The Second Method

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.” – Confucius

It goes without saying that the quality of the lecturers in Smurfit is very high (please forgive the brown nosing!). The most useful learning interactions however, come from fellow students. There is a huge wealth of diverse experience within the class. This results in people taking different views on issues. Through debates (sometimes heated) with class members I begin to appreciate different approaches on how challenges could be addressed. Understanding that “there is more than one way to skin a cat” and broadening my thought process to incorporate a number of different viewpoints is, for me, the most valuable learning experience of the MBA programme.

The most interesting and engaging part of lectures are the “show and tell” presentation of other students. This is where they take theories, frameworks and tools we are discussing and give practical examples of when they encountered problems in the past, how they addressed the challenge at the time and what they would do differently now. These stories are what stick in your mind and a memorable story acts as a trigger for all the other learning points.

Confucius says imitation of others is the easiest way to learn wisdom. Sounds like a good idea to me.

David Kiernan

FT MBA 2014.

In at the Deep End!

Week one.

Lectures kicked off on Monday 2nd Sept at 8.30am on the UCD Smurfit MBAFinancial Reporting with Niamh Brennan.

“This is how you prepare an income, profit and loss statement. This is how you prepare a balance sheet. Any questions?”


“Good, these are your assignments for Thursday.”

Two months’ worth of accountancy lectures at undergrad level, dexterously squeezed into two hours. The pace was set for the rest of the week.

It’s not that the lecturers assume students have considerable previous knowledge of the subjects. There’s just a lot of work to get through. The best thing to do is to jump straight in. The only comfort being the reassurance that others have gone through the same process in the past and lived to tell the tale.

We’ll see!

David Kiernan,

FTMBA 2014.