More than just lipstick and make up …

Friday April 4th saw the second session in the Dean’s Speaker Series presented by the MBA Thought Leadership Club. Our speaker on the day was Alan Ennis, a member of the School’s North America Advisory Board and former CEO of Revlon. During his presentation, Alan reflected on lessons learned on his journey from trainee accountant in Dublin to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar turnover business in 2009. Alan spoke candidly about his role as CEO, a role which he held until recently, and passed on some inspirational messages to those in attendance. He advised all students to fully immerse themselves in any career that they pursue. In his own case he told us that while at Revlon this included physically testing nail varnish to see if it really did dry in 60 seconds or lipstick to see how hydrating it really was! He also advised us that as a leader you have to create a culture in the workplace where others want you to win, it is okay to be wrong and that life does not owe you a living – you need to work hard in order to achieve your goals.

Impressively, for someone who has managed a company as large as Revlon, Alan came across as an approachable, normal person. At lunch after the presentation we shared a few laughs about life and work. Alan seemed to be fun, outgoing and engaging just like any member of our class. Talking through his rise to responsibility it could be seen how anyone on the MBA could be progress to the levels that Alan has. He admitted that achieving in one’s career took preparation, hard work and a pinch of luck to spot and access opportunities to progress. Let’s hope that the hard work we’ve been putting in over the last year will meet some good luck on the road and this time next year we’ll be well on our ways to career success.

Liam Doyle

UCD Smurfit MBA 2014