Inspirational Presentations in Chile

It was the second event of our second day in Chile, and having spent the last 6 months in Ireland none of us were conditioned for the Mediterranean climate we found in Santiago, especially leaving Dublin at a time when the Beast from the East was fresh in our memories! I would be the first to admit that staying focused is not my forte but when you have travelled the 11,460 km distance from Dublin to Santiago you need to make the effort. Fortunately for myself and my colleagues the calibre of the speakers lined up was fantastic and it made attending the presentations a privilege.

We arrived at Wayra just after lunch on our second day in Chile. Wayra are a start-up accelerator, founded by one of the biggest telecommunications provider in the world, Telefonica and are part their  Open Innovation Program. Soon after our arrival I was informed that to get to our presentation location I would need to climb 4 sets of stairs, as you know ladies don’t sweat we glow and I was glowing red hot 😉 On the way up the stairs to the presentation space I observed some of the people working in Wayra. They were from various start-ups, young, mostly male and sitting around at various locations on bean-bags. This scene brought back alot of nostalgic memories for me about the last start-up I was a part of. Even though our group of 30+something MBA candidates were dressed in business attire, one of the Wayra employees continued to sit amongst us, on a bean bag in true start-up tradition and spirit, absolutely unbothered by the presentation. There was a great atmosphere throughout the presentation and we all found it extremely interesting. Unfortunately, the entire presentation was in Spanish but thanks to the presenter Pepe Pascual, nothing was lost in translation.

What really captured my interest at the presentation was that even though Chile is a developing economy there is still a strong presence of startups venturing into technology industries in areas such as AI, machine learning, cloud computing etc. This  made me realize that these technologies are already highly in demand. Below is a sample set of the start-ups that Wayra are working with:

Smartbox – The team at Smartbox believe that they have taken OTT to the next level. Through their Nunchee platform, users could customize their personal video & audio playlists with many new and interactive features. Nunchee platform could also be easily integrated with any device, including laptop, tablet and mobile. Cool right! Let’s talk about the next one.

Wivo – Another name for retail analytics. The most challenging work done by the team to date is to understand  customer behaviour though algorithms which use data acquired by sensors and heat maps installed in the shops. To highlight their work here is a fun fact that I spotted on their web page.

‘Did you know that people who like dogs are more likely to purchase an iPhone by as much as 37%?’ Very intriguing!

Inbenta – Now I believe this start-up will change the future of customer service or BPOs forever. Inbenta has created a chatbox which interacts with customer queries in the absence of a human customer service representative. This is done with the magic of machine learning and NLP as the underlying technologies. Through these technologies it is possible to predict what the customer is looking for and help precisely direct them to their desired products, vastly reducing search time. Sharp!

And as always I have kept the best till last!

Poliglota – This start up is by far the most original and innovative (in my humble opinion!). Have you ever wanted to learn a new language but didn’t like the mundane tutorials. Poliglota allows people to learn languages in places like pubs, cafes and learn face to face from people who are experts.

The company visit to Wayra really inspired the Thought Leadership Club members and as a result we have decided to bring these revolutionising technologies together on the same platform and help other students to learn more about them. It is my pleasure to present to you the Thought Leadership Club’s  keynote event ‘Digital Transformers’ that will take place on the 24th of April 2018 at UCD Smurfit. For more details, kindly follow the link.

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Last but not the least, muchas gracias to the MBA programme managers for organising this amazing trip to Chile and Peru. We had the best experience of both culture and business together. Salut! :)

Nadisha Garg, Full Time MBA 2017-2018

MBA International Scholarship

UCD Smurfit School are delighted to announce a brand new scholarship tailored specifically for international participants wishing to study an MBA in Ireland. This MBA (Full-Time) scholarship will be awarded to an academically exceptional student who has demonstrated leadership and impact achievements in their career to date. They will be an ambassador for the Smurfit MBA and UCD Smurfit School during their studies and after graduation. This merit based scholarship covers up to 100% tuition fees for the MBA full-time. A GMAT score of 650 or above is required. Closing date is the 27th of April 2018. For more information and to apply, please click here: MBA International Scholarship

Fuelling Ireland’s Future

On February 27th the MBA Thought Leadership Club held the event “Fuelling Ireland’s Future”, which examined the future of Ireland’s Energy sector. The event, organised at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, offered its participants the privileged opportunity to hear from key decision makers in the energy industry about how leadership and innovation are shaping the country’s energy future.

The speakers’ impressive backgrounds and eloquence inspired high-level discussions on Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions, European targets, future projects and the country’s approach towards development and innovation. “Ireland’s fuel must be Sustainable, Secure and come from the right Sources (SSS) but also Affordable, Accessible and Available (AAA). Ireland’s future depends on multiple factors including political, economic, climate change, Brexit, technology and infrastructure,” declared the event’s master ceremony John Power, Director General of Engineers Ireland.

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The panel at the event included a mix of personalities from the country’s energy industry. Starting with Jim Gannon, Chief Executive at Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI); Peter O’Shea, Head of Strategy and Regulation ESB and Michael Walsh, Managing Director European region at Smart Wires Inc.

One of the  biggest issues currently facing  Ireland is the high rate of carbon emissions. Peter O’Shea, in his presentation, identified the main contributors to this problem. He noted that approximately 20% of Ireland’s carbon emissions come from electricity generation, a further 20% from the heat sector, 20% from the transport sector and 32% from agriculture. It appears that decarbonising electricity and the electrification of transport and heat seems to be the way forward for Ireland if they want to achieve future emission targets.

The decarbonisation of electricity generation is being driven by various initiatives to increase renewable energy production, but despite good progress there is still a need for investment and quicker developments. Onshore wind farms are the preferred path for big scale production but they often face negative public opinion, and offshore wind developments are costly. There is also a need for a better mix of renewable sources such as solar panels, biomass and others if  renewable energy production is to be increased considerably.

Currently transport decarbonisation is happening at a very slow rate. To improve this, Ireland needs to invest in infrastructure which will encourage the use of electric vehicles, while also making a  more significant effort to change the mentality of the larger population towards an eco-friendly transportation industry. Finally, decarbonising heat for households is a must. This is easy to implement in new buildings, but a lot harder to implement in existing households. ESB is leading the way in trying to make these transitions successful.

Jim Gannon from SEAI emphasised that under the current trajectory it would be difficult for Ireland to reduce it’s emissions and achieve its year 2020 target. The target could be missed as Ireland may only be able to provide 13% of its energy through renewable resources. To incentivise companies to reduce carbon emissions, different initiatives are being led by the SEAI.  The focus of these initiatives has changed in recent years to a more consumer focused approach . “We want the consumer to want it,” said Jim Gannon.

The discussions at the event were not only about  energy production but also about  its efficient distribution. Ireland uses about 20% of its grid capacity and Smart Wires’ innovations aim to improve the use of the grid’s spare capacity. “Bringing intelligent technology to the grid is where we want to be,” stated Micheal Walsh. Smart networks link information technology to electricity networks in order to control fluctuations. The increase in sources of electricity, including solar parks and wind farms along with small generators in households, require a better management of the grids.

Data centres planned by Google, Amazon and Microsoft among others will transform Ireland into the data capital of the world. However, while this increase in electricity demand will be a significant challenge it could bring financing opportunities for renewable electricity production projects.

Brexit is another obstacle which must be faced and the outcome does not look good as Ireland’s electricity interconnector is linked to the UK.  Any changes to the trading regulation could put the country at risk.

Energy from fossil sources will still play an important role in the country’s energy mix but it will require the adoption of a low carbon emission approach. If all the industries work toward the same target, then Ireland will have a successful transition.

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I was delighted to lead the event’s organisation and listen to the leaders who will ensure a bright future for Ireland. “Fuelling Ireland’s Future” was definitely an event worth attending.

Sauyith Cueva, Full Time MBA 2017-2018

Inspirational Presentations in The Thought Leadership Club

The 19th September 2017, the day we started the Thought Leadership Club. Before we started the club I decided to do some research and I googled “what makes a Thought Leadership club different from any other leadership club” and I found this blog; ‘Thought Leaders Are Made, Not Born. Here’s How to Become One

Interestingly, when I dug more I came across words like digital marketing, email marketing, content marketing and even networking and branding which quickly piqued my interest and I decided to take up the onus of running this club. My interest in digital marketing developed when I needed to promote my mom’s business on Facebook and Twitter. In addition to this, I have a few memories from my initial days as a web developer, developing a product which was the vision of the CEO of the startup company I was then working at. During the final phase of the product development, he used an SEO trick to find the most commonly searched keywords. Based on this he decided the name of the product and he also used it to promote the product. That was my first practical lesson in thought leadership.

As I started sailing across ideas for the club and discussing them with the club members I realized the importance of networking with leaders of different fields and getting out of our comfort zones. Personally, at the start of semester 1, I was struggling to find the right career path for myself and found it difficult to connect with people. In order to not doubt myself more than I already did, I realized I needed to start connecting with like-minded people. Somewhere around that time, our then career representative, Eoin, shot this idea across the  group to network using the apps meetup and Shapr, which he clarified was nothing like tinder :P. I forced myself to attend a few events and then found one on ‘ New trends in digital marketing and latest in SEO’. I booked myself onto it quickly and promised myself to not change my mind at the last minute. I was extremely glad  I stuck my initial promise and attended the event.  Karyn, the organizer,  had made the effort to prepare a presentation on current trends in SEO and talked us through it for good 40 minutes.

During the event, I realized that this presentation could help the club members to understand more about thought leadership. I met Karyn at the end of the session and invited her to come to Smurfit and give the same session again with a few more bits added to it. She said yes to the idea immediately. I  asked her why she organized events like this, in order to understand what was in for her, so that I could offer her the same if possible. I learnt that she did this for her own networking opportunities and to promote digital marketing. Well, to me it seemed  like a win-win situation and finally we had a successful session on 23rd Jan. She later revealed that she is an alumna of Smurfit and did her Master’s in Management. Surprise!

The event was great and Karyn was even better. The session covered the topics “Search Neutrality” and “The Latest in SEO” specifically, the topics voted for by the audience. The best part about the session was the Q&A round in which everyone had so many questions and Karyn did an amazing job in answering them all.  I remember thanking her later at Three tun’s ;)

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My idea on  thought leadership has definitely changed since starting this club, I don’t think the same way  anymore. Like they say, the more you learn the more confused you get- just kidding! As per this article ” The Difference Between Content Marketing and Thought Leadership”

Thought leaders focus on crafting ideas, not audience reaction and reach.’

So, to all the future thought leaders, while you may know how to market yourself effectively,  it is most important that your work speaks volumes and that is where your focus should be.

This club couldn’t have been possible without all the club members and especially without James, whose efforts have been very sincere since the start. I hope that we all can learn from  great leaders, connect with them and be inspired by them,  and who knows perhaps become one through  our Thought Leadership Club and its events. ádh mór

 

Nadisha Garg, Full Time MBA 2017-2018

 

Global Virtual Teams

The GMAT is well known to all MBA students as the meter by which candidates can qualify for selection for most Business Schools. The numerical and verbal aspects are necessary content in what is essentially an exam testing Executive Reasoning, the ability to prioritise your time and make effective decisions under substantial time pressure. At the time I thought little of it but looking back the same principles have universally applied since the 28th of August. We are drawing towards the end of February and it feels like my feet have hardly touched the ground since Christmas. That small extra hour of brightness in the evening makes it that much easier, somewhere in the back of my mind I know that it’s not too long now until I’ll see my car during daylight hours!

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Dolly Parton once said, “If you want the rainbow you’ve gotta to put up with the rain” and it never seemed more apt than over the last few weeks with assignments due dates coming thick and fast and the small matter of our Global Virtual Teams (GVT) project.

Forecasting aspects such as re-order quantities, job wait times, customer contract values and most importantly revenues, myself, Karl McEntegart and our two counterparts from Yale SOM managed our own virtual production facility for the week.

What started out as a friendly, co-operative atmosphere in the MBA suite early on Monday morning turned quickly into levels of secrecy and espionage not seen since the Cold War. Incognito meetings and guarded secrets regarding customer orders levels and optimal machine utilisation rates were commonplace as we were pitted against our classmates in a winner takes all competition to see who would finish the week with the greatest cash balance.

The jostling for top position amongst the 160 teams was akin to the Grand National at times and the competitive streak of certain individuals came to the fore. Despite the much-publicised traffic laws in this country, one unnamed Full Time MBA Student was heard to complain that he couldn’t check inventory levels on his phone whilst driving in to college.

We worked well with our American counterparts, dividing the workload evenly and playing to our respective strengths as we set out our action plan for the week. Our new-found appreciation for operations management was put to a stern test throughout and regular Skype calls and WhatsApp messages at unsociable hours re-assured us that our Yale team mates were as invested in the process as we were.

We finished off on Friday evening in a respectable 51st position after working our way back from an early hiccup which set us back on the previous Sunday night. Pats on the back all around, except for one team from the Full Time class, who somehow managed to sell off their machines for scrap rather than purchasing additional units.

All in all, this was a unique and enjoyable experience, giving valuable insight into the challenges of working across time-zones and cultures towards a common goal. It’s interesting to note that during the same week I also negotiated the sale of a high quality smart phone platform, participated in an invaluable mock interview with a Manager from a large consultancy firm, underwent an interview skills workshop, a career coaching session and negotiated funding for the MBA Rugby World Cup which nine of our class will be attending in Danville, VA in April.

Between now and then we have the small matter of the ‘Doing Business in International Markets’ module which will take us to Santiago and Lima. Having already spent a week in NUS in Singapore for GNAM in October, the international focus of the course is obvious.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe that we have been together for six months at this stage- as I said, it feels like my feet have hardly touched the ground.

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Peter Condon, Full Time MBA 2017-2018

One Down, Two to Go

The Christmas break was a great opportunity to unwind and spend some much needed free time with friends and family. The additional time off in January was also a great opportunity to plan and prepare for semester two and try to take stock of everything we had learned and experienced during the first four months. Reflecting back on semester one it was hard to believe how quick it had passed, it seemed like only yesterday we all met for the intense but rewarding induction week, and somehow in the interim we had now completed eight different modules for the course.

Before undertaking the MBA I was a bit apprehensive about the gruelling work load that is generally associated with the degree but quickly found that the secret is simply to stay on top of everything and hit the ground running from the beginning. This approach not only minimises stress and time pressure for the various assignments but also allows you to get the most out of each and every class.

Looking towards the semester ahead we once again have a busy schedule. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting Singapore and Vietnam in March as part of the ‘Doing Business in International Markets’ module and staying on an extra week in Vietnam with the class to relax by the beach and travel around the famous Ha Long bay by boat. The fact that it is supposed to be 25+ degrees there this time of your year is an added bonus!

Semester two brings with it six new modules and also provides the opportunity to work with and get to know a whole new study group, which is something I’m really looking forward to. Before we know it, we’ll be three semesters down and moving on to the next stages of our careers but so far it has been a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience meeting lots of new people and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.

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Cathal Conroy, Full-Time MBA 2017-2108

Spending the Christmas Holidays in Ireland

Spending Christmas away from home could come across as a challenge. While normally, the rigor and busy schedule of the MBA hardly gives you time to miss home , as an international  student  the start of the holidays can come across the same as the existential crisis you get when you finish binge watching a Netflix series.

Most of the students look forward to the Christmas holidays as they finish exams by the 3rd week of December. For an international student, it would certainly be advisable to have plans ready,  either to visit your home country or anywhere else around Europe. Ireland literally shuts down during Christmas with no public transportation or grocery stores open on Christmas day. And if you have no family or friends, its going to get monotonous.

Fortunately for me, my MBA peer John Keegan asked me to join him and his family for Christmas. However, due to unforeseen circumstances we had to drop the plan at the last minute. I mentioned this part as it shows how considerate your Irish MBA peers can be, and that they understand how tough it is for an international student to spend holidays alone. I didn’t make any plans to visit home or anywhere else as both my flatmates from India started working in Dublin in November 2017. Hence, I had plans of spending the holidays with them exploring Dublin. On Christmas day, my friends and I went for a walk around the city centre. It was both a haunting and a serene experience. The streets which are usually bustling with people were empty. It is in this moment that you take a deep breath and realise how beautiful Dublin is. Fortunately, we stumbled upon an Indian Kebab shop, which seemed like the only shop open in all of Dublin. After having the most amazing kebab for Christmas dinner there, we headed home on the lonely streets of the Dublin city centre.

As for New Year’s Eve, my American house mate Shannon Dean suggested that we drive down to Cork to celebrate. Again, it was a fabulous experience wherein we sat in a cosy Cork pub celebrating the new year with some new found Irish friends. This is the best thing about Ireland, you can talk to anyone and everyone, and make acquaintances if not friends very easily.

All in all, it was a successful Christmas even though I didn’t plan anything in advance. I would however recommend international students to make plans early on for Christmas and not to wait till the last minute. In addition to this, make friends – in your accommodation and your cohort – they are going to be your family away from home!

Bhavya Verma, Full – Time MBA 2017-2018

The Entrepreneurship Society- Preparation of a Video Interview

zarina-pic-1As a full-time MBA student, I expect to be in the ‘hot’ seat. Yet somehow on November 7, 2017 the tables turned and I found myself interviewing one of the top executives in Ireland. Thomas Strimbu and I produced a video-interview for the Michael Smurfit MBA Entrepreneurship Society which will be released along with this blog post. I’d like to take you behind the scenes and share my experience of preparing for and taking an interview.

It all started on one evening in late September when we – members of a newly formed Entrepreneurship Society – put our heads together to brainstorm events for the year ahead. After 30 minutes of talk and laughter, a group of us, including Spilios, Thomas, David, Ayush, and I agreed to go with the idea of ‘video interviews’. I instantly liked the idea and volunteered to be the first one to take it live. 

At that time I had only been in Ireland for less than a month and did not have a big list of contacts. I did not have any lists at all! I had only met two people outside of the campus and both of them were very kind and generous to me. Kindness and generosity, as I discovered later in my MBA program, are the common traits shared by leaders in general and entrepreneurs in particular. Being conscious of the fact that the audience for our project primarily consists of UCD students, I decided to approach a UCD Alumnus.

Eager to inspire and learn more about entrepreneurship, I prepared a list of 15 questions on various topics from artificial intelligence and blockchain to competition and business models. Later on in the process, I reduced the complexity by introducing a structure using 5 simple topics; the guest, the company, the industry, the standard question (i.e. what is entrepreneurship?), and closing questions / remarks.

Meanwhile, I approached our guest by email asking for 60 minutes of his time for a small Q&A for the Society. To my luck, he kindly agreed. We exchanged a few more emails to set the date and time. A month later, the Entrepreneurship crew ‘landed’ in one of the landmarks of Dublin within a few steps away from River Liffey and nearby tourist attractions, such as Temple Bar.

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We took a few pictures outside of the building and a few inside. We were given a spacious conference room for the interview with a ‘floor’ and a ‘balcony’. The former is a custodian of the past; pictures, artefacts, and even an old quotation board. The latter is a key to the future; the stage, the staircase, and the opening bell. Remember Zuckerberg ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ? I believe almost every entrepreneur who dreams big uses an opening bell moment to visualise the success. 

Now we know where it crosses the finish line or at least where it passes the break-even point. But where do you start? How do you find that inspiration? What do you read? What do you watch out for? To these and many other questions we have got the answers in the upcoming video. So, stay tuned.   

To watch the video interview click here

Zarina Konkasheva, Full-Time MBA 2017-2018

2017 MBA Experience Day – An Exciting Day Without A Single Dull Moment

mba-experience-day-nov-18-2017I registered for the MBA experience day long before the event as i felt it would be great opportunity for me to meet some of the professors, current students, alumni, admissions team and fellow MBA aspirants at the campus facilities. For me, the day began with a shock as the alarm didn’t go off due to weekday-only-settings and the school is an hour drive from home. I managed to rush though the morning activities and reached there almost on time – thanks to the low traffic on a Saturday morning.

The registration formalities barely took a minute and then the networking opportunity presented itself. It was a lot easier than I thought, as everyone there had the same purpose and at least one shared interest, that is doing an MBA at Smurfit.

We were guided to the huge Lecture Theatre 1 to begin the session on time. It felt good to be seated in a room that you have only seen on YouTube videos previously. Smurfit MBA Programme director, Orla Nugent started the session with a mini introduction and invited Catherine O’Brien, EMBA 2017 to give the Opening Address. Catherine did a great job of explaining why she chose to do an MBA after having nearly a decade of experience in her field. She discussed why Smurfit, what she learnt at Smurfit, the international experience gained as part of doing the course and how the MBA helped her in leaping to a higher level role at her new work. She concluded the address by suggesting that we ask ourselves ‘why’ we wanted to do the MBA rather than ‘how’ we would do it.

Orla Nugent took the session from there and provided a high level view on the specialities of Smurfit MBA, its rankings, real-world problems solved though Capstone Project and the importance of learning from peers.
Then we had the most interactive, involved, hands on Presenting4Success session with Paul Slattery. We had to stand up, sit down a few times along with shaking hands, tapping shoulders, practising tong twisters with the persons seated beside us. It had the immediate effect of allowing us to bond with people whom we had never met before. The important take away for me is that some key elements of successful presentation are not only limited to stage presentations but also applicable in
many other forms of communication, like sending an email.

Orla, Catherine and Paul handled the Q&A session before we went on Coffee Break, more Networking and Campus Tour. I had the unique chance to learn the history of the main building from one of the helpful members of the administrative team. It used to be a college for training school teachers and her grandmother graduated from the very place as a school teacher. It was a
nostalgic moment.

We were back in Lecture Theatre 1 for the second set of sessions that started with Head of Smurfit Careers, Cathy Savage explaining the career opportunities available, the services provided by careers team to prepare students for interviews and to link them with the industry. She hosted a panel discussion with Niall Twomey, CTO Fenergo, EMBA 2015 and Edel Kennedy, Head of Marketing Urban Volt, FT MBA 2015. Niall and Edel provided more insights on how in MBA world the ranking matters, learning the full spectrum of business and organizational behaviour helps and the people who do the course with you are as important as the course material.

MBA Admissions Manager, Fiona Butler walked us through the admission process, requirements, scholarships, admission interviews and important dates for 2018/2019 admissions. I found her classification of FT MBA as Career Changer and EMBA as Career Accelerator most suitable. Throughout the day she was available for any questions related to admissions and it was an extremely busy day.

Dr.Gerry Grenham provided an overview of GMAT exam accompanied with helpful tips and tactics to recognize patterns in answer choices. He also hosted a panel discussion with current MBA students Deirdre Blake(EMBA), Bob Brennan(FT MBA) and Dhananjay Bairagi(FT MBA). They all shared insights from their own experience of taking the GMAT exam and the importance of taking mock GMAT tests. After hearing about Deirdre’s observation on the size of the test cubicle and the noise levels, I decided to practise it with kids running around rather than locking myself in a quiet room.

Professor Niamh Brennan gave the closing address touching upon the importance of critical thinking, how students can learn from the different teaching styles of Smurfit Professors and the huge effort made by the school continuously to keep up its brand and ranking.

Afterwards we all went to the school restaurant, Urban Picnic to have the Networking Lunch. I met a few friendly FT MBA resident students there. They explained how intense the course was at the beginning, how they got into the rhythm after a while and how much they are looking forward to get their first semester done. All the best with your exams.

The Smurfit MBA Experience Day was 5 exciting hours(08:30 – 13:30) for  the attendees but I could tell you might have spent several days, if not weeks of planning, organizing and executing it very efficiently so that we could get the most out of it, and we certainly did. Thank you!

Ramson Tutte, 2017 MBA Experience Day Participant 

The Journey So Far…

It all started in August 2017. I cannot believe that 3 months of this MBA journey have past already, and the first semester is about to end. I can honestly say that so far it has already been an amazing journey. It started with foundation week, which was a small trailer of the big picture waiting for us. The first day of foundation week was our introduction. However, it was the second day which was the main highlight, when Fintan Ryan made us do some outdoor team building activities. We not only had fun doing those activities but also got to know each other very well. The whole class participated with enthusiasm and were able to successfully complete the Jedi run. It gave us a glimpse of how we would be expected to work together in the coming months.

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After foundation week, our course started with the Financial Reporting module, taught by Prof. Niamh. She started off the lecture by telling us that her name is pronounced as “Neeve” …which was the first Irish culture shock for me. She is one of the best professors I have ever come across. She is enthusiastic in her approach to teaching, which I really like. Niamh, if you are reading this, please don’t let this affect my grades ( :D :D).

Within a week, we got 2-3 assignments and got the first flavor of this intense course. Although we are busy all the time, whenever we get time we all hang out together. The best thing about our class is that we have only 33 students and everyone knows each other. With such a small group, it’s easy to hang out. Our main hang out point or ‘adda’ as we call it in India is the ‘Three Tun Tavern’. Whenever we get time out of our busy schedule we all chill out there.

Before coming here I had stage fright but the Presenting4Success sessions from Paul Slattery came to my rescue. The sessions helped me a lot to boost my confidence. Almost every module in our course had 1-2 presentations for each group. I applied the knowledge gained from Paul’s session in these presentations and now I am more confident and less nervous while giving presentations. Life in the MBA is challenging with a lot of reality checks, but I’m loving these challenges. This is what I am here for and I’m getting it. Everything that I do, as  part of this curriculum, is helping me improve personally and professionally. It was hard at the start to face these challenges, but now I have adapted myself to it.

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The main highlight of the  last 3 months was the Global Networking for Advanced Management (GNAM) week. It was the most amazing experience of the MBA so far. It came as a breather for all of us as we were so busy attending lectures and doing assignments. We needed a break from our studies and we got one. Although, we had a Financial Reporting exam the following week after GNAM, no one restricted himself/herself from enjoying the week to fullest.

During GNAM week, all the participating schools sent students in groups of 3 or 4 to other participating schools. I attended GNAM week in Smurfit itself. In the GNAM week, Smurfit had students from some of the best B-schools such as Yale, IE Spain, ESMT Berlin, IIM Bangalore, Sauder, Fudan and many others from around the world.

I had lot of fun during this week and made some new friends from many different business schools and expanded my network. During this week, we had lot of  guest speakers from different industries. For example, we had a speaker from LinkedIn, who is the head of all HR related operations for the EMEA region.

On the fun side of this week, the main highlights were; a visit to Johnny Foxes Pub, taking part in Dublin’s Literary Pub crawl, and a visit to the Guinness Storehouse.

On one evening, we went to Johnny Foxes, one of Ireland’s highest and oldest pubs. I really enjoyed the time spent here. It was the first time I saw a live performance of Irish music and dance. The music and dance performances were fantastic. The evening was awesome, and we also got to do some dancing.

The next evening, we went on Dublin’s literary pub crawl. The pub crawl was hosted by two talented and famous Irish theatre artists. They showed us some of Dublin’s oldest pubs and narrated some of Dublin’s history during the pub crawl. It was an amazing evening for me as it was my first experience watching a live theatre performer.

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During the GNAM week all the students mingled with each other really well and had a lot of fun. No cultural and regional barriers stopped us from having fun with each other.

As the GNAM week ended, I switched to study mode because the toughest exam of the semester, Financial Reporting, was approaching. For 3 days, I cut myself off from the whole world and studied for the exam. In the end, it went well. Now it all depends on Niamh to know how well it really went.

After the exam, during the first week of November, the whole class planned to go to Loftus Hall, Ireland’s most haunted place, and Glendalough. The day was very well spent. It was our first proper outing together, although we always hang out every now and then. During this outing, I got the opportunity to see some of Ireland’s beautiful countryside. Loftus Hall was a scary place, but none of us apart from Nadisha got scared. It was hilarious to see Nadisha so scared and running away as fast as she could ( :D :D).

On the night of Halloween, Thom and Nicole threw a party for us. A big thank you to both of them for being such lovely hosts. I had a great time.

This MBA is turning out to be the time of my life. I am learning so many new things, facing challenges and getting reality checks. I am eagerly waiting our study trips to Santiago, Lima, and Iceland next semester. While it is already an amazing journey so far I am waiting in anticipation for more fantastic moments to come.

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Manish Mosalpuri, Full-Time MBA 2017-2018