I have worked as a mechanical engineer within the power industry for the past 17 years and decided to do the full-time MBA to build on my business experience. Although I have only completed the first semester so far, I can already say that the UCD Smurfit MBA course provides an excellent set of business tools and has already opened many opportunities.
It was a bit daunting to get back into student life after so long away, but the orientation week and support from the college made the process seamless. The classes are small, so you get a great chance to develop a bond with each class and can easily interact with the professors.
I have had some great experiences in the MBA. I got the amazing opportunity to participate in the GNAM (Global Network for Advanced Management) week at Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley–you can learn more about that week here.
I currently interact with students throughout the world via an online course on Corporate Entrepreneurship at EGADE business school at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico, which is also facilitated by GNAM.
The UCD MBA Entrepreneurship Club, which I serve as a board member, has proved to be a great opportunity. The college has assembled an advisory board from government agencies, SMEs, and start-ups, to provide connections for the club members. We have arranged one event so far that brought in Conor Hanley to give us a fascinating talk about his entrepreneurial adventures within the medical device arena.
In November, U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Edward F. Crawford visited the Smurfit campus to speak about his fascinating entrepreneurial journey. He met specifically with members of the Entrepreneurship Club before the presentation.
Participation in the MBA includes access to Executive Coaching and an assigned business mentor. I am taking full advantage of both options. The coach acts as a sounding board and offers help with my career direction. The mentor, provided through Career Services, is an experienced UCD alumni from the power industry, so will be another great resource.
I have also arranged to put what I’ve learned in the MBA directly into practice by providing some consultancy work to an energy company based in UCD’s start-up hub UCD Nova.
As the MBA programme at Smurfit has an international focus, I am preparing for a trip to Argentina next month for the hands-on ‘Doing Business in International Markets’ module. In June, we’ll travel to Lisbon, Portugal for a week of consulting assignments with local businesses.
I could not more highly recommend the UCD Smurfit MBA. It provides an exceptional opportunity to build your business and personal skills, while becoming part of an extensive alumni family.
—Kenneth Power, FTMBA 2019-2020