When we embarked on our MBA, there were a few books that were recommended to us to give us a flavour of what the journey would entail. One such book was “To Snapshots from Hell by Peter Robinson”, a tale of a previous presidential speechwriter’s journey on the Stanford MBA. He defined the non-mathematical students as poets, people like himself as well as marketing types, artists etc who were non-mathsy. He could do well to add Makeup Artists to that category too as I was also in the group that struggled with any of the math related subjects like Corporate Finance and Financial Reporting. To be fair I also own and run a Hair and Makeup Talent Agency, so thought I would have a grasp of these subjects, but they are on another level to what you would experience running a small business.
As I quickly got lost in the workload of the MBA and group work, I struggled to keep on top of the more technical subjects. Above is some of our team on the last day of working together, we decided to go for dinner to celebrate, we don’t look too bad! I would encourage any Poets thinking of persuing the MBA to try and do an introduction course on Maths & Accounting, in order to give you a starting chance. The first few months of the MBA is like taking part in the Bull Run in Pamplona. You signed up for it, so you can’t complain, but taking part is like running down a narrow cobbled street with other participants, trying to stay amongst the group, but not get mutilated by a giant herd of bulls(deadlines) as they come at you left, right and centre.
Just when you think you are getting somewhere, you have handed in your project, around the corner comes another deadline ready to decapitate you if you take your eye off the proverbial bull! Also, like the festival, once you get through the trauma of the event, you are filled with a sense of elation, pride and achievement that you have come out the other side, relatively unscathed.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though. There were plenty of highs, including getting to know some fantastic people and enjoy some down time. Here I am at the Image Business Awards with the lovely Shitandi, Suzanne and Ankita. It was so nice to get glammed up and be inspired by some fantastic women in business.
I also managed to bring Shitandi out of her digs in “Proby” to explore a bit of the countryside that Ireland has to offer. Here we are pictured on top of the Hell Fire Club with Dublin City in the background. The mix of people in the MBA is one of the truly best features of the course. With all the different cultures and perspectives, you learn so many alternative ways of thought. I am delighted that I took on the challenge of the MBA and feel like I am getting a well-rounded education that will serve me well into the future. The leadership development and career coaching are particularly good in Smurfit and something that I think really compliments the course well. We have done a lot of teamwork analysis including SDI training and 360 feedback which is invaluable in developing yourself as a leader.
As I look to the next semester with anticipation, I shout ¡Viva San Fermín! He is the Patron saint, who blesses and guides the runners of the bull run as they set out on their treacherous journey. If he can protect them from raging bulls then I am sure he can look out for me as I head out on the next stage of my journey!
Emma Farrell, FTMBA 2018/19