Navigating New Beginnings: My UCD Smurfit MBA Reflection

On the 24th of August 2022, as the morning sun cast golden hues across the campus, I stood  at the gateway of UCD Smurfit Graduate School of Business, a  haven for new beginnings. I embarked on a journey of enrichment, where the old and  the new would weave together to create a tapestry of deeper understanding and personal  growth. 

The MBA programme at UCD Smurfit was a chapter of academic enlightenment. Every day unfolded like a page from a book  of wisdom, offering lessons that went beyond the confines of a classroom. I found myself constantly inspired, absorbing the wealth of  knowledge and diverse skills that my peers brought to the table. Amid this vibrant learning environment, friendships blossomed organically, in corners of  classrooms, during coffee breaks, and within the comforting walls of my home where we  gathered to create joyous memories. I was enriched, as I learned to meld the structured approach from my past as a marine engineer with a Japanese company with the vibrant,  dynamic, and collaborative learning environment at UCD Smurfit.  

The author and MBA classmates

As I reflect on this journey, a profound sense of gratitude envelops me. UCD Smurfit has  been more than an institution; it has been a fertile ground where dreams were nurtured,  aspirations fostered, and where individuals honed their abilities to leave a lasting imprint on  the world. Some of my favourite experiences follow:

  • During the summer trimester, I had the privilege of serving as the Class Representative, a role  that allowed me to foster unity and collaboration within our diverse group. My colleague Ananya Singh and I orchestrated class events that not only facilitated  learning but also nurtured bonds that I believe will stand the test of time.
  • The international trips to Prague and Italy expanded our horizons, teaching us to navigate the intricate nuances of  different cultures with grace and adaptability. This demonstrated the global  perspective that UCD Smurfit nurtured within us. 
The author and friend, about to jump into the sea
  • My dear friend Eddy O Byrne ushered me into the exhilarating world of sea  swimming, a practice that became a sanctuary of tranquility and reflection amidst the  bustling MBA life. The rhythmic waves of the Irish Sea seemed to mirror the heartbeat of the  Irish people, a community that embraced life with resilience and joy, whether under the gray clouds or the shining sun.
  • An exciting chapter of this journey led me to the lively sets of “Fair City“, a cherished TV  show that encapsulates the vibrant pulse of Ireland. Here, amidst the laughter and shared  stories while working as an extra, I glimpsed the true spirit of Ireland, a place where joy  permeated the simplest moments.
The author in a screenshot from the RTÉ programme ‘Fair City’

Now, as a proud member of the CoolPlanet team, I find myself utilizing the rich tapestry of  experiences and knowledge acquired during my MBA journey to help companies navigate  their path towards sustainability, aiding them in achieving their decarbonisation goals. It feels  like a natural progression, a step forward in a journey that seeks to harmonize business goals  with the pressing needs of our environment. 

As I pen down these cherished memories, I realize that this journey is a continuous path of  growth and learning. The friendships forged, the knowledge acquired, and the experiences  garnered are precious treasures that will accompany me as I step into a future brimming with  hope and promise. To my classmates, my professors, and the entire UCD Smurfit community, thank you for  being an integral part of this enriching journey. Here’s to UCD Smurfit, a place where dreams find wings, where individuals grow into  leaders, and where the journey is as enriching as the destination itself.

A young man in a white shirt stands in front of a multi-textured brick wall

Abhinav Agastya, Full Time MBA Class of 2023