Posts Tagged ‘Extracurricular’
Last Friday was one of those days: the sun was shining, people were smiling and wearing shades for the first time in a long time. Several of us met up at the Dublin Convention Centre to attend a US Embassy event on the topic of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – a proposal to reduce trade barriers between the US and EU. The breakfast meeting was chaired by Margaret E. Ward of the Irish Times and speakers included Minster Lucinda Creighton; US Ambassador to the EU, William Kennard; head of the US Chamber of Commerce, Thomas J. Donohue; and the inimitable Michael O’Leary of Ryanair. Having as it does one of the strongest relationships with the US of all EU countries, it was appropriate that this was being worked on during Ireland’s EU presidency. As the global economic axis takes a distinct turn to the east, it is of huge importance to us in Europe and indeed in Ireland that trade with the US is facilitated and supported at every step.
I left the Convention Centre to join my classmates across the river at Google’s headquarters for a site visit. The whole area around Barrow St and the docks is testament to the strong relationship we have with corporate America and the mutual benefits that can accrue from this relationship. Looking around the famous Google canteen (where the food is delicious by the way), I was reminded how important our relationship with the US is and how we need to nurture that relationship and never take it for granted. The tech hub that is being created in Dublin, mainly by US companies, could offer this country a sustainable competitive advantage for decades to come. As young Irish people delve into the technology of Google, Twitter, Facebook, Hubspot, Dropbox et al. the potential is there for an incredible upsurge in Irish tech companies who will sustain and grow our ailing economy in the digital world we now inhabit. If the recent Dubstarts jobs fair is anything to go by, there’s plenty of burgeoning Irish talent with great ideas already out there and ready to take on the world.
Google itself was a fascinating place to visit. They have all the stuff you hear about, the foosball tables, bean bags etc, but what’s most impressive is the passion in the voices of their staff when they talk about their work. They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and Google certainly proved this when our site leader, Jane, told us we were going to undertake a project. Cool, I thought, only in the door and already I’m working for Google. Each of our six teams was given forty minutes to see how we could help a business drive traffic towards its product using Google’s products and services. Each team would present its case and a winner would be selected. There’s nothing like a bit of competition to get an MBA class going and the next forty minutes were hell-for-leather. Eventually my team was lucky enough to be chosen as the winners and we received some great Google goodies! I think we won because our team had a great blend of thinkers – some creative, some logical. By combining these talents we got a great concept and built solid steps around achieving that concept. It was certainly gratifying to be selected by the Google staff as having offered the best solutions to their business problem from a very talented group of MBA students.
Unfortunately, like all good things, it came to an end, and some of us headed back to Blackrock for Friday afternoon classes, but certainly with an eye to the future and a great degree of optimism.
- Morgan Mangan, FT MBA 2012-13
It is that time of the year again where the Smurfit Rugby Club is off to defend its title in the MBA Rugby World Cup. The teams -one men’s and one women’s- left Dublin for North Carolina this morning after a few hectic months of training, organisation and fundraising. In anticipation of an update from the Rugby Club, here’s a recap of how they got on last year. Also check out their Facebook Group page!
BEST OF LUCK TO THE SMURFIT RUGBY CLUB 2012/2013!
- Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager
UCD Smurfit Rugby Team has brought home the MBA World Cup Trophy for 10 out of 11 years – well, the men’s team has. This year will be the second year in a row that the MBA program will also send a women’s team to the USA for the world cup, a feat that has only happened a handful of times before. As an American in Ireland, I had never even really watched rugby on the television let alone played a match in my life. And yet here I am, six months later, heading up the UCD Women’s Rugby Team (with a good friend, also a Smurfit MBA, who has extensive rugby experience). This year, we have one goal, which is to bring home a MBA Rugby World Cup, not only for the Men, but for the Women’s team also, which would be a first for Smurfit!
When asked to write an entry for our MBA Blog, it took me quite a while to come up with an experience to write about. Everything has happened so fast and intensely that it was a little overwhelming to come up with something to write about, since there seems to be so much going on in my head at one time! However, since Rugby has lately taken over my Tuesday and Friday nights, along with my Saturday and Sunday afternoons (we will call Saturdays and Sundays as studying up on the sport of Rugby by watching the “professionals” play in the 6 Nations).
Upon starting the MBA, the different representatives of all the MBA clubs (there are a lot of them) were paraded in front of us, where they told us about the opportunities offered by the different interest areas. Of course, when the Rugby Club came up, ears perked up, mainly because Smurfit has been the team to not only compete, but win the championship cup for so many years. Of course, it’s “great craic” as our friendly speaker insisted, but he also talked about the opportunities it opened as far as networking with other top MBA programs and the friendships and camaraderie you get as being part of an athletic team with other Masters students in the Smurfit School of Business.
Today, about one month away from our trip to the states, I can say that my experience has not been a disappointment! I have met great guys and girls while participating on the team, and have also been able to achieve another of my personal goals in coming to Ireland, which was to learn more about a different culture, and learning about rugby (not only how to watch, but how to play) has given me an experience in Ireland. I am happy (albeit surprised) to say that I am the only non-Irish person on the women’s team (our coach playfully refers to me as the American rugby spy), and being a member of this team has given me a deeper and more real look into a pastime that is very important in the country. Almost like someone learning and getting understand the teams and the game of American Football if they go to the states. In class, I learn about business in both Ireland and other areas of the world (from an Irish perspective), and from my classmates I learn about the social norms of Ireland and Irish culture, but never can you truly be immersed in the culture until you take it on yourself to truly become involved in something that is of that country, outside of the contrived state of the classroom. I think I have done that with not only joining the Smurfit Rugby Club, but in being part of its leadership committee. I can’t wait until where the next month takes us as a team, and me individually, but I look forward to it and can’t wait to write a second entry in one month’s time detailing how we won!!
- Heidi Hart, FT MBA 12/13
Congratulations to Lynne O’Donnell, MBA 2012, who came second in the final of the entrepreneurship accelerator programme, LaunchPad, run by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC). Lynn is founder and CEO of the start-up company, Tempity, which took second place at yesterday’s final granting access to an investment fund of €20,000.
Tempity is a cloud-based platform, which allows Recruitment agencies to easily monitor the availability of temporary candidates and match their clients with temps in real-time, based on skills match and location. Tempity dynamically tracks candidate availability so recruitment consultants will only see temps who are available for work now. On the other side, Temps can actively manage their availability, location & accept jobs directly from their smart phone.
Lynn was in good company yesterday with a second UCD Smurfit MBA start-up company also competing on the day – Buzzoo. Three graduates from the Fulltime MBA 2012 are part of the management team – Founders Dave Byrne and Vishal Balasubramaniam and Business Development manager – David Pierce. Buzzoo is social music software for businesses that play music. It allows people at a premises to control the music by using their smartphone to view and influence the music playlist for the venue. It’s like moving the jukebox onto the smartphone and turning the smartphone into a remote control for the music so that the crowd becomes the DJ. Buzzoo also represented UCD Smurfit in the inaugural ‘Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition’ last June.
NDRC LaunchPad is Ireland’s first digital accelerator, ranked 1st in Ireland and 6th in Europe, supporting the next generation of digital entrepreneurs to accelerate good ideas to sound startups. This innovative programme is managed by another UCD Smurfit MBA graduate – Gary Leyden, who has worked with over 80 digital ventures to date on LaunchPad.
- Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager