What my first weeks as a Smurfit MBA student have taught me….

Driving to the Smurfit School for Foundation Week at the end of August I remember having a mild panic attack and asking myself “Claire what are you doing? What are you actually doing?” With a deep breath to get me through the doors, and a coffee supply that would last me a few months, I found myself swallowed by a crowd of people who were all probably in a similar panic. First cup of coffee down and I’d already meet some really interesting people, and that set the tone for the rest of the week…..I just kept meeting incredible people!

From only a few minutes chatting with some of these new characters I could see that they oozed charisma, passion and natural leadership. So there’s the benchmark, and I feel honoured to be studying alongside everyone, I’m sure they’ll teach me a lot!

My first few weeks have taught me a few things:

  1. I need to learn to talk louder in class because SOMETIMES there is a lot of ego to be heard over.
  2. In this slightly male dominated environment I might need to improve on my “sports-talk”…I wonder, maybe, do Lyons have a tea for that?
  3. From Foundation Week, one point that has really stuck with me is that being in control and managing your time effectively is about staying relaxed, focused and inspired. I’m inspired, I’m focused and Jacob, our Organisational Behaviour lecturer, has made it his mission to ensure the entire weekend EMBA stay relaxed with our 5 minute meditation practices at the end of class! Time management is sorted!

I am thoroughly enjoying my lectures, the heated class discussions and the varied teaching styles of our lecturers. I have just joined the Entrepreneurship Club, I am neck deep in assignments, and I am loving every minute of it!

– Claire McAlister, EMBA Yr 1