And so it begins…

27 Aug 12 – Week Nil

And so it begins… day one of the MBA.  Like everyone else arriving in for 0830 registration, I was filled with the usual sense of trepidation that accompanies any life-changing event.  We all piled into LT1 after coffee and croissants, and the tentative exchanging of pleasantries.  I looked around to see full-timers, execs, weekenders, mid-weekers and every other category of MBA student that could be mustered on a damp and dreary Irish summer’s morning.

The morning passed in a blur of advice, introductions and name tags.  Lunch came and went as we got to know one another over a bowl of soup.  And then the class we had all been dreading- the one with the homework.  Professor Niamh Brennan’s class on Report Writing was being spoken about since early that morning.  Nobody seemed sure if they had done the assignments properly.  Some hadn’t printed them out as per instructions.  Some had lost their formatting in printing.  Many sensed they were going to get critiqued to within an inch of their lives.  In the end Niamh (as we were to call her) was entertaining and engaging in her delivery.  I successfully managed to come away with all three learning outcomes from the class, which were:

  • Fight the bull,
  • Do not write a letter to one’s mother in the passive voice, and
  • Email Niamh, don’t tweet her.

At least I think that’s what they were.

03 Sep 12- Week One

In a week in which we earnestly discussed Robin Hood’s strategy options in his quest against the Sherriff of Notingham, Foundation Week ended on a high note with a very enjoyable day’s team building conducted mainly on the lawns of the Smurfit Business School.  Some of the panthers in the group got to cool their jets as buckets full of water spilled on their heads; the owls on the other hand suggested we do one more rehearsal of the plan before committing to the precarious 4×2 board.  All told, I think everyone enjoyed the team building and especially enjoyed the excellent organiser, Fintan who made it fun, but also reflective and meaningful to the year ahead.

So with Foundation Week over, it was straight into the thick of things on Monday morning where we continued to apply ourselves to Financial Reporting and were offered a first glimpse into the world of Competitive Strategy with Prof. Pat Gibbons.  They say an MBA class become close friends over the course of their studies, and Group Six certainly showed refreshing candour in outlining to Pat, and the rest of the course, what they hoped to achieve from his strategy class.  Suffice it to say, I’m sure Pat never expected his insights into strategy could have such wide-ranging application!

So the assignments and presentations are coming in thick and fast.  Groups can be seen forming (and possibly storming) in all corners of the building, coming to terms with the vista that presents itself to us.  But hey, we volunteered for this, so let’s make the best of it.

– Morgan Mangan, FT MBA 2012/13