To Networking! Bellinter II

After its acclaimed debut in 2010, Bellinter II took its rightful place as the first highlight in the social calendar for 2011. The thought of staying at Bellinter in Co. Meath was a welcome escape from a cold and dark Dublin where the return to classes reacquainted us with triangularised sandwiches which have become our twice weekly staple.  In fact, demand was such that spaces began to fill up within minutes of circulating the invitations. The ever glamorous Siobhan O’Dowd put her talents to full effect by bringing together a diverse panel of speakers, which included Eddie O’Connor, founder of Airtricity – which was sold in 2008 for €1.8bn and current founder and CEO of Mainstream Renewable Power; Norah Casey the newest dragon on the Den and CEO of Harmonia, Ireland’s largest magazine company; David McWilliams, Economist, Journalist, Broadcaster, Best Selling Author…… with even more titles to be revealed very shortly. Also speaking were property developers Paddy & Simon Kelly.

“Feel the fear and do it” was the key theme of the evening. Memories of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society came to mind – “Carpe Diem, Seize the Day, Boys! Make your lives Extraordinary”. The speakers recounted passionately their own experiences and raised some interesting points,  points which were debated at length till the early hours when we adjourned to the bar after dinner….. And then the networking really began!

During our foundation week in September, one of the faculty members highlighted the importance of networking and it is clear from our class that we have taken that advice very literally i.e. MBA = Networking. If you learn nothing else (virtually impossible given the demanding and diverse range of modules covered), you will learn to be a superb networker. There are always plenty of opportunities to practice – on Thursday nights with the City EMBA’s, at club events, end of term parties, Tapas evenings, Asian nights….. the list is endless.

When I started the EMBA four months ago, one of my goals was to make new friends and network. I never imagined that I would make such great friends in such a short space of time. The withdrawal symptoms were evident by many over the holidays with various groups getting together to catch up on the non-academic side of MBA life. When he first addressed the class back in September, the Dean, Prof. Tom Begley, mentioned that we had most to learn from each other and one of the key things I’ve taken away to date is the knowledge that it is possible to have fun and learn at the same time, especially when you are doing it with such a varied and entertaining bunch of people. To networking!Caragh Curran UCD Smurfit EMBA City Yr1 student

– Caragh Curran, EMBA City Yr 1