Alum Dave Byrne uses UCD Smurfit MBA as platform to set up “Buzzoo”.

The June 2013 Business eConnect magazine (official e-zine for UCD Business Alumni) features one of the FT MBA ’12 students…

In Profile: Dave Byrne FT MBA ’12

Taking a year out to do a full-time MBA helped fill in the gaps in Dave Byrne’s (MBA 12) business knowledge and gave him the space to come up with the idea for and set up his online music technology company Buzzoo. For Byrne, the company – a social music service for bars and retailers that play background music – is the perfect combination of his dual interests in technology and business.

Byrne’s primary degree was a bachelor of science in computer applications in DCU, which he graduated from in 2001. “That really sparked an interest in technology for me,” he says. “Ireland had become a major player in IT so it was an exciting degree to be studying at the time.”

After graduating, he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a management consultant. “It sounded like it would be an interesting job and the graduate induction programme involved a three-month training programme in Florida. It was a fantastic experience and a great way to kick off my career in consulting.”

He spent two years with PwC, before the consulting arm was bought out by IBM. After two years with IBM, he moved on to Accenture for the next six years. “I had the opportunity to work with some really talented people over the years and to learn a huge amount from them,” he says. “I saw consulting as ideal for my early career because it allowed me to work across a vast array of projects in a variety of roles. Every project started as a bit of a trial by fire but you quickly adapt. I always viewed them as very good learning opportunities and the constant challenge and change kept the work very interesting.

“Consulting really teaches you to figure out how things currently work and how they can be improved. That’s the basis of most of the projects. The work brought me to some interesting locations like Arizona and South Africa.

“Consulting can be pretty demanding so I took a six-month career break in 2008 to travel around the world with my wife. It was a once in a lifetime experience and really helped to recharge the batteries.”

While technology consulting offered a good mix of technology and business, he felt there was a lot he still needed to learn. “I’d always wanted to do an MBA to fill in the gaps in my business knowledge, to learn about things like strategy, marketing, accounting and entrepreneurship. The MBA at UCD Smurfit has a great reputation so I was thrilled to get a chance to do it. I guess it was a difficult decision to leave a very good job at a very good company but I’m glad I did.”

That decision was helped by the fact that he was awarded a full scholarship. “I was on the fence up until then. I decided to go for the full-time programme to really throw myself into it and get the most out of it.”

He describes the experience of taking a year out to go back to college after 10 years of working as refreshing. “It opened up a lot of opportunity outside of what I’d done previously. I think the MBA really helps you to think about business at a higher level, to think more strategically and have more of a commercial focus. It’s a great way to look at opportunities outside the area you have worked in to date and maybe to bridge into a different career in a different area. As a learning experience, I would say it’s second to none and I think anyone in a professional career is really lucky if they can get the chance to do an MBA.

He came into the programme without definite plans around his future direction. “I was quite open. I knew that as part of the MBA I needed to spend the year exploring the opportunities and trying to figure out what it was I was going to do afterwards.

“I’ve always felt I like to work with business and technology, which is quite a broad scope so I was looking for something that would marry those two together.”

Beginning Buzzoo

The idea for Buzzoo came to him during the year. “One day we were in a bar complaining about the music that was playing in the background. I noticed that we had our smartphones on the table in front of us and suddenly wondered if we could solve this problem with our smartphones.”

The solution itself is aimed at any business that plays background music, including bars, restaurants and retail. “It enables everyone on the premises to control the music by using their smartphone,” says Byrne. “It’s like moving the jukebox onto the smartphone so that the crowd becomes the DJ.  You can vote up the tracks you like and vote down the ones you don’t like.” The product as it is now includes an admin application that allows venues to schedule and play music from any location, while a smartphone app allows visitors to influence the playlist.

Byrne asked two of his fellow MBA classmates to come on board and, as part of the entrepreneurship module, the three developed a business plan which ended up winning the UCD business plan competition for 2012.

Byrne says that new job opportunities that came up during the course of the year made it a tough decision to launch the start-up after the MBA. “It was a bit of a risky decision, but the challenge and the excitement of it was too much to resist,” he says.

After graduation, Buzzoo was accepted onto the National Research Centre Launchpad Accelerator programme. “The programme provides investment and mentorship to help early stage digital technology companies to get their business off the ground. They’ve a top team of mentors and you’re surrounded by likeminded people going through the same process.”

Over the last year, Buzzoo has also received EnterpriseIreland support and been accepted onto and completed the Irish Times Fusion programme. In January 2013, it was selected as a finalist in the Best Irish Startup category at the Europa Awards. Most recently, the company won bronze in the Food & Drink Entrepreneurial Startup of the Year category at the Startup Awards 2013.

“We’ve built out a really solid team,” says Byrne. “We’ve built the minimum viable product and we have some great partners and customers lined up.”

Alpha-testing has now been carried out in a couple of bars in Dublin and a commercial launch is planned in the next couple of months. “We’re looking at Ireland as a bit of a testbed and the hope is that we can go to a couple of key reference sites in Ireland and then start looking at overseas markets. We’re working with a big drinks company on a proposal that would see a fully branded version for one of their products rolled out in 10 bars on a pilot. So we have the ability to offer a fully branded version of the application as well.”

Future developments of the product may include integrating video, he adds.

Outside influences

Byrne says that learning has always been a key driver for him and that he has learned the most from the people he has worked with. “My family is also a big influence on me. I’ve a great wife and I’ve two fantastic girls and they’re very important to me. Between my family and some of the guys I’ve worked with, they would be the key influences rather than a public celebrity.”

His advice for anyone considering starting a business is not to be afraid of taking risks and to give new things a shot. “If you fail, it’s no big deal. You’ll still learn from it. Sometimes the things that scare you the most are the things that are most worth doing.

“With regard to starting a new business, the first thing to do would be to talk to lots of potential customers and sketch out a one-page overview of the business using a business model canvas. Get advice from people in the know, figure out what gaps you have, build a strong team and go for it.

“I think it’s important to be as lean as possible so you can give yourself as long a runway as possible. And I think you need to experiment and be prepared to pivot the business as required.

“I’ve no idea what the future will bring but that keeps things interesting I guess. As long as I’m doing something that has a focus on business and technology I’ll be happy.”

More about Dave’s experiences on the MBA Programme

UCD Smurfit MBA alums join European elite at the Europas!

Best of luck to fledgling company Buzzoo who take on the best in Europe at the Europas on 22nd Jan. 2013.  Buzzoo are made up of FT MBA 2012 alumns – Dave ByrneVishal Balasubramaniam, and David Pierce.

The Europas have been deemed the premier European awards for early, mid-, and late-stage technology start-ups, by leading investors and media. The Europas seek out the “hottest new start-ups in Europe, Middle East and Africa” and have previously recognised such household names as SoundCloud, Mind Candy, Spotify and Betfair.

Buzzoo made the shortlist for the forthcoming Europas start-up awards in Berlin on 22 January from more than 1,000 nominees that were put through the judging process.   The nominees were judged by venture capitalists from firms like Kleiner Perkins, Accel and Google Ventures, as well as founders like Bebo’s Michael Birch, Cloudflare’s Matthew Prince and YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, not to mention journalists from various tech news sites across Europe.

– Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager

Words of wisdom from US Economist Larry Summers

Its not every day that you get to listen to the former White House economic advisor to President Obama and when you get the chance to listen up, my personal view is that you should take it.

Larry Summers is currently in Ireland for the F.ounders event and meeting various Government Officials and gave a talk in the Citi Building, which is where the City Centre EMBA lectures take place. One of my MBA classmates tipped me off and I decided to drop by before going into our Investment Management lecture on derivatives.

It was interesting to hear Mr. Summers talk about economic policy and afterwards give advice to the audience on career paths and success. He said that you need 3 things to succeed in your career (and maybe life) – ability, work ethic and ….luck – and an equal measure of all three.

Mr. Summers advised the audience to figure out what they like doing – what they are good at and to find out where that overlaps with what the market wants. Once they find that, he advised people to work hard and that having a ‘healthy attitude’ to working was vital. While the third aspect, luck, is a little more intangible and is somewhat out of one’s control, he quoted golfing legend Gary Player who said ‘the harder I work, the luckier I get.’

After the talk ended, I spoke with Mr. Summers and asked him if he had any advice for MBA students given his experience as President of Harvard. He explained the importance of an economic term I had not heard before called ‘fungability’ which relates to interchangeability. He also spoke about the importance of finding a niche area.

Cheryl Sandberg previously worked for Mr. Summers and after consulting with him, decided to leave her secure Government job and join a then unknown start-up called Google. She is now on the Board of Directors of Facebook, Starbucks and Disney – so I’d be inclined to heed his advice!

– Conor O’Donovan, EMBA 2011-13

Interview with Marius Smyth, Smurfit MBA alumni

Marius Smyth, a Smurfit MBA graduate and Head of SMB Sales with Google explains his role within Google, his views on mobile advertising and how the MBA helped him to achieve success in his career.

1.  Can you tell me a little bit about your background?

I have been in the Media industry for the past 11 years. I started selling print advertising straight out of college and progressed into Online advertising sales with Google back in 2005. I have had a varied career in Google, working within acquisition sales, Agency, Mobile and most recently within our SMB Sales organisation.

2.       You recently were promoted to UK and Ireland Country head of SMB Sales for Google – what does your role involve on a day to day basis?

I manage a direct team of 5 managers who manage a team of 50 SMB Sales Strategists working with our SMB customer segment. We service the UK and Irish markets. I develop the strategy for our sales teams and work closely with the teams to drive sales.

3.              How do you see technology continuing to change the advertising industry?

In my time with Google I have seen lots of interesting innovations in the advertising industry but without a doubt the change in consumer behaviour to online has been the big driving force behind the success within the online advertising industry. Historically, advertisers have followed the user and consumer and technology has managed to help create an accountable form on advertising online.

4.        You have a background in Mobile advertising – do you see this as the next big thing and how much of a challenge is it to convert advertisers to the mobile platform?

We have a saying in Google that it’s never too late to be early in Mobile advertising. I think mobile is not the next big thing; it is the biggest thing right now. I think that advertisers are very much behind the consumer in this regard. I would say that if advertisers are not already invested in or thinking about mobile in the marketing mix, then they are in trouble and will be playing catch up.

Marius Smyth, Google and EMBA Alumni

5.       What motivated you to do the MBA at Smurfit Business School ?

I had been interested in doing my MBA for some time. Had put it of for one thing or another and eventually decided to commit to what was to be a gruelling two years of my life. Of course it was one of the best decisions I eve made and I thoroughly enjoyed the MBA experience.

6.              How has the MBA helped you in your career?

It’s really given me the commercial edge I would say. Although I studied under graduate business studies the MBA gave me a deeper understanding of business and helped me to develop my strategy, leadership and finance skills.

Interviewed by Conor O’Donovan, EMBA Yr 2

Property Tax and the MBA

Heated discussions around the proposed ‘full’ Property Tax are taking place around the country at the moment and as I prepare to return to Smurfit Business School for the second year of the Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA), I find myself thinking back to the lessons learned from the Financial Valuations module last semester.

Any form of taxation is going to be unpopular with the public and the property tax is no different. However, it is clear that we need a more stable and recurring source of finance for local authorities as stamp duty receipts to the exchequer have plummeted from €1.3bn in 2006 to somewhere around €40m in the last year.  While property tax is likely to feature in the upcoming budget, implementing a methodology that is fair and equitable for everyone is going to be a challenge for Government.

So far, the commentary has focussed around four main methodologies. The first is Site Value Tax (SVT), which was recommended in the Commission on Taxation Report 2009 and values the site (and not the property). While this is a relatively equitable way of levying a tax, it is difficult to assess. For example how do you value the site of one unit in a large apartment block? The second is an area- based tax, which levies the tax based on the size of the property.

This is a relatively transparent method and is easy to assess but doesn’t take into account benefits of access to local government services. A tax based on the market value of the property is being reported as the methodology that will be used but it remains to be seen what method the Minister decides upon. In the current market basing the tax on the market value of the property will be challenging for non-standard properties due to the lack of available transactional data. However the Property Price Register, due later this year which will make actual property selling prices publicly available, should assist with this process.

Continue reading Property Tax and the MBA

Round 2 of the MBA

After wonderful success of Katie Taylor and the Irish boxing team at the Olympics and the excitement that has swept through the country in recent weeks, I can’t help but make the analogy that going into second year of the MBA feels somewhat like getting back into a boxing ring.

Like boxing, the MBA requires a lot of self-discipline and a lot of sweat away from the bright lights of the ring/boardroom. Last semester, I lost count of the many late nights myself and my team mates spent pouring over company annual reports (corporate finance module), critiquing the management controls and budgets of large organisations (management accounting) and preparing SWOT analysis and brainstorming new market ideas for a company’s future (corporate strategy).

A successful boxer also has a great team of people that work with him/her every step of the way. One of the real benefits of the MBA is that you work in small groups on a number of assignments. For me, being part of the group gave me exposure to the views, experiences and perspectives of professionals from a wide range of background that I would not usually encounter in my day-to day-work. This has helped me to look at challenges in my own sector through fresh eyes, which has been invaluable.

A key element of achieving success in boxing is being able to perform at your best under pressure. As aspiring MBA’s, we need to be able to perform under pressure too. We need to be able to present our ideas and business cases to senior business people in a professional and convincing manner. The Smurfit MBA places a high level of significance on developing these skills and throughout the past year we have all had to deliver multiple presentations in front of our classmates, lecturers and senior business people and deal with their questions competently.

Of course, competition is inherent in boxing and it is no different on the MBA. The fact that you are on an executive programme which requires about 15- 18 hours of your time each week, on top of your ‘day-job’, means that the majority of people who make this kind of commitment are motivated to do well. Sometimes the competitiveness comes out with different groups ‘battling’ against each other on their group projects and presentations– but it is more out of a sense of friendly rivalry than anything else and usually ends up in a good laugh over a pint after class.

That said, a new fantasy football league has started in our class and the competition is heating up so let the games begin!

Conor O’Donovan -EMBA Yr 2

School’s out!

What a difference a year can make. The MBA is all but done. On Tuesday, our Capstone team will present its Social Media Consulting Project to Aer Lingus, and that will be that: The MBA journey, as we know it, will be over.

It’s been a fantastic experience. It’s not quite so fantastic when you’re up close and personal with the workload, but in those moments when you get to stand back and reflect upon it all, it’s pretty immense how much knowledge you can absorb in one single year, and how quickly things can change.

On Thursday, I’m heading off to Yale University, to do it all over again. Thanks to the ambition of Professor Damien McLoughlin and Dean Ciaran O’hOgartaigh, Smurfit is now part of the Global Network for Advanced Management and thanks to the support of Yale and Smurfit, I hope I’m just the first of many Smurfit MBA Graduates who’ll experience the adventure presented by the Masters in Advanced Management (MAM) Programme over there.

Without Programme Director of  Strategic Marketing, Ciaran Doyle, picking up the phone  to me last Summer, and steering me onto the MBA (“You’d be MAD not to do it!”), and without MBA  Director, Orla Nugent, and MBA Careers, Brian Marrinan, thereafter, taking a chance on me with the IMAGE Magazine Scholarship; and Dean Ciaran O’hOgartaigh and Professor Damien McLoughlin now rowing in behind my application to Yale, never mind the enduring support of my family and friends,  this adventure to the US would not be happening.

As Newton once said, “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants”: I didn’t get here alone, I didn’t get through it alone, and I don’t go to the US alone. The support I’ve had sustains me and goes with me. Thank you to everyone who has made this adventure possible for me, in every way.

To anyone about to start the Smurfit MBA this year, enjoy it! You’re in for a great year ahead, full of challenge: The type that’s worth it. I recommend getting your hands on a copy of, “Snapshots from Hell: The Making of an MBA”, by Peter Robinson. Read it as fast as you can, before the course begins.  It’ll get you in the right frame of mind for the year ahead (you’ll be reading fast all year!), and if you like it, I reckon you’re going to enjoy what’s coming down the tracks at you.

For anyone juggling the MBA as a possible option; know that there’ll never be a day when you’re ‘sure’ that it’s the right thing to do. I don’t think any of us were. But you’ll never find out from the side lines. Jump in. And figure it out later. I doubt, very much, you’ll regret it.

To our Lecturers: Thanks for all that you taught us. I hope, one day, we will have our revenge for cold and warm calls, case study avalanches, and sleepless nights.

To my fellow MBA Classmates: Thanks for all I’ve learnt from you during this past year: It’s been immense. I doubt there’ll be pitch-and-putt, magnetic darts, or a ‘quote board’ in Yale’s equivalent of the MBA room! (And seeing how much I featured on the latter, I won’t be suggesting they invest in one, any time soon!) I wish you the best: I hope you’ll all collectively knock it out of the proverbial park in the future.

School’s out.

What a year.

– Davinia Anderson, Full-time MBA 2011-2012

Rugby Reflections Part II

This is the conclusion blog on the 2012 MBA Rugby World Championships hosted by Duke University. There are many heroes, pictures, and stories from the tournament that unfortunately could not all be mentioned.  Here is the viewpoint of the MBA Rugby experience, shared from the perspective of a rugby novice on the men’s UCD team. Enjoy!

Game Day Practice

The men’s team was scheduled to play the opening match of the rugby tournament on Friday evening against host Duke University. Given we had an entire day in Danville, Virginia with nothing to do our Coach decided to have a mini practice.  The idea was that we would walk from our hotel to the pitch to allow our jet lagged legs to stretch and run through some plays. After forty-five minutes of walking, we realized Google maps had not mastered the optimal path to the hidden rugby pitches and our legs were getting more of a work-out on the hot pavement than our Coach had originally anticipated! At one point in our travels the road literally ended and I helped the team out by asking a local if we could cut across their field to get to the pitches. Needless to say this would be last time we walked from our hotel!

UCD Men’s Team before the first game

After the epic walk and we caught a taxi back to the hotel for lunch and enjoyed some downtime before our first match.  I followed the routine and rested my legs on the bed-although I did not expect to use them as much as my 6’8” roommate-who I found already asleep in the room after I returned from lunch. Soon after, the alarm sounded signalling that we had 15 minutes before loading on the team van for the match. I turned on the light full of adrenaline and quickly realized that my bag was missing!

My roommate stated he had placed our gear bags in the room next to ours when he went out for lunch because our lock was not working. The only problem with this plan was that our bags were now safely locked away in a room that belonged to members of our girl’s team who were out graciously shopping for team refreshments in preparations for our first game! I could not believe it. Here I was less than 15 minutes before my team bus would leave for my very first rugby match and I had to tell my Coach I may miss the bus!   I rushed downstairs and pleaded my case to the hotel manager to unlock a room that was not mine to take a bag I claimed was mine! She must have seen the panic in my eye as the manager finally agreed to the craziness and I made the team bus within seconds of it leaving.

Relieved that I made the bus, emotions were riding high as the team prepared for our first match. I quickly changed and stood on the side-lines to witness my teammates get off to a quick start, winning 33-5 . To my surprise, before the game ended  I was afforded the opportunity to sub into the game. I honestly did not know if I would even play during the tournament and it was exciting getting on the pitch to experience the adrenaline of the very first match of the 2012 World MBA Rugby tournament!

Women’s Tournament

The dynamic of the trip was greatly enhanced by having both a men’s and women’s team representing UCD Smurfit. The women’s 7 on 7 tag tournament began on Saturday and the UCD team got off to an exceptional start, going undefeated during their first day of competition! The team benefited from their quick speed which is captured in the photo below.

The women’s team concluded the tournament by finishing in 3rd place in a thrilling semi-final match to bring home another award for Smurfit. After their final match the referee was more than happy to pose with the ladies after their brilliant performance!

UCD Women’s Rugby Team

Men’s Tournament

The UCD Men’s team also went undefeated during the tournament, winning their first four matches by a combined score of 177-11. The team carried this momentum into their semi-final match versus Wharton.

Playoff Semifinal Vs Wharton 42-5

The word “focus” immediately comes to mind when reflecting on our Sunday semi-final playoff match. The players on my team were dialled in and our Coach masterfully set the stage with his pre-game talk. He even had me ready to run through a brick wall for my teammates as you can see from the picture below! This was a match far beyond my skills level and I gladly cheered the lads on from afar on the side-lines as they produced a physical semi-final victory 42-5. We then awaited our championship opponent with bated breath- would it be the London Business School A team or the undefeated Harvard squad…

The UCD Men’s team also went undefeated during the tournament, winning their first four matches by a combined score of 177-11. The team carried this momentum into their semi-final match versus Wharton.

I was watching with admiration on the pure skill and technique my teammates showcased when I heard my team captain yell, “Coach we gotta get Justin in here”. I was shocked and moved when moments later my rugby coach told me to go into the championship match. They knew my friends and family were all watching and afforded me an opportunity to participate in the victory that our skilled starters had secured. This gesture allowed me to enjoy my favourite playing memory from the tournament when I tackled a Harvard player as the last line of defense. I probably hurt myself more than the offensive player on the tackle but I gave it all I had, closed my eyes, made contact and wrapped my hands around the oncoming player and swiped the ball away. I had miraculously stopped the score and contributed to the shut-out victory with the final score 34-0!

The celebration started immediately after the whistle, with representatives from Duke University presenting my UCD team with a large trophy solidifying our quest for the college’s 10th MBA World Rugby Championship!  Since we were on an MBA friendly-budget we traded the traditional celebratory bottles of champagne with cans of America’s finest hops for our team picture but it tasted just as sweet as we basked in the moment.

The MBA is about learning not just business management but challenging yourself. Thus ends the rugby blog, if you are interested in reading detailed summaries of the games you can view my personal blog here. Best of luck to the 2013 UCD Rugby Club!

– Justin Thomas, Full-time MBA 2011/12 & MBA Rugby World Champion

Real-world Experience

I am going home in the next few weeks. It has been a long year for me and my family. But I still have a lot to tell about my capstone project. First of all, I was very happy to get a project in the industry (banking) that I see myself in the foreseeable future. Secondly my project team has been set up to work directly with Strategy Division and people tell me it is a perfect time for us as the company is making a number of changes to it’s business strategy. So the attention of the company is on us as our achievement is also their achievement. After the kick-off meeting, I felt a little nervous because the company expected us to deliver the most difficult piece of the program that they are working on at the moment. The scope document was done up carefully to ensure that given a limited period of time, we can both deliver what they asked and what we have been asked from an academic perspective. At the time of writing this blog, nothing critical has yet been completed. Only some background information has been documented in the final report. This is because we agreed to file our findings and analysis after each section. I know, a lot of work needs to be completed. The team has done more than six interviews with key personnel in the company. The more information we were given, the more confused we seem to get (at least I thought so). After two days of conducting interviews, I felt really tired. However, we decided to sit down and have a discussion one what should be done next and therefore we spent days in the syndicate rooms (in college) to jot down all our thoughts and came to some conclusions. We have more clarity now.

As the matter of fact, the project team is new to each of us and we have never ever worked together before. The first thing I did was to read the three CVs again. The team dynamics have been good since each of us have different experiences in different industries. I have had a great time working alongside two people with completely different working styles. One team member is very quiet and the other has a very good sense of humour. We were helping each other while learning to deal with the “storming” phase of our project even though it was a very quiet one. For me, it is a totally new experience as I have learned about the other side of business that I have heard but never got my hands on. I have had a chance to talk to experienced people in various positions. One good example of such conversations was when one of the executives from the company asked us “So, what is the final outcome of this project” and “have you used LinkedIn to connect to the people here?” He shared his own insights about networking and job seeking. There are four more weeks to go and regardless of the fact that the workload is likely to get heavier, we are confident that we are on the right track and also have a lot of support from the company. I am looking forward to the final leg of my project!

– Linh Hoang, Full-time MBA 2011-12

Avenge our defeat!

So, we didn’t win.

The better team won on the day, and at least we lost to my old alma mater, NUI Galway. It was scant consolation to learn that it was a close decision.

Our case was on eBay and Amazon. Along with analysing the current state of play, we had to formulate a new strategy for eBay. The time got away from us as we searched in vain for the ‘secret sauce’ that could point the way to success. Unfortunately, there was no rabbit in this particular hat. We took our eye off the ball and with thirty minutes to go we still hadn’t formulated a new strategy. Tempers became short (mainly mine – sorry guys!) and our decisions became panicked. In the end, we rushed it and it showed.

Win or lose, the important thing is that we never have to see each other again” was the toast that I proposed before the winning team was announced. We had a sinking feeling that it wasn’t going to be our day and, in my own inappropriate way, I thought some humour might lighten the mood (though I may be using the term ‘humour’ quite wrongly).  We accepted defeat graciously, and, though downhearted and exhausted, managed to enjoy ourselves by invading the birthday party of our captain’s long-suffering wife.

The strategy competition was a great way to finish our MBA, and, while it would have been nice to ride off into the sunset with a trophy under our arms, it just wasn’t to be. I’m certain that my toast won’t come true, either for this team or for any of our MBA colleagues (but I would imagine that Eoin’s wife will just have to learn to deal with her suffering).

On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Brian McGrath for his help in our preparation, and on behalf of the Smurfit School I would like to thank Michael McDonnell and all in the MBA office for ensuring that the event was organised impeccably.

Finally, to the team of 2013 – avenge our defeat!

– David Collins, Exec MBA 2012

UCD Smurfit MBA Team 2012: Dr. Brian McGrath(Academic), David Collins, Kate Healy, Jonathan Cuthbert, Sinead Hope, Eoin Lyons (Team Captain)

MBAAI Strategy Competition 2012 – Main Hall, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School


MBAAI Organisers:  Ms. Christine Lewis and Mr. Gareth Quinn