The Other Module (or Getting Involved on the MBA)



Entering the home stretch of first term lectures on the UCD Smurfit MBA provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on what we have accomplished, and some of the experiences that we cherish the most. We have all learned an enormous amount in a short period of time from our peer teams and lecturers, but I wanted to reflect on the opportunities the School offers to get involved outside of the core modules.

I was ‘elected’ (full disclosure: I won a coin flip) to be one of two class reps, and to be honest, didn’t really appreciate the workload that it would add to the frantic life of an MBA student that features prominently on this blog. But what I gave up in study time, I gained in the unique opportunity to get to better know and understand my peers, their diverse concerns and perspectives, and their expectations from the programme. What’s more, the staff at the School take this feedback from the class and immediately incorporate it into providing the best possible offering.

As part of the Thought Leadership Club Committee, I’ve had the opportunity to be part of a team bringing leading minds in industry to the school to share business insights from the leading edge, and it has led to a number of discussions that you just can’t get in the classroom. And on a lighter note, leading a dedicated team of growers for the Movember Campaign, we’ve enjoyed camaraderie growing regal moustaches, generating smiles (and the occasional puzzled stare) but more importantly, generating awareness and fundraising for some hard-to-discuss health issues. All-in-all it has been an eye-opening and engaging personal growth experience that has challenged many of my preconceptions and views. I would highly recommend the programme to driven individuals that want to be the business leaders of the future.

Getting involved enriches the MBA experience and the UCD Smurfit MBA offers a wealth of ways to make a difference to the Graduate School: The Entrepreneurship Club, The Rugby Club & Team, The Golf Society, and the Inbound Marketing Club. The Careers Office also arranges for visits from employers including leading global consulting firms to engage in panel discussions and give students the best opportunity to evaluate their next career moves, and these sessions have been extremely useful.

The UCD Smurfit MBA graduate leaders, and MBA Clubs are an excellent opportunity to further hone critical soft skills—building trust relationships, professional networks, and most importantly, making friends for life. If you run one of the MBA Clubs you won’t submit assignments or get a grade, but what you will get is the quiet satisfaction from the way you made people feel.

Thinking about an MBA? Come to Smurfit’s Open Evening this Wednesday November 25th from 5:30-7:30pm in the Main Foyer at Carysfort to get information on the Smurfit MBA programme and to chat with current participants on the programme. (And maybe even meet a few of the class reps!)

Vincent Cooney ~ Full-Time MBA