Posts Tagged ‘Meet the class’
A fifty strong gang from across all three EMBA YR1 classes elected to drop the books and let the hair down for a social night in the Defence Forces military Barracks on the 23rd of March.
The evening kicked off with a lively drinks reception in the visitors centre were everyone was enlightened on the eventful history of Cathal Brugha Barracks. There were some surprised expressions in the crowd to hear of some of the happenings inside the gates over the years. It was certainly an eye opener for those who would not have been previously familiar with the finer details of Irish history over the past century and a half.
We moved from there to the Officers Mess where we indulged in the military’s finest cuisine! It wasn’t long before the weekend [class] crew had the wine opened and began to set the pace. Spirits were high and the “craic” as one says was mighty.
The meal complete we retired to the bar to enjoy the rest of the evening. If the event was to be judged on the amount of people who stayed until the end well it would surely be marked as a great success, with many moving to the realms of Lesson Street to perfect their dance moves once the bar closed! In all the event provided an excellent opportunity for all of us to get to know and network with counterparts many of whom we would not have seen since the induction week.
Many thanks to all who attended, no doubt we will all see out the last few academic weeks of year one with success and hopefully we will soon meet again in high spirits.
- Conor Ryan, EMBA MidWeek, 2012-14
Three weeks ago, in the OB class, we had a discussion about team dynamic. Listening to my classmates discussing challenges in a multi-national team reminded me of interesting team-work experiences I have since the beginning of the semester.
As I imagined, one big part of the MBA journey is for us to learn how to work in a diversified team. Just similar to how it is in real life, we are normally not allowed to choose our team members. People with different nationalities, genders, backgrounds, and characteristics are put into teams based on a mystery rule decided by the MBA Office. In these teams, the Peacocks have to work with the Dolphins, the Hubs work with the Greens, the Extroverts work with the Introverts; and it creates room for interesting yet sometimes painful experiences.
In Semester 1, I was assigned into Team 8 with one Russian and two Irish. Teamwork, as what it actually happened to us, was a real journey in which each team member had to continuously learn and adjust to work well with others. During our 5 month journey with around 20 group presentations and assignments for 7 modules, we first experienced a painful time when we had such huge conflicts that we decided “diversity does not work and we need consultation”. Frank communication and continuous commitments helped us overcome that challenge. Adjustment to each other learning styles (for example Pavel prefers practical ideas and Richie is deeply in-love with tables and frameworks), together with initiatives such as setting agenda and controlling time for each meeting also enabled us to stay focus and work more effectively. Things became easier and easier and we managed to have more time to talk to each other outside of work. I got to know that Richie had two kittens – Gleason and Sheeran, and James’s family always eats their home-grown turkeys at Christmas.
In semester two, we have two different groups (one for Negotiation and one for the remaining subjects); and then a final group for Capstone project. I believe what we have learnt will sharpen our skills to cope with real-life teamwork issues and enable us to make the most of team dynamic in our post-MBA lives.
- Thu Dieu Ngo, FT MBA and IDEAS Programme 2012/13
Before going to UCD Smurfit Business School to pursue an MBA degree, I have heard a concern that if a person might be able to accumulate MBA knowledge by taking a few business classes, reading journals and business books on their own and interacting with experienced people, etc. Does it worth rather than getting the qualification from an accredited MBA program in terms of knowledge and ROI (Return on Investment)?
For six months here, I realize that what the MBA program taught me was not only business knowledge but chances for self-actualization, especially when I interacted with others. Thus, for the concern above, I would say that taking part in a well-designed program is worth value compared to other alternatives. Through a variety of personality tests and career coaching sessions, I had opportunities to understand what type of person I am, how I could improve myself and what kind of sector I should follow to. For instance, the game about 4 types of animals, including peacock, dolphin, owl and panther together with the psychometric test called SDI drew me an overview and well explanation about people’s characteristics. The Myers Briggs test (MBTI) gave me the concept of personality and cognitive styles through 16 categories. Although I did this test several years ago, only when I entered the MBA program, did join some teamwork activities, could I be fully aware of my mind, my thought and my weaknesses which I might never know if I were not here.
Beyond academic and business knowledge, as an international student from an Asian country, I have chance to jump out of my comfort zone to discover new things, including different styles of thinking of my classmates and the diversity from different cultures. For example, I was all the time confused about Muslim women when I see they always cover their faces and their bodies until the day I had chance to work with my intelligent and creative Muslim classmate from Malaysia. Gradually, I realize the hidden charm behind her hijab. In addition, my thought that all Muslim women are faint and frightened was gone when she invited me to an interesting party of Muslim people. I was impressed that every woman there was confident and warmhearted. That was the moment I realized the inner beauty of their religion and their souls although they are covered by the hijab.
Waiting for the International trip to Brazil and preparing for the 5 month left of the program, I hope that I can experience more interesting and new things. “Happiness is a journey, not a destination”. To me, an MBA is a kick-off for my future plan and my lifelong learning journey.
- Hue Pham, FT MBA 12/13
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