Everyone loves to go away on holidays and meet new friends! But what about when staying at home, and meeting lots of new, exciting international friends, becomes the new holiday?
That’s exactly what GNAM week in Dublin was for me; an exciting fun-filled week at Smurfit in UCD, my home town, and where many international students from across the globe came to take the course on offer. The students came from the United States, Canada, Israel, China, Vietnam, Brazil, and Mexico to name just a few of the exotic destinations they flew in from.
The topic of the GNAM course was Digital Business Leadership. During the course we learned how some very traditional companies have incorporated digital technology into their strategy and the benefits that these companies are reaping from the integration.
The week focused on some main industry areas, media, financial services, healthcare and communications.
We had several speakers from each sector come to tell us their story of how they incorporated digital transformation into their business. These included CEO’s of the Irish Times, creator of the successful website daft.ie and the CMO of AIB.
This was an excellent line-up of speakers. Each one detailed to us their experiences of incorporating digital technologies into their sector, the challenges they faced and the successes they have earned based on the hard work.
We also had company visits, on a daily basis, to companies such as Google, Intel, Facebook and IBM. Each company warmly welcomed our group and talked us through their ever changing environments and how they adapt and keep ahead of the game in their sector.
GNAM Group Company Visit to Google: Names in Lights
No holiday would be complete without good food, and at UCD they provided beautiful breakfasts and lunches every single day. We also were lucky enough to take a trip for dinner to the Wicklow mountains, to Johnny Fox’s pub for dinner, a traditional Irish experience. Another traditional Irish experience, was the pub crawl tour, where we were guided through landmark sites in the historic city.
We ended the week with an afternoon at the historic Abbey Theatre in Dublin’s city centre, where we undertook an improvisation class, aimed at business people in the workplace. It encouraged us to use our creative side and to pull together to create scenes on the stage, blended from stories we envisioned on the day. The true highlight of the day, was to be privileged enough to act out our scenes on the historic stage itself, a real honour.
Scenes from improvisation, standing on the stage at The Abbey Theatre
We finished the week in the wonderful city, with a visit to Beshoff’s for fish and chips followed by a visit to some of the historic pubs dotted around the streets. All in all, it was one of the best ‘holidays’ I have experienced in my own home city!
Sinead Sullivan, FTMBA 2018/19