The annual MBA welcome dinner took place on Friday night last to welcome all the incoming members of the Full-time MBA Class of 2015 and EMBA class of 2016. Also in attendance we partners of the class members who had come to see where their other halves would be spending so much time over the next year or two and members of the academic staff of the School and the MBA Programme Office and Careers Service. The welcome was extended by the Dean of the School Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh and MBA Director Orla Nugent.
A feature of the evening was the ever popular film produced for the 45th anniversary of the graduation of the first MBA class. It was a timely reminder of that first class in this the 50th anniversary year of the commencement of the programme.
UCD Smurfit MBA Golf Society Blog update for their latest outing:
Derek “the Scallywag” Scally, you dark horse!!! As a 1981 UCD Smurfit MBA Alum, and one of the true gentlemen from the Golden Era of MBA education (please note: finishing a course that did not contain an “Ethics” module), he continued to set the K Club alight in what were some challenging conditions to take home UCD MBA’s 50th Anniversary Prize. Derek was graciously joined by his dear 1981 MBA colleague and friend, Norbert McDermott and his fellow Meath brother in arms, Donal Coyle (who won the wonderful “Monkey’s Ass” Visitor’s Prize). Alongside an always entrepreneurial (both on and off the golf course) Joe Kenny, this foursome could be heard chuckling their way through the 18 holes and well into the 19th. The highlight of this group came when Joe attempted a Crazy Golf style shot across one of the many bridges traversing the water on the 12th. Derek, we all agree, you deserved the victory, keeping it simple throughout.
Summer has arrived on the Smurfit campus, people were a little distrustful of it yesterday but today they have thrown all caution to the winds and it is t-shirts and shorts all over the place. The favourite spot for sun bathing and chilling (so to speak) is beside the restaurant. There are still plenty of activity on campus with the MSc summer modules underway and the full-time MBA class beginning to grapple with the capstone project despite the sunny temptations on offer elsewhere.
The annual MBA BBQ took place this last weekend in the grounds of the School. We had a great turnout with 120 adults and 50 children in attendance and although the sun only saw fit to shine for about 30 seconds towards the end of the afternoon the day was still bright and warm enough to almost convince us that it was mid-summer. Many thanks to Adrian and the team from the restaurant who put on a great spread and kept the food, drinks and ice cream coming. The only disappointment on show was when the cornettos ran out but there were still choc ices and brunches so all was not lost. While the mums and dads of the MBA settled down to discuss life, the universe and everything (including some die-hards talking about the MBA) the entertainers from Sillybilly put on their usual show and kept the little guests happy and occupied for the afternoon.
With much anticipation and relief, we awoke on Saturday the 17th of May 2014. No it was not a dream; we had indeed survived our first year of the EMBA. The exams were now behind us (for the moment at least), the sun was shining and a celebratory feast was to be had that afternoon. We were ready to party, having at least caught up on some of the sleep that we had missed during the year, the semester and the exams.
We celebrated our end to first year in Peacock Green, probably best described as a cool upmarket deli- just beside Morton’s of Station Building of Hatch Street, Upper. We consumed a delectable four course feast of a very nice and light tomato and basil soup as a starter, followed by a mouth-watering choice of pulled pork sandwiches on hoagies, frittatas, quiches and salads, it proved hard not to ge back for seconds. At least, we pretended to be a bit healthy by having the salads, which gave us good enough reason to descend like vultures upon the homemade desserts – fruit salad, meringues of various flavours (perfectly crispy on the outside and oh so gooey on the inside), macaroons (again of a multitude of flavours and colours, a veritable rainbow) and a selection of cakes. These were then washed down by very refreshing teas and coffees which helped to increase (very slightly) the sobriety levels – it is a BYO premises and there was no drought! We spent a lovely three hours at lunch with the added company of Cormac (Corporate Finance Lecturer) and Christoph (Management Accounting Lecturer). Throughout the afternoon, the staff at Peacock Green treated us as though we were royalty – they had obviously calculated the net present value of our presence and the potential opportunity costs, just like we had been taught!
The décor of this upmarket deli was very sympathetic to its environment and has a very nice balance. It is a cavernous space due to being part of a railway station in a former life, but they have managed to make it a funkier version of your kitchen. You know the one we would all like, rustic and yet very cool. Interestingly, you can also purchase a lot of the items that are used to decorate the tables or to serve dishes/drinks in.
After being completely satiated in Peacock Green and managing not to make a holy show of ourselves, we retired to House on Leeson Street (to do that here instead). In conjunction with our weekend classmates, we showed the others there a thing or two on the dance floor. However, as they say, what goes on tour, stays on tour!
It will take a while for us all to settle into our newly found freedom, but we look forward to that challenge.
Welcome to the first outing of Year 2 of the UCD MBA Michael Smurfit Golf Society (we really must reconsider the length of this name; we are officially open to suggestions!!). On what looked like yet more glorious weather for our prestigious society members, our combatants met with all the anticipation and excitement of Trevor Whelan going into one of Damien McLoughlin’s Marketing lectures. With a full 400% increase in participants from our first ever event, the stage was set for an exciting day’s competition.
Now unfortunately, such were Trevor Whelan, Jim Gannon and Mick O Dwyer’s enthusiasm to get started, they managed to miss the opportunity of what would have been a Hugo Boss style photoshoot, you handsome devils, we’ll get you next time. Bear in mind, these guys know how to play. Mick “I swear I’m an 18 handicapper” O Dwyer showed some delicate touches around the green, while Jim “oh did I get ANOTHER par” Gannon was easing back into the swing of things (no pun intended) after achieving 3rd place last year in Player of the Year competition, leaving Trevor “I might just fit in a quick weights session between the 9th and 10th hole” Whelan looking forlorn after many a missed opportunity, in spite of his 6 handicap.
Next up was a relatively new fourball, with our resident entrepreneurial expert Joe Kenny (WAY smarter than Bruce Martin), sales guru extraordinaire James O Rourke (actually in love with Pepsi) and our youngest, and might I add loveliest, recruits James Sammon (absolute cowboy) and Jessica Brady (golf’s first lady) – we reckon incessant flirting actually helped their scores. Moments of genius, intermingled with moments of madness, ensued as the weather turned from glorious to disastrous. Rumour has it Joe only started to play properly once the heavens opened, a stark contrast from his factor 50 wearing self in the K Club last August! The two James’s continued to battle it out leaving the deviously quiet Jessica to secretly rack up points on almost every hole (finishing with a commendable 26 points – Emma Fagan and Caroline Mackell, are you watching).
The international study trip for 2014 ended last night for about half the participants in the Arrivals hall of Dublin Airport with 34 arriving home after a long days flight from Beijing. The rest of the group will be arriving back over coming days having opted to stay on a few days to explore Beijing and the surrounding region further. There were a lot of tired but happy people collecting their bags and already beginning to reminisce about speakers and companies we visited not to mention nights out in Shanghai and Beijing and the St. Patrick’s Day Ball in Beijing topped off by a late night watching Ireland beat France. More detailed thoughts will follow from participants on the trip but for now all we can say is it went well and much was learned and unlearned and many perceptions and preconceived notions were changed.
It’s scary to think we are nearly half way through the second term. The first term seemed to progress far slower with the workload being quite evenly distributed throughout the week. This term classes are mostly at the beginning of the week, which is presumably designed to allow you time to network with businesspeople and focus on job hunting. While this makes a lot of sense it’s less fun than the first semester when the entire class had similar schedules and we could eat lunch together most days and go to the pub on Thursday evenings.
However all good things must come to an end and the reality is that an MBA is very much an applied degree during which you’re supposed to get outside the classroom and out into the real world to meet businesspeople and work on real business challenges as much as possible. Whatever we are missing in terms of socialising together in recent weeks I’m sure we’ll more than make up for during the China trip which is only a few weeks away.
In my experience travelling together is an excellent way to bond and while going through airports with very little sleep and suffering being away from home comforts can be difficult, such experiences are great bonding and learning opportunities. I think the whole class is really looking forward to the trip (for those with families the sudden burst of freedom might be truly shocking!) and even though I’m sure we’ll all be tremendously jet-lagged by the time we get back we’ll be an even more unified cooperative class for the rest of the year.