Archive for November, 2011
All of a sudden it’s Thursday and I’m driving down the quays heading to a 4pm work meeting before my groups’ 5.30pm EMBA presentation. It’s going to be a photo finish reaching the Institute of Bankers on time. I have my earpiece in and am mid conference call with the team – Donal has made some last minute tweaks to our report that should give us that extra edge. Dermot and Simon have put the finishing touches to the presentation itself, and I’m taking the lead on its delivery tonight. It’s our second of three essays due in this week. We knew it was going to be a tough time; burning the midnight oil and juggling work and family commitments. Work, college and study have merged into one and these last few days I’ve got about 5 hours sleep tops a night.
My work meeting finishes early, the foundation of a new partnership seems certain and it makes sense; non profits are all ultimately working towards the same goal and we shouldn’t be in competition with each other. We should try to come together as much as possible in areas where we overlap, to build capacity, reduce costs and improve impact.
Looking back on my last post and I’m delighted that Michael D made it to the Aras, I haven’t yet gotten my photo with him but we have put in a request for him to hand over the keys of two new homes to Habitat families who have been on the council waiting list for years. One of the future occupants, a family of four, has been living in a one bedroom flat in the city centre for the last 8 years. There’s black mould on the walls, it seems the boom that came and went didn’t even impact some people at all. This family will be contributing 500 hours of their time working onsite with volunteers, as well as paying off a small mortgage. There’s a school across the road and a garden out the back. It’s exciting to think about the difference this opportunity is going to make.
Traffic goes my way and I reach my team early – 5.15pm and Dermot already has the screen ready, Simon has the printed version of our project in hand, Donal and I start anticipating questions. What a team! I know I’ll miss these guys when our groups change in the New Year.
I arrive home exhausted and put on a wash; the first normal thing I’ve done all week. 5 minutes later I come back into the kitchen, having heard a little ‘bang’ and smelt smoke. It seems the dial was on 95 degrees and the washing machine exploded…. It’s hard to know how to react when something like that happens – one’s first inclination is to look for someone to blame and then for a means to deny it actually happened. Having no capacity to think of either, I just open the window and go to bed. I’ll think about it the weekend….
- Karen Kennedy
One of the best-supported student societies among the full-time MBA class is the MBA Investment Club. The club is focused on education and events, and is a great way for students to apply the theories studied in class to real-world investments. We manage an investment fund which encourages students to put forward case studies to support the inclusion of a stock or exchange-traded fund into the portfolio or to argue in favour of closing out a position.
Once the case study is presented, shareholders in the fund then vote on whether or not to buy or sell. Given the turmoil in the financial markets, it is unsurprising that caution has been the order of the day so far, with student investors opting to have a high proportion of the portfolio in cash with only defensive businesses with strong balance sheets being considered for inclusion to date.
In addition to running the fund, we have also presented a seminar series on the financial markets from a practitioner’s perspective which was held over the course of one week earlier this term, while meetings are occasionally convened (open to all MBA students) at which investment case studies are presented along with an overview of what is happening in global equity markets. We are hoping to arrange a number of ‘site visits’ to some of Dublin’s principal financial centres in the New Year to help further the class’s understanding of how the markets work and to give an opportunity for students to get to know and learn from some of the leading figures in Ireland’s investment community.
- Philip O’Sullivan
I would like to borrow from Gene N. Landrum to say this – “Entrepreneurs see risk as an opportunity, not a threat, which leads almost inevitably to fame and fortune”. One of the key takeaways from the MBA Entrepreneurship Club kick-off event was that successful entrepreneurs take calculated risks. UCD Smurfit Lecturer in Entrepreneurship John Cashell spoke about the importance of mitigating risks through detailed market research and planning. That evening I also had the opportunity to listen to inspiring short talks by Serial Entrepreneur Ron Immink, Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s Head of Impact Annalisa O’Carroll, and Co-founder of ThousandSeeds Mary Cronin. Read the rest of this entry »
I was recently reading the book “Princes of the Yen” which contained the interesting concept of central bank “window guidance” where the bank sets targets for banks to lend for each industry. In Japan this led to very rapid growth after the Second World War and shows that centralised policies can be more effective than the free market in some situations. It also shows that equity or bond financing is not needed for success and bank lending can do equally as well. This made me think about central banks in a completely different way with the rate of interest being less important than the quantity of money being lent and the fact that credit can be targeted to either productive industries or to speculative activities. This is a link to the author Professor Werner’s publications if you would like to learn more.
- Richard Emberton, FT MBA 2012