute study before the exam so I drive in by car instead. Read the rest of this entry »
I learned of the passing of Steve Jobs at 1:32am IST. An email was sent out by one of my classmates stating “RIP Steve Jobs” with a YouTube video of his famous One More Thing tagline. Sadly, there will be no more “things” from Steve Jobs, but his legacy will live on for decades to come.
As an MBA student, Apple and Steve Jobs are regular players in many of our classroom discussions. I have only been in the program for a little over 4 weeks and am already at a loss to count how many times he has been used an example. Whether we are discussing the attributes of a good presenter, strategy in supply chain management, or innovative thinking, he can be used to illustrate any of these points, for better or worse.
The irony that he never actually completed more than a semester of college while we are all spending thousands of Euro/Dollars/Rupees, etc. is not lost on us. It seems to be in line within the pattern that the greatest innovative thinkers of today (Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg) are not born in a classroom. Perhaps even, arguably the opposite.
Last week one of my MBA colleagues sent out the famous Stanford graduation speech as motivational reminder of the strength of perseverance (most likely in the face of our first group paper for Corporate Financial Reporting which had many of us rethinking our decision to pursue an MBA). This speech got me thinking about the leadership style of Steve Jobs, and how it both hurt and helped him in his professional journey. Read the rest of this entry »
Networking is one of those words that started out sounding interesting and catchy and came to mean the soulless pursuit of people you can manipulate into thinking you like them and use to achieve your own objectives. Nowadays, only people with fangs and razor-sharp claws participate in ‘networking’. Even in an MBA programme that is ranked in the Financial Times as one of the world’s best, networking started as a bad word, whispered only in dark corners of hidden corridors.
A wise man (my dad) once told me that he thought that out of all of his clients built up over his more than 20 year career, the ones that ended up staying with him were the ones that, had he just met them in the street, would have ended up being his friends anyway. After spending several years in marketing, sales and PR, that’s how I see networking. It’s just meeting as many people as you can to find out with which you might share a connection. You meet a person, you like them, you might even become friends, and then they are in your network. It’s easy. It’s fun. If you do it right, it will make your life better and happier. Why then, does the term ‘networking’ get such bad reactions? Read the rest of this entry »