Success for UCD Smurfit School Alumni at AMBA Excellence Awards


Pictured L-R: Professor Pat Gibbons, UCD Smurfit, Hang Thu Vu, MBA Alumnus (Full Time MBA 2015-2016), Michael O’Dwyer, MBA Alumnus (Executive MBA 2013-2015), Orla Nugent, UCD Smurfit

In keeping with the auspicious occasion of AMBA’s 50th anniversary, its 2017 Golden Awards, celebrating the great successes in MBA education over the preceding year, were held in the illustrious surroundings of London’s Savoy Hotel.

UCD Smurfit was delighted that two of our alumni received awards – and recognition – amongst their international peers. Hang Thu Vu (Full-Time MBA 2015-2016) was Highly Commended in the MBA Student of the Year category, while Michael O’Dwyer (Executive MBA 2013-2015) was winner of the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award.

A project manager with Oxfam in Hanoi, Hang received a full Vietnam-Irish Development Experience (IDEAS) Scholarship thanks to her impressive contribution to promote women’s entrepreneurship and social enterprises in her home country. As an MBA student, Hang contributed strongly to class dynamics, proved to be an effective leader, an excellent student and demonstrated her ambassadorial interests and skills by becoming involved in Vietnamese cultural and social initiatives while in Ireland. Following graduation, she is working on several inspiring projects with a particular focus on:

  • Supporting small to medium businesses in Vietnam cope with the negative effects of climate change
  • Promoting social movements related to engagement of youth
  • Women’s economic empowerment in Vietnam

Michael O’Dwyer’s journey in entrepreneurship began in 2012 when, as a former wastewater engineer for Dublin City Council, he established Evolution Environmental Services, a consulting firm that provides environmental inspection and compliance services to public sector authorities. Michael enrolled on to the Executive MBA at Smurfit in 2013 and, applying his learnings from the programme, he successfully developed this venture to a team of 18 staff and annual revenues of €1.1 million by 2015.

In 2015, he launched SwiftComply, a software solution which enables collaboration between public and private actors to create more innovative, inclusive, cost-effective and accountable ways in which to deliver public services.

Since its launch, SwiftComply has enjoyed an upward trajectory – including being selected as one of 11 start ups (from over 1,500 applications) for 2016 Techstars London, as well as receiving investment from Ireland, the UK and the US.

Michael has demonstrated the drive, skills and entrepreneurial talent to succeed on a global scale, and is a role model for UCD Smurfit MBA students – particularly those with an entrepreneurial interest.