Posts Tagged ‘Option module’
The pressure and intensity of the end of first semester exams seem like a distant memory after a long Christmas break. I hope everyone in the class enjoyed it as alumni have said that it’s probably the last time we’ll get 4 weeks in a row off again at that time of year. The provisional results of the semester exams should be released next week so hopefully everyone has cleared the bar. Looking back at the first semester, the learning curve was steep but I can truthfully say that I have never learned so much new theory and concepts both from the MBA academic staff and my fellow students at any other time during my academic or working life. The challenge this semester, I feel is to consolidate this new knowledge and integrate this into the remaining modules and the Capstone project in the summer.
Sorry to see Becca Baumann leave the class at Christmas to take up a post in the US. I have no doubt that her career will go from strength to strength if her earnest engagement in class discussions is anything to go by. Hopefully she will be able to complete the MBA at a later date there.
Looking forward to the opening lecture by Professor Walsh in Financial Statement Analysis tomorrow afternoon and the first session on the International Study Trip with Professor Gibbons in the evening. I sense the evenings being less free than they have been over the past few weeks.
FT MBA 2013
During our ‘Performance-Driven Marketing’ course we had the pleasure of working with the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) on marketing solutions within Dublin airport. This kicked off with an initial ‘design thinking’ brainstorming evening. Design thinking uses creative thinking-in-action design principles to solve management problems. Some of us are taking an optional course in ‘Design Thinking in Business’ next semester and are looking forward to exploring it some more. I knew that brainstorming with this bunch of MBAs would produce some pretty interesting and innovative ideas. I’ve previously seen the class make very short work of a task to come up with 100 uses for the paperclip, which included such innovative uses as lock-picking and creating snow shoes for mice. Their creativity would put MacGyver to shame. The marketing ideas generated were great and really showcased the wide variety of backgrounds in the class. Being a keen technologist (nerd), I pitched ideas involving smartphone interaction using geospatial location-based services.
To really understand how our ideas would work in the environment, a group of us arranged to take a trip out to Dublin airport to meet the client and get some additional inspiration. The security team at the airport run a tight ship and rightly so. Some of us discovered that, while a student card will get us a 10% discount in Boots, it’s not enough to get us through airport security. For our particular expedition we might need something more along the lines of producing a DNA sample or a signature from the pope, or solving a series of cryptic riddles. Once we got through security (well most of us) we were given a full tour of terminal 2. The economic timing may not have been ideal but terminal 2 really is a fantastic foyer to the country that we should all be very proud of. It’s great that the MBA gives us the chance to learn new ways of thinking and to apply what we’ve learned by working with organisations such as the DAA.
- Dave Byrne, FT MBA 2011/2012
After been released to the wild for 8 weeks it was back to the comfort zone of C301. Getting back into case studies, assignments and group meetings initially seemed daunting but the quality of the courses on offer made it enjoyable. A highlight was the opportunity in the Entrepreneurship in Practice course to visit companies, incubation centres and support networks.
The course allowed for an opportunity to speak to start up businesses and get a practical opportunity to understand whether are learnings are truly applicable; outside of understanding how to read a case study. It was inspirational to see so many budding entrepreneurs starting up their own enterprises even when all the news around us talks of Ireland as an economic basket case. In many respects this is the kind of course you want when starting the MBA to offer inspiration of what Ireland has to offer in terms of support from Nova UCD to the Guinness Enterprise Centre and what the latest research is been made available. As already noted this sort of opportunity offers a positive outlook amidst all the doom and gloom.
And there it ends, at this stage I am writing this blog from the couch while watching the tennis, there lies the bonus of been finished. It truly was a great year with a great class.
- Colm O’Reilly
As the end of the MBA draws near, my classmates and I had to ask ourselves a final academic question – which two electives would we choose to complete the program? While I was tempted by Strategic Brand Marketing and Design and Artist-like Thinking in Business, I ended up selecting Entrepreneurship in Practice and Mergers and Acquisitions – two topics I’ve been intrigued with from a distance but haven’t had much direct experience with. In both cases, I’ve been truly pleased with my decision.
Entrepreneurship in Practice was taught by John “the serial entrepreneur” Cashell, a man with more stories about starting businesses than anyone I’ve ever encountered. Throughout the week, our class was given a crash course on the “dos and don’ts” of entrepreneurship, as we listened to John talk about his experiences developing new ideas, creating teams, designing business plans, and acquiring finance to make it all come together. Furthermore, we visited numerous companies throughout the week – small start-ups such as HeyStaks Technologies and Equinome, and large multinationals such as Intel and Microsoft – learning about the entrepreneurial process in both environments.
In the Mergers and Acquisitions course my classmates and I have enjoyed the great opportunity of learning from a visiting professor from the University of Denver, Dr. Donald Bergh. Dr. Bergh comes to Smurfit with 27 years of experience in M&A’s, both as a practitioner and as an academic. This experience has been obvious to us all, as the week has been full of valuable discussions, presentations and lectures on a topic that has arguable influenced more people than any other organizational action.
As a result of both classes, my classmates and I have been given yet another couple of tools that will enable us to achieve success in our future business pursuits.
- Patrick Hillis