Planes, Trains & Automobiles…a great film. John Candy and Steve Martin get stranded over the Holiday season and have to use all means of transport to get home for Thanksgiving. In EMBA Year 1, the same applies. We are scrambling to complete our journey to end of semester 2. Now at the midterm, we are what’s fondly referred to as “half way to half way”. We’ve covered Planes in the case studies on AirAsia and WestJet airlines. Got the Trains on the weekly trips on the DART out to an increasingly sunny coastal Blackrock. We’ve looked at the closest thing to Automobiles with more case studies on the motorcycle industry from Honda and British Motorcycle Industry to Ducati and Harley Davidson.
I think the thing that strikes you in Year 1 semester 2 is that while semester 1 was all about working with your teams, working on your presentations and reports, and learning the basic building blocks to build on in next term. Semester 2 is a much more joined up case-based learning approach, with a lot more overlap between subjects as the weeks progress. You draw your own conclusions on the case at hand with the guidance of the lecturers, class discussions, and the wisdom of your fellow classmates. You feel more comfortable assuredly advising on the best actions to take. To put yourself in the seat of that C-level executive sweating over a project’s success or failure, or as the head of a ailing company in a increasingly competitive industry.
Its midterm now, half way through our second semester. The mental battle of convincing yourself to bound over that next hurdle continues. Nearly half way to half way, and you know with the help of our team mates, you might just make it.
A fifty strong gang from across all three EMBA YR1 classes elected to drop the books and let the hair down for a social night in the Defence Forces military Barracks on the 23rd of March.
The evening kicked off with a lively drinks reception in the visitors centre were everyone was enlightened on the eventful history of Cathal Brugha Barracks. There were some surprised expressions in the crowd to hear of some of the happenings inside the gates over the years. It was certainly an eye opener for those who would not have been previously familiar with the finer details of Irish history over the past century and a half.
We moved from there to the Officers Mess where we indulged in the military’s finest cuisine! It wasn’t long before the weekend [class] crew had the wine opened and began to set the pace. Spirits were high and the “craic” as one says was mighty.
The meal complete we retired to the bar to enjoy the rest of the evening. If the event was to be judged on the amount of people who stayed until the end well it would surely be marked as a great success, with many moving to the realms of Lesson Street to perfect their dance moves once the bar closed! In all the event provided an excellent opportunity for all of us to get to know and network with counterparts many of whom we would not have seen since the induction week.
Many thanks to all who attended, no doubt we will all see out the last few academic weeks of year one with success and hopefully we will soon meet again in high spirits.
It’s easy to forget that your class mates are actually people with lives outside of the this world with husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends and children – and not merely fellow captives trying to help you get through the many, various assignments! So with the goal of getting to know our class mates a little better and having some harmless fun we conceived of the idea of the eMBA Family Day.
We are a time poor group at the moment with little capacity for extravagant party planning so our core focus in getting the event organised was to pool everyone’s talents and resources to see what we could come up with. Before we knew it we found we had an ‘Egg Hunt Director’, Jenn Boyer (EMBA Weekend), who brought significant experience from her childhood in the US, a jewellery designer class mate with a flair for face painting (Claire McAllister, EMBA Weekend), and the offer of a 7 feet tall dragon costume from a class mate’s marketing department! With these various resources and the support of the MBA office the eMBA Family Day Egg Hunt and Picnic was launched!
The path of the MBA student is never smooth and despite the fact that almost every Saturday that the weekend group has spent in Blackrock has been bathed in glorious sunshine, the day of the egg hunt coincided with the torrential rain and floods in Dublin. Not a group to be easily defeated, we brainstormed, innovated, discussed and debated and quickly relocated the party indoors and crated an indoor Easter woodland.
More than 15 families with over 20 children and even a few grandparents attended the event, eating approximately 2 metric tonnes of chocolate! The children were very excited to meet the eMBA Easter Bunny (graciously played by James O’Rourke, EMBA Weekend) and were a little astounded to encounter the eMBA Friendly Dragon (a stunning performance by Steve Kelly, EMBA Weekend). Despite our various obstacles and limited time we were delighted with the success of the event and are already looking forward to a bigger and better event for Year 2.
In addition to the kid’s enjoyment it was great to see the partners of the eMBA class mates spend some time together in such a fun setting – to commiserate over their missing spouses in some cases, to regale everyone with tales of practice presentations in front of the fire in others! There is a life outside of the eMBA, even if it’s sometimes easy to forget, so it’s good to give ourselves a little reminder every once in a while so that we remember why we’re doing this.