Getting around the Smurfit main building is a little awkward these days as various rooms and corridors are closed off for the summer and skips and portacabins appear around the campus. Short trips to the restaurant for that all important cup of coffee in the morning have now become a scenic tour around the outside of the building or if it is raining a tramp up and down various staircases. It is all going to be a bit of a nuisance for a while but the disruption will be worth it because it is all part of major refurbishment of the Common Room where Smurfit students meet to eat, talk and work on their assignments, a complete overhaul of the Schools largest lecture theatre C201 and last but not least the conversion of the Memorial Hall into three new state of the art classrooms. It is great to see the campus expanding and updating and we look forward to seeing the outcome in early autumn.
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.
We thought things would quieten down here this week as all the current MBAs both full and part time make the most of study week and prepare for their semester 2 exams next week. Today was busy though with the Schools Executive Education “Executive Edge’ day running on campus and some of the current students are using it as an opportunity to add to their learning experience and do a little networking at the same time. Trust MBAers to make the most of all opportunities wherever they find them.
As the internal UCD Smurfit MBA Case Competition approaches, the MBA 2014 cohort is creating alliances in the form of 4-5 member teams and preparing to do verbal battle. Classmates, friends, and competitors will go head-to-head to be named the MBA Case Competition winners, and to earn the honour of representing The Smurfit MBA programme at the MBA Association Ireland Strategy Case Competition later this year.
They may sweat and perhaps shed a tear, but let’s hope there’s no blood drawn as the teams use their knowledge and skills to out-smart each other.
As inspiration we give you memories of Team Shamrock who represented UCD Smurfit at the last Molsen Case study competition in Canada and did us proud.
The CV book launch event, “Ireland – Realising the Potential,” was a beautiful evening that provided an opportunity to meet alumni and expand networks to people from varied companies. The evening was prepared far in advance by student representatives and the MBA Careers team, who contacted and invited many companies to attend. This was a special time for MBA students on the full-time and executive programmes to get together and meet guests from prestigious companies.
The evening began with a cocktail hour before welcoming two Smurfit MBA alumni speakers, Julie O’Neill and Fintan Slye, who gave accounts of their professional life leading up to becoming senior leaders in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors. By listening to them, we realized the extent of the opportunities available after an MBA. The speakers provided strong messages about passion, independence of thinking, and finding courage in his/her convictions, which are the characteristics of a leader who unites people in business. These human values derive business as well as innovation, entrepreneurship, performance, incentive, investment and infrastructure development.
Listening to them, we found there are a number of routes available to each of us.
The evening continued with Dean Ciaran O’hogartaigh providing a strong message to keep, maintain and build this special link with other students who are future alumni, with the school and companies.
The evening ended with the distribution of the 2014 CV Book, the resume synthesis of the Smurfit Business School’s MBA cohort which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
Everyone met afterword around a friendly nightcap.
As the Dean said: “Stay connected, Stay plugged in.”
Full-time MBA 2014
Yesterday, 61 Smurfit MBA students, two staff members, and two professors arrived in China for a week of cultural immersion, corporate visits, and experiences they will not soon forget. The group began their trip in Shanghai where they hosted a Welcome Dinner, met Smurfit MBA alumni living locally and MBA students from the Fudan University School of Management, and visited CELAP.
Tonight will be their first chance to explore Shanghai. Let’s hope they take advantage and make sure to get enough sleep to adjust to the time change!
Keep an eye on this page over the next few weeks for details of their experience…
It is hard to believe that we are just over half-way through our second semester in Year 1. We are now all settled into our ‘new’ teams and working our way through our submissions and plans for the second half of the term. However this semester is more balanced towards individual assessment rather than group submissions and our first mid-term exam of the course took place on Saturday last in Corporate Finance. The mid-term was worth 20% of our overall grade and was definitely effective in focusing my attention on what we have covered in the module so far.
The Corporate Finance module has taught us many calculations, including how to determine the future and present values of cash flows and the cost of capital for a business. We have also focused on assessing market risk and return, and how to evaluate various investment opportunities for a business.
However as those of you familiar with this area know, there is a lot more to Corporate Finance than formulas and calculations. This was reflected clearly in our mid-term exam of which at least half of the content was based on theory from the module material. One needed to know the functions of financial markets and intermediaries and why market investors are not concerned with individual stock risks, as well as be able to calculate the value of a perpetuity, in order to successfully demonstrate their knowledge gained on the topic.
I found my revision of the module material during the last few weeks invaluable, while not infallible, in clarifying the module concepts and enabling me to embrace the topics we are due to cover in the next part of the term with a much greater appreciation.
We are all busy with the demands of the MBA and it is difficult not to regularly focus on what submissions are due. However this directed module revision has reinforced the importance of taking a point in time during the semester to reflect on my understanding of each module. Mid-term break seems like the perfect time to avail of this opportunity so luckily that is fast approaching.
The MBA Programme is proud to be collaborating with Bizworld Ireland, a group of educators and business people who have come together to inspire and empower children aged 10-13 to learn about money management, critical thinking and enterprise in a fun and creative way.
As a not-for-profit organisation, Bizworld are training mentors to provide 2-day workshops to children towards the end of Primary School. Children are brought through the entire entrepreneurial cycle from company formation, applying for jobs in the companies, and conducting market research to acquiring seed capital from venture capitalists. Each student company designs, produces, markets and sells their unique product to a ‘Dragon’ in a Dragons Den style format. In Bizworld’s case it is a short animated movie. The currency used is BizBucks and children must keep ledgers and balance the books at the end of the workshop. The following year, children are invited to use their new skills to address a need in their local community and enter Bizworld’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year competition.
Students from the full-timg MBA class have been acting as mentors in Carysfort National School and yesterday UCD Smurfit Dean Ciarán Ó’ hÓgartaigh acted as a ‘Dragon’ for the student presentations. A joint event will also be held between Yale and the Smurfit School MBA in the Cathal Brugha Barracks on Tuesday March 18th and Bizworld will be in attendance to lead a Strategic Discussion about the charity. It promises to be a great night!
Please click here for further information about Bizworld Ireland.
You run into one brick wall and you’re labelled for life. Such has been my experience driving in Ireland. Let’s get one thing clear: the whole steering wheel on the right, driving on the left thing still freaks me out. It’s seems unnatural and (yes I’ll say it) a little unwholesome too. Caution – Puritanical, American judgement at work.
So for the time being I’m content getting lifts from other people and letting them worry about the driving. It’s probably for the best though. One time in high school I got lost on the way home and ended up twenty miles from my house. Oops.
When it comes to my career however, I’m not so keen to let others do the driving. That’s part of my reason for doing this programme in the first place. I didn’t want to feel like a casual, passive observer of my own life anymore. Instead of floating along and muddling through I wanted an active role in where my career was heading.
I started asking myself if the path I was on was really where I belonged. Just asking the question feels a bit daunting. Should I be questioning myself? Isn’t it safer to stay where you are? For me the answer was yes to both. It’s the next set of questions that led me to where I am now. The questions and answers are different for everyone. My answers told me it was time to make a change in an active way because I wasn’t satisfied with my complacency.
There is still much work to be done. I don’t have a clear route yet in my career journey but I have the map* out and I’m trying to plot a course. Google Maps does not exist for this trip. I have to do it the old fashioned way. Surely there will be unexpected detours along the way but I’m driving myself and enjoying the ride.
*For anyone younger than 25 reading this: a map used to be a depiction of the world on paper. Paper was a material made from trees that was used for writing or drawing. And writing was a method of communication pre-dating typing and texting.
Full-time MBA 2014
Michael Smurfit Business School provides not only an excellent academic background but is also very culturally diverse. In the college, we have good opportunities to explore different cultures from many international student communities.
Tết or Vietnamese New Year, is the most important celebration of Vietnamese culture. On the first day of the first month of the Vietnamese calendar, we, Vietnamese students at Michael Smurfit Business School, successfully organized the special event called “Vietnam Cultural Night”. The main purpose of the event was to introduce Vietnamese culture and promote “Only rice is not enough,” a charity program that raises funds to provide food and cooking services in elementary schools of poor highland mountain regions.
During the event, guests were served different kinds of Vietnamese traditional foods. Some highlights of Vietnamese cultural activities that happen during Tet through the traditional costume shows, traditional dances and music provide the insights about Vietnam. The most interesting activity was the Kid Corner which enabled Vietnamese adopted children to understand about their original point. The event is one of the most meaningful activities during our one year in the Smurfit Business School.
Full-time MBA 2014