Stay Engaged

It has been two days since our last final exam for the first semester- the competitive strategy case study, and I have a lot of mixed feelings about what the semester at the Smurfit Business School has been.

Coming to Ireland was a big decision. As an international student, for me, it represented leaving behind my country, my family and friends. But my curiosity to Ireland, or to Shannon, helped me to make up my mind. The first free trade zone in the world, Shannon Free Zone, has also greatly influenced the economic growth of a Chinese mega-city- Shenzhen. And, more and more free trade zones have been established in China under the Shannon inspiration.


In the orientation week at the Smurfit Business School, we were given a six-hour financial reporting pre-module lecture in one day, and I told myself the coming MBA year at the Smurfit Business School would be intensive and we would be straight down to business. The Admission Manager, Carole Deering also highlighted to me that “the year at the UCD Michael Smurfit  Graduate Business School would pass so quickly and you will be flying,” and I knew she wasn’t exaggerating.

As well as the very intensive course, there is numerous leadership coaching sessions, career consulting and various events which fill most of your spare time in the Smurfit Business School. I also found this particularly challenging for a non-native English speaking student. It was hard, or even painful at the beginning. However, the hectic schedule can even put a time management guru’s multi-tasking skills to the test. However with the help from the whole faculty, our Programme Manager Aga, and most importantly, my study team members, I had a good transition to the all-new environment and I now am on track to the coming new challenges.

I would like to encourage myself and those students who struggled with language or cultural differences, don’t panic, and stay engaged!

Chaoyue Chen 陈超越, FTMBA 2018/19