Celebrating Lunar New Year in Dublin

Vietnamese Student Body

On February 2nd 2017, our Vietnamese study body organised a warm celebration of Lunar New Year with international students, Irish families with adopted Vietnamese children and members of the Vietnamese community in Dublin.

Lunar New Year is a very meaningful occasion for many Asian countries such as China, Korea and Vietnam, etc. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is called Tet, which means the ‘feast of the first morning of the first day’. Tet is an important occasion for family reunions, when we cherish the success of past year, let the troubles go and look forward to happiness, success and good fortune in the upcoming year.

Quiz contest about Vietnam’s facts
Quiz contest about Vietnam’s facts

As an organising member, I was glad to see many international students interested in the event. We welcomed over 300 guests despite the heavy rain over the whole day. All the efforts spent over the last 3 months seemed to be rewarding when we engaged with participants through traditional games, when international students enjoyed and took pictures in our traditional dresses or when they attentively watched the performances. Looking back, I was reluctant to take the role as Event Director due to a heavy schedule in the first semester and unfamiliar study environment. But now I felt all the experience I had was such a great one. There were moments of tension the ‘ brain-storming’ stage, yet we had gone a long way to learn how to be flexible in our plan, to be appreciative of each other’s ideas, to give more than to take and to put ourselves forward.

Myself in ‘ao dai’ - traditional dress
Myself in ‘ao dai’ – traditional dress

When I first landed in Dublin 4 months ago, I was impressed by a small little thing – signage. All are written in English and Gaelic. Although nowadays, Gaelic is becoming less popular among young people, the presence of Gaelic in almost all public areas is such a great reservation of culture and traditions. Recent years in my home country have seen debate over whether Lunar New Year should be combined with New Year holiday in the Gregorian calendar. Advocates would point to economic loss and overspending during such a long holiday. For me, I still hope that every year we will still celebrate Lunar New Year and that our people will never lose tradition because of a so-called cost-benefit analysis. Simply, globalization and revolution are not to be carried out at the expense of intrinsic values. 

Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

 Khanh Nguyen ~ Full-Time MBA

MBA: Mediocre But Arrogant?

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When I first told a good friend that I was going to do an MBA he responded, in true Irish fashion, by swiftly cutting me down to size. He responded by saying “Why would you bother? You do know it stands for Mediocre But Arrogant, don’t you?” As much as I knew that this wasn’t the generally accepted view of an MBA, I could not get the idea out of my head during both the application process and the run up to the start of term 1. I had a genuine fear that the class would be full of cutthroat, pompous narcissists. Thankfully, after a few weeks I could say that our very diverse class (73% of which are international students) was certainly not arrogant but instead a very down to earth one that quickly gelled into a close-knit unit. This was critical in putting me at ease about the year ahead.

The fact that I am a constant worrier meant that it was not long before my focus moved to the Mediocre part of the phrase. Did we lack arrogance because we had no reason to think highly of ourselves? Were we inferior to those that attend the top ranked business schools such as those of the Ivy League, LBS, IE etc.? Was Smurfit only able to attract mediocre candidates? After all you don’t need to be in the 700 (GMAT) club to gain entry. I was scheduled to go to Yale in mid-October for the GNAM (Global Network for Advanced Management) Global Immersion Week so I knew that would be a good opportunity to gauge the abilities of our school against some of the schools that are perceived to be the finest in the world.

The Yale trip was a fantastic opportunity. The chance to briefly attend an institution that is known across the globe and is synonymous with excellence was an honour. Upon arrival it didn’t take long to realise that many of these students had an air of arrogance about them but more importantly it did not take long to realise that we were every bit as good as them. I’d go so far as to say we were better than the majority of them and we were far more craic. Being able to see this comparison really reassured me about my decision to choose Smurfit. The fact that I didn’t feel the need to sell my kidneys to cover the considerably lower tuition fees was an added bonus.

Ok so now that we know that the Smurfiteers are as good as any MBA students, maybe it is that all MBA students are mediocre? I guess this really comes down to the perception of what an MBA graduate is. Some people who enter an MBA programme do it because they believe that companies will be lining up at the finish to throw money at them. Anybody with an ounce of sense knows that this will never happen. So why is it that certain hirers believe that by taking on an MBA graduate they are getting some super human that will revolutionize their business? If people think like this then they might think that MBAs are mediocre. Maybe that is how the rumour started.

The truth is that an MBA will not revolutionize you. How could it? Does any other degree work such magic? Of course not. What an MBA will do is equip you with a vast array of skills across many disciplines. These will not make you a subject matter expert but they will give you an edge in whatever field you choose to work. You may not use these skills immediately but at some stage I’m sure that they will be invaluable. You will only be mediocre if you do not commit to the programme and do not soak everything in.

Cathal Murphy ~ Full-Time MBA

UCD Smurfit Climbs Up Global MBA Rankings

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UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s full-time MBA programme has been ranked 70th (a rise of 9 places) in the world and 22nd in Europe, according to the 2017 Financial Times Full-Time Global MBA Rankings, published today.

The improved ranking comes just three months after UCD College of Business published an ambitious strategy, to which it has committed €65 million, targeting Top 50 Global business school status by 2020 and is a further step to achieving this major milestone.

The Financial Times Full-Time MBA rankings analyse programmes based on several criteria including: career progress; employment success; school and programme quality; faculty research capabilities; and diversity.

Graduates from the Smurfit MBA programme saw their salaries increase by 71% on average within three years of completing the course. Smurfit’s full-time MBA programme was also placed in the top 10 in Europe for value for money and 16th globally.

Consistent with UCD Smurfit School’s mission to be for the world, the Financial Times analysis of the Smurfit MBA also highlighted increased rankings in measures of diversity including female faculty representation and female student participation with rankings of 39th and 44th respectively in the top 100.

Speaking about the rankings, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Dean, UCD College of Business said: “UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School can be justifiably proud of its record of accomplishment in the FT Full-Time Global MBA Rankings, regarded by the market and peers as one of only a few highly-respected benchmarks of excellence in business education. This consistency puts UCD Smurfit School in a select group of fewer than 50 schools which have attained this accolade for 18 consecutive years. This is a great success and we are determined to do better for our students.

The quality of our research and teaching is a relentless focus at UCD College of Business and requires significant ongoing investment. The additional €65 million of non-exchequer funding committed over the next five years will be key to ensuring all aspects of our mission perform to the highest international standards as we compete with the very best providers of business education in the world.”

Find out more about the MBA programme here.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

Beyond the MBA: A Post-Break Reflection

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During the Christmas break, I finally had the opportunity to stop and look at the last four months of my life and try to make sense of them. The pace of the MBA sucks you in at great speed and leaves little room for standing back for a moment and looking at the big picture: at what’s being built besides the knowledge, the practical skills, and the busy schedules. There is a wealth I have discovered in the MBA, beyond the numbers and the opportunities that the future holds, and that is the richness of the people that integrate the whole MBA experience.The promise of professional and cultural diversity in the MBA was one of the elements that most attracted me to the Smurfit MBA Programme, but envisioning it does not truly reflect the intricacies of such diversity. Of course we expect engineers to think differently from bankers, or the Irish to have different dinner habits than Mexicans or Indians, and the confirmation of those expectations is not a surprise to anyone in our modern world. However, it is the closeness that is built out of the habit of spending every day together that brings the most surprises. The spirit in the MBA room, from buying supplies collectively to sharing snacks during long days spent working on projects, is always a rewarding one. Teamwork also brings the opportunity for closeness and insight about others, even if that is through overcoming conflict.

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There is much to be learned about communication and bridging the gaps of cultural and professional differences, from different working styles to varying understandings of politeness or humour. For me, part of both the challenge and the beauty of the MBA have been those bridges and connections. During foundation week, we had a talk about the importance of listening and a workshop on the Myers Briggs personality types. I remember those very clearly, not only because I found them valuable for my professional career, but also for my everyday interactions with people, and as obvious as “listening is important” may sound, we often forget how to do so once we are subjected to stress, pressure, and deadlines. I have often sat down with friends in the course rethinking our means of communication in terms of the different personality types and cultural backgrounds.

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Theory and practice go hand in hand, so giving us the tools to enter into such a diverse group in order to be able to have a broader understanding of each other enriches all of us, if we allow it to happen. Day after day, the learning I’ve experienced has happened both in and outside of the classroom. I stepped away from my comfort zone in the humanities to try to analyse companies and financial statements, but I have also happily listened to my colleagues’ stories about their careers and have tried to comprehend their working styles and how we can complement each other.

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After being on a break for a month, I realized I have changed during the short time I’ve been part of the MBA. My professional and personal horizons have broadened due to the new material I’m learning, and equally (or even possibly more so) from the people I have met. Their ambition, motivation, and passion are contagious, and even if there are points on the road when I feel tired, anxious, or scared, it is through the hope that we share for a better future that I am driven forward. I am certain that the new term will bring more of this knowledge and experience and I can only hope that we can continue to inspire each other during and beyond the MBA.

Andrea Martinez ~ Full-Time MBA

UCD Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball raises €8,500 for Spinal Injuries Ireland

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Fabulous frocks and classy tuxedos were the order of the evening at the annual UCD Smurfit MBA Graduation Ball, which was held on December 10th at The Gibson Hotel, Dublin. This year, the organising committee decided to use the Ball as an opportunity to raise funds for Spinal Injuries Ireland (SII).  With over 110 people in attendance, the black-tie event was a complete success.

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All money raised by Smurfit MBA graduates, current students, alumni, Aspire scholars, and Smurfit school staff, together with their partners and friends, will help SII to provide effective support services for individuals with a spinal cord injury and their families.

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Special guest, Kevin Dempsey from SII explained the invaluable work of the charity before guests were treated to a four-course meal, followed by a raffle and charity auction, masterfully compared by Jack Mac Giolla-Bhride.  Auction items included signed Leinster and Ireland rugby jerseys, a top-of-the-range Whirlpool washing machine, and five-star hotel getaways. Bidding was hotly contested with Cormac Kelleher, Sean Griffin and Michelle Mary McEvoy walking away with the top lots.

There were also several spot prizes awarded, including Best Dressed Lady (Muireann McCarthy) and Best Dressed Gent (Conor Connolly) and Most Air Miles Travelled (Vince and Sonya Cooney).  After the meal, guests were entertained by 80s super group Spring Break and dancing continued into the wee hours of the morning.

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 The event, which raised €8,500 for Spinal Injuries Ireland, was organised by Dorothy Chestnutt, Barbara Gilleran, Ciarán Reilly and John Ryan (UCD MBA Class of 2016). Spinal Injuries Ireland CEO Fiona Bolger said: “We were delighted that the organising committee selected SII as their charity partner for the graduation ball.  In addition to the amazing donations that we received, the event helped to raise awareness of the devastating impact that a spinal cord injury can have. On average, one person sustains a spinal cord injury every week and it can happen to anyone at any stage. The funds raised from the event will go towards crucial services such as our Community Outreach Programme which provides support and information to people living with a spinal cord injury and their families.”

The organising committee presents Kevin Dempsey of Spinal injuries Ireland with a cheque for €8,500.  (Pictured L-R: Ciarán Reilly, Barbara Gilleran, Kevin Dempsey, Dorothy Chestnutt, John Ryan)
The organising committee presents Kevin Dempsey of Spinal injuries Ireland with a cheque for €8,500 (Pictured L-R: Ciarán Reilly, Barbara Gilleran, Kevin Dempsey, Dorothy Chestnutt, John Ryan)

The organising committee were delighted that the event was successful with vital funds being raised for a very worthy cause. The committee would like to acknowledge the generous support of all those who helped in the run up to the ball, prize donors and sponsors, especially our main sponsor Enowine, who supplied wine for the event. 9In addition, sincere thanks for the incredible generosity by all who came to the event and to those who unfortunately could not join us, yet still donated.

Best wishes for 2017!

2016 MBA Graduation Ball Committee ~ Dorothy Chestnutt, Barbara Gilleran, Ciarán Reilly, and John Ryan

 

 

IMAGE Businesswoman Of The Year Awards 2016

On The Silver Screen - The Award Winning Selfie
‘On The Silver Screen’ – The Award Winning Selfie

On Monday evening, November 21st, among 800 guests, the winners of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2016 were announced at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. The Smurfit MBA Team and IMAGE MBA Scholarship winners were delighted to join in the celebrations.

L - Editor in Chief IMAGE Magazine, Melanie Morris. R - MC Anne Doyle.
L – Editor in Chief IMAGE Magazine, Melanie Morris. R – MC Anne Doyle.

Now in its tenth year, the much anticipated IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards champions trailblazing businesswomen’s contribution to Ireland’s economy and their vital role within the Irish business community at home and abroad. There were nine categories, with over 90 nominees; all inspirational, talented, not to mention glamorous, Irish businesswomen.

You can see the full list of winners here.

L-R: Susan Murdock, Davinia Anderson, Avril Donohue, Kathy O'Reilly, Ro Downing, Aisling O'Keeffe, Grace Milton, Virginia Stewart, Paula Thomas
L-R: Susan Murdock, Davinia Anderson, Avril Donohue, Kathy O’Reilly, Ro Downing, Aisling O’Keeffe, Grace Milton, Virginia Stewart, Paula Thomas

Ahead of the awards we enjoyed Winter Wonderland themed cocktails and admired the amazing, glittering backdrops by Miller & Lamb. It was a fantastic evening which left all guests feeling inspired and empowered. It was a pleasure to share it with so many extraordinary women. The Smurfit Team didn’t come away empty handed, we won the much coveted prize of ‘Best Selfie’, chosen by IMAGE and The Irish Independent.

Winter Wonderland Cockatils
Winter Wonderland Cockatils

I’m sure I speak for all guests when I say that I’m already looking forward to #BWOTY17!

To find out more about the IMAGE MBA Scholarship; application dates, entry criteria and how to apply, click here.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

The Sunday Business Post – MBA Scholarship

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School
UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

The Sunday Business Post, in association with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, is offering one exceptional candidate the chance of a lifetime; An MBA scholarship to an upper value of €34,500, for the Full-Time or Executive (part-time) MBA Programme, starting in late August 2017.

Over four weeks from Sunday October 30th to Sunday November 27th, applicants for the Scholarship must complete Stage 1 of the Scholarship Application Process, which involves completing a short entry form and answering 3 GMAT questions correctly.

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Entrants who answer the 3 GMAT questions correctly and who also fulfill the minimum UCD Smurfit MBA entry requirements, will be invited to complete Stage 2 of the process which involves completing a full application to the Smurfit MBA Programme, if they have not already done so.

Candidates deemed eligible to be considered for the MBA Programme will then be invited for interview,  with an overall winner selected by a panel of judges.

Before commencing your Scholarship entry, please review the entry criteria and terms & conditions which can be found here.

How to Apply

To enter the Sunday Business Post MBA Scholarship 2016 you must complete the online entry form by the deadline of Sunday November 27th.

Click Here to Enter

Participants who fulfill the minimum entry requirements for the Smurfit MBA, as outlined above and who answer the 3 GMAT questions correctly, will be eligible to progress to Stage 2 of the competition.

If you have any questions about the MBA Programme or application process, please email mba@ucd.ie

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

Smurfit MBA – Celebrating 50 Years

L -R Derek Scally, Nobert McDermott, Pat Hurley, Danny O Dea, Tom Saunders, Neil Murphy, Martin Hawkes & Josepht Dundon at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
L -R Derek Scally, Nobert McDermott, Pat Hurley, Danny O Dea, Tom Saunders, Neil Murphy, Martin Hawkes & Josepht Dundon at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th

UCD was the first university in Ireland, and one of the first in Europe, to offer an MBA in 1964. We are delighted this year to celebrate 50 years since the graduation of the first UCD Smurfit MBA class of 1966.

Since the programme was launched, the MBA at UCD has educated over 3,700 business leaders and entrepreneurs, many of whom are prominent figures in the Irish and international business arenas. UCD MBA programmes are consistently ranked in the top 30 in Europe and in the top 100 globally by the Financial Times and the Economist Intelligence Unit and are the only MBA programmes in Ireland to appear in these prestigious rankings.

L-R: Tanya Kenny, Orla Nugent, Pat Gibbons, Aileen Butler, Brian Marrinan, Avril Donohue, Colin Mc Mahon, Yvonne Harding, Kathy O'Reilly
L-R: Tanya Kenny, Orla Nugent, Pat Gibbons, Aileen Butler, Brian Marrinan, Avril Donohue, Colin Mc Mahon, Yvonne Harding, Kathy O’Reilly

Through the years, the MBA continued to evolve and graduate numbers continued to grow at a rapid rate. Students enrolling in the MBA also became more and more international in origin and today they come from a variety of backgrounds, representing different cultures, industries and expertise. We can proudly state that our MBA graduates occupy key leadership positions within leading organisations around the world.

L- R Jack Hayes, Brian Gregory & Tom Toner at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
L- R Jack Hayes, Brian Gregory & Tom Toner at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
L -R Kevin Gallen, Patrick O Sullivan & Stephen Dorman at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th
L -R Kevin Gallen, Patrick O Sullivan & Stephen Dorman at MBA 50th Gala dinner at UCD Smurfit Business School, Friday June 17th

To acknowledge the rich history of the MBA programme and to celebrate its continuing success, we held the MBA 50 years Gala Dinner on June 17th in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. It was a fantastic night of reunions and celebrations.

Thanks to all of our MBA Alumni who joined us on the night, for those who couldn’t, you can watch the ‘History of the MBA’ video which was shown on the night below.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

The Smurfit MBA IMAGE Scholarship

Image DPS 2016

Win up to €17,250 towards a Full-Time or Executive MBA at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

IMAGE Magazine, in association with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, is offering one female candidate a scholarship covering 50% of fees (upper value €17,250) for the Full-Time or Executive MBA programme starting end August 2016.

Selection will be based on submission of a short essays as follows:

“Tell us (in 500 words or less) about how you have demonstrated initiative and leadership in your career to date”.

A panel of judges will evaluate essay submissions and entrants will then be invited to complete a full MBA application if they have not already done so.

The scholarship worth up to €17,250 can only be used towards tuition fees on the Full-Time or Executive (part-time) MBA Programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; it will be awarded to the best female candidate who meets the selection criteria and standard MBA programme entry requirements as outlined below. Applications close April 29th 2016If you are interested in applying, please click here.

  1. You must have a minimum university degree or equivalent professional qualification and a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience.
  2. A panel of judges will select a short-list of candidates who will have to complete the standard MBA programme application process.
  3. You must have already taken or be prepared to take at short notice the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Admission to the programme is subject to achieving a minimum score of 580 (full-time)/520 (part-time) on this test. Further information at www.mba.com and www.smurfitschool.ie. The scholarship winner must have taken and secured the relevant minimum GMAT test entry score by May 31st at the latest.
  4. You must have two references, normally from current and/or former employer and/or colleague.
  5. The Image Scholarship will be awarded to the highest calibre female candidate selected from the applications received, subject to their meeting, at a minimum, the standard entry requirements of the UCD Smurfit School full-time or executive MBA.
  6. UCD Smurfit School reserves the right not to award the scholarship if the judging panel does not deem any of the candidates to be of the required calibre.
  7. Final admission is subject to an interview.

Previous IMAGE MBA Scholarship winners, Davinia Anderson and Paula Thomas, discuss the impact that winning the scholarship has had on their careers and personal development, and offer advice to anyone considering applying to the IMAGE MBA Scholarship at UCD Smurfit School this year. Watch the video below:

Applications close April 29th 2016. If you are interested in applying, please click here.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

MBA Open Evening

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The first Opening Evening for the classes of 2016 took place Wednesday evening in UCD Smurfit School with the newly installed Christmas tree in the front hall which gave the occasion a rather festive feel. This event concentrated on the post experience Masters and MBA programmes and was a lively event with a good crowd with lots of questions on the details of the programmes and their delivery, admissions procedures and all of their individual concerns.

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The MBA element of the evening included an opportunity to meet with staff from the MBA programme, a presentation by the MBA Admissions Manager and introductory briefings on the UCD Smurfit MBA Leadership Development Programme which runs in parallel with the academic programme and a presentation from the Careers and Skills Office who work tirelessly with our MBA students throughout their time on the programme and indeed afterwards.  This was followed by a panel discussion with MBA alumni and current participants (many thanks to Colin Creagh ’10, Morag Pollock ’13, Niamh O’Reilly ’13, Sarah Tuma ’16, Vince Cooney ’16 and Donal Bailey ’17).  The student and alumni panel and Q&A was probably the most valuable from the attendees’ perspective as it was an insight into the realities, challenges and rewards of the MBA experience from those who have lived or are living it.

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This was the first of many events for the upcoming recruitment season with other Open Evenings, Breakfasts, Experience Days and GMAT preparation sessions on the schedule, so if you are interested in attending please check in with us mba@ucd.ie and we’ll add you to the list of those interested in knowing what is happening and when.

Roisin O’Loughlin ~ Executive MBA Programme Manager