A Challenging but Rewarding Journey

It feels like the MBA started yesterday, but three months have already passed, and this is the last week of semester one. What an amazing and challenging journey so far! Sometimes I ask myself if it was a good idea to bring my wife and daughter to join me on this journey, but quickly I realize that we are all growing and learning in this wonderful country.

Looking through my calendar from the last three months, I can give a quick snapshot of this journey. Beginning the 7th of November, after more than two months looking for a nice house for my family, I finally received a positive answer from Alan (our letting agent), and I could finally move with my family to a house just for us, right behind my daughter’s school. Even though Ireland quickly recovered from the 2008 financial crisis, the housing market is still suffering from the lack of houses available to rent.

The following week, I had the privilege to visit Howth together with my team members and family. Ayush was responsible for the spicy egg sandwiches (delicious 😊, considering that it was his first time preparing them), Lucy leading us on the first part of our scary walk on the edge of the Howth cliffs (not recommended for those with a fear of heights), and Marina (my daughter) leading us on our way back (I thought we would never return!). At the end of this incredible afternoon, we stopped at a little market to warm our bodies drinking a hot chocolate and to burn our tongues eating Ayush’s spicy sandwiches. Everyone ate them except for Marina who preferred a half kilo Nutella crepe.


Last week, a big new challenge was scaring all the teams in the class. By Sunday (26th of November) we had to submit the Performance Marketing assignment, the main project for this subject. During the whole week, we could see all the teams working late, including Saturday with all syndicate study rooms full. By 11:28pm on Sunday, after the last few Google Hangout calls with my team, Eoin pressed the send button, and we could feel again a pleasant, but temporary relief.

The next day, here we are here again in the MBA room on a Monday morning discussing the next steps for our last two assignments of this semester. As we get closer to the end of the semester, I’m starting to have mixed feelings of relief, nostalgia, and gratitude.

I’m looking forward to the next steps of this challenging and rewarding journey!

Marcelo Cardozo de Mello Boccuzzi, Full Time MBA 2017-2018

A Home Away from Home

This year’s Smurfit MBA Class are a diverse cohort from different parts of the world. Although it has only been two and a half months it already feels like we’ve known each other for a long time! It is amazing how a group, made up of such varied cultures have learned and found a way to work together so coherently . Each and every one has something unique to offer and I can’t believe I’m saying this so early in the programme but it has become my safe place to explore and try something new each day.

After an intense GNAM week at different universities, we had an even more difficult week with our first exam on Financial Reporting. Immersed in balance sheets and income statements the week went by and we completed our first module in the MBA! As such, we deserved to unwind and celebrate, and what better way than celebrating Halloween together! Thom and Nicole were kind enough to host us all at their place. It was a fun-filled evening with music, dancing, food, and wine, and can only be described as a truly wonderful experience.


The Smurfit MBA is an intensive experience but at the same time extremely rewarding. One of my reasons for pursuing an MBA was for personal development and it has been an absolutely incredible journey so far. With lots more left to experience and learn, I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us.

Anita Louis, Full Time MBA 2017-2018


The Executive MBA & Work-Life Balance


I cannot complain, as I was warned.

During our first week, we had a presentation from a gentleman from the MBA Association of Ireland. At the end he wished all of the full timers “Best of luck”, but to the EMBA group he just laughed and said “God help you!’

The hardest part of the EMBA for me so far has been managing the work-life balance; to be honest even having the word ‘life’ in there is a bit misleading. I had many discussions with EMBA alumni who all described it as the most difficult but enjoyable two years of their life. So I thought I was prepared for the workload. About seven weeks in I had a mini-breakdown, where I thought “What the hell have I done?” “All that money!” “All that time!” The only comforting part was the fact that everybody else in my class seemed to be feeling the same way.

One of the main reasons for my doing an EMBA at this time in my life, was figuring that my 18 month old daughter would not miss me too much. As long as I can be there for dinner and bed time, as well as an hour or two at the weekend, it is enough for her at the moment. Anyway, she seems more interested in Barney, In the Night Garden, Tangled, Frozen, or whatever structure she can fashion into a climbing frame or a horse.

Although the time commitment is more than I thought it would be, I am enjoying it even more than I thought I could. I have been exposed to so many new things, including: online dating; Zara (as I have never considered it before); the reality that narcissistic managers do exist and how to recognise them; a company called ‘Bananas’ (that doesn’t sell bananas); amongst many others.

The most important part of the EMBA journey to date is how it has made me think about things in different ways – including how I see myself, and the impact that I can make (or not), depending on my own personality and behaviours.

It was around this time last year that I made the decision to tackle the EMBA. So to anybody reading this who is considering the EMBA: start your GMAT preparation, attend one of the UCD Smurfit MBA Open Days and then go for it.

You won’t regret it.

Ger Kenny ~ Executive MBA, Year 2