A couple weeks before we were set to begin orientation week, we were able to submit our preferences for the mysterious “GNAM.” We were to spend a week in October away from our regularly scheduled programming, attending a course at a member school belonging to the Global Network for Advanced Management. We received our placements quickly, and just as quickly forgot about them, as classes started in earnest. After all, we had studying and assignments to think about!
Sure enough, the time came for us to head to our respective corners of the globe to gather with other MBAs and complete the modules we had chosen two months prior. Our classmates attended sessions at ESTM in Germany, Koç University Graduate School of Business in Turkey, Haas School of Business in the US, UBC Sauder School of Business in Canada, Fudan University School of Management in China, and a strong contingency stayed to participate in the course at Smurfit. I was among four Smurfit students who spent our week at Yale in the US, learning about the Behavioural Science of Management.
To say it was an incredible week would be an understatement. We received five lectures from leading professors in the field, whose topics ranged from Making Better Decisions Using Behavioral Science to Negotiating Mindsets. Mid-week we visited an investment firm in a nearby town and learned about Behavioural Finance: how psychology affects investors and the markets or financial analysts, and subsequently, the markets. Most importantly, we shared the experience with our new friends from around the world. We spent our evenings socialising, and those from Ireland got a taste of life in America. One of our Irish friends even tried his first fried pickle.
Many of the other attendees were nearing the ends of their programmes and getting ready to start the next phase of their professional careers. They understood the hard work of doing an MBA and the mindset it required. They gave us advice, encouragement, and a window into our near futures. At the end of the week, we promised to visit each other soon, connected on LinkedIn, and then Instagram, because LinkedIn felt too stiff and professional for the bonds we had forged. Despite having only spent a week together, I have no doubt that we will continue to be part of each other’s professional and personal networks as we move onto the rest of the MBA and through our careers.
Bailey Talkington, Full Time MBA 2019-2020
Just three weeks ago I was sitting in a flight, travelling half way across the globe leaving the security of everything familiar and friendly. Choosing to do an MBA is definitely a huge step both for your professional and personal growth. This decision making can be exhausting, exasperating and confusing. It was the same for me a year ago, and these are the words I lived by; ‘Go as far as you can see; when you get there you’ll be able to see farther’. Getting into UCD Smurfit was nothing short of a dream and every day since my induction week makes me proud of the decision I took.
First Morning of MBA Foundation Week
Three weeks have passed in a blur, starting off with a welcome lunch for international students, followed by the hectic induction week. We had sessions on Finance, Data Analytics, Persuasive Writing, Leading Cross Cultural teams to name a very few. Each giving us insight into what would be in store for us in the coming year. Every session is a testament to the globally diverse international experience that the Smurfit MBA is going to be. We also had several interactive group sessions such as the Die Trainers Business simulation and Orangeworks Peak Performance that got us networking with the rest of the class as well as the Executive MBA class. At the end of week one we had progressed to friends from just classmates.
MBA Welcome Reception
Diversity and international experience are not just mere words here. In less than a month of joining the MBA program we are already gearing up for the GNAM week where we get to spend a week in a prestigious university of our choice. We get to choose from international universities like Yale, ESMT – Berlin, IE – Spain, University of California Berkeley, Fudan University – China etc. We are already looking forward to the two international consulting projects that are coming up in 2020. Apart from this, every single classmate of mine comes with their own unique background. We have the whole palette from medics to engineers to musicians. It just translates to thirty more sources of corporate experience, information and perspective to go with from our distinguished faculty.
Night Out with Classmates
Putting aside all the academic and career aspects, Ireland is one of the most beautiful places in the world. And there is so much to explore and experience here. So my suggestion to everyone, keep a list of the places you want to see and make use of the sunny days (which I’ve been told is not going to last much longer).
Scenic Views of the Irish Coastline
Sreelakshmy Koonath, Full Time MBA 2019-2020