Coaching on the UCD Smurfit MBA.

The feedback has been excellent once again this year.

We offer all of our MBAs personalised one to one coaching from the very best Business Executive Coaches and it is entirely free to all of ourparticipants.  The programme fits into the personalised Leadership Development Programme (LDP) and goes from strength to strength every year.  Some stats from the latest survey:

– It got a 95% rating in terms of its effectiveness as part of LDP.

– 93% will recommend as unmissable for next year’s participants

– 63% will continue to seek coaching post MBA at their own expense.

– hot topics this year were Career Transition, Leadership Development, Managing upwards and Personal Confidence building.


Out with the old and in with the new!

Would you believe it?  Another year has come upon us.  The expression groundhog day has been used a number of times in the past weeks.  The new incoming MBA classes have completed both the Foundation Week (an intensive induction programme) and their first week of lectures culminating this evening with the annual Welcome Dinner.

Now that everyone is in the door, we invite all our MBA participants and their partners to dinner to celebrate the successful transition on to the UCD Smurfit MBA.   This dinner hosted by the MBA Office takes place on the first Friday night of the new semester.

Before we pass over to our new friends, the MBA Office would like to congratulate one of our outgoing MBA participants, Zahira Sukran, who has won the UCD International Blog Competition, which is a great achievement.  Zahira was a Full-time MBA on a scholarship from her home country, Malaysia, and her blog documented her personal experiences of doing the UCD Smurfit MBA and living in Dublin. She also provided regular contributions to the MBA Blog during her time in UCD Smurfit.  Her award winning blog can be found at and a favourite of ours is

This blog  will now be taken over by a new batch of eager bloggers who will keep it alive and interesting throughout the new academic year.

A big welcome to our new bloggers for 2013-14!

Michael McDonnell.

MBA Programme Manager.

Bizworld comes on campus to run their first summer camp.

UCD Smurfit hosted a unique entrepreneurial summer camp onsite last week in conjunction with the UCD Smurfit MBA.  Children aged between 7 and 11 were brought through the entire entrepreneurial cycle from company formation, applying for jobs in their newly set-up companies to conducting market research. Members of the UCD Smurfit MBA, both students and staff, visited the camp and participated in the market research and also acted as venture capitalists while children pitched their ideas in return for seed capital (BizEuros) for their business idea.

The children’s companies designed, produced, marketed and sold their unique product. In Bizworld’s case, it is a short animated movie. It culminated in parents and students visiting the ‘box office’ to view the marketing campaigns and purchase tickets for the desired movie on the final day of the week-long workshop. Children balanced the books and kept ledgers during the entire process.

Bizworld Ireland is a group of educators and business people who have come together to inspire and empower children aged 10-13 to learn about money management, critical thinking and enterprise in a fun and creative way.

Bizworld sows the seeds so children can grow their future….and the UCD Smurfit MBA is delighted to be involved!

For other stories on our involvement with Bizworld, please click here.

Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager.

UCD Smurfit EMBA ranked in TOP 20 in Europe

The prestigious EMBA programme gets widespread media coverage based on the recently announced inaugural Economist’s EMBA rankings.

The Economist’s Executive MBA ranking places the UCD Smurfit School in the top 20 in Europe. This is the first Executive MBA ranking undertaken by the Economist and UCD Smurfit is yet again the only Irish business school to be included.

In the Financial Times Global Masters in Finance ranking, the UCD Smurfit School is placed 34th this year, up one place from last year.

“We are delighted to be recognised by two of the world’s leading independent rankings for our MSc in Finance and for our Executive MBA,” said Professor Ciarán O hÓgartaigh, Dean of Business, University College Dublin.

“These rankings recognise our position as an international leader in business education and are a tribute to the great work that our faculty and staff put into the design and execution of our courses,” he said.

To read more, please go here, and here and also here.

FT MBA 2011 alum, Brandon Chatreau, and Canadian start-up Dashbook

FT MBA 2011 alumn, Brandon Chatreau and Canadian start-up Dashbook which just graduated from from Montreal accelerator FounderFuel is featured today on Venture Beat – Congratulations Brandon!!

MONTREAL — What if you could take Flipboard, Pulse, or Google Now and platformize it?

That’s exactly the question Dashbook, a 12-week-old startup graduating today from Montreal accelerator FounderFuel recently asked. Very recently, apparently.

“The world is bigger than Google now,” co-founder Brandon Chatreau told me this morning. “And it’s more open.”

The premise behind apps like Flipboard and Pulse is aggregation of all the information you care about from social sites and media, and presentation in a beautiful, integrated app. Google Now takes a similar concept — bringing key information together — and takes a more task and local-oriented tack, bring you weather, appointments, news, and traffic information.


The Business of Women’s Sport in Ireland

“Women’s sport in Ireland presents a green field site for commercial partners where they have great opportunity to shape the kind of programmes that will deliver for them in terms of consumer marketing, business to business development and staff motivation.”

That was one of a number of clear messages to emerge from yesterday’s inaugural “The Business of Women’s Sport Conference” according to organiser, Rob Hartnett from Sport for Business (that includes UCD Smurfit as a founding member).  The attendance of 100 leaders in sport and business participated in panel discussions and innovative round table sessions that included current MBA participants, UCD Ad Astra athletes and UCD’s own Dr. Ann Bourke who counts sport management as one of her fields of research.

The conference, kindly hosted by UCD Smurfit, heard from Annette Ní Dhathlaoi, Head of Marketing with Liberty Insurance on the ground breaking sponsorship of both the All Ireland Hurling and Camogie Championships; from Simon McBeth of eFlow and from Liz Ferris of the Women in Business Alliance.  They also heard from panels including Malachy Logan, Sports Editor of the Irish Times, as well as from Sue Ronan and Gemma Crowley, managers of the Irish national soccer and rugby teams, 200 Cap Hockey international Nikki Symmons, 12 time All Ireland Camogie Medal winner Mary O’Connor.

More information available in the media – Irish TimesThe Irish Examiner and Wednesday’s The Last Word(min 39).

– Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager

Original source and photos courtesy of Sport for Business

UCD Smurfit MBA invites BizWorld to Carysfort National School.

Recently, UCD Smurfit’s own Bruce Martin and Dean Ciaran O’hogartaigh participated on the Bizworld workshops set up by the MBA Office in conjunction with BizWorld.  The workshops were held next door in Carysfort National School.  Many thanks to Bruce and Ciaran for giving so generously of their valuable time by participating as VCs.

BizWorld brought two groups of 6th Class children through a learning workshop over two days called BizMovie which teaches the basics of entrepreneurship, business and finance by showing children how the entrepreneurial cycle operates in a simulated movie production industry. BizMovie teaches basic computer programming skills to develop the movie and students use a school computer lab or individual computers to complete the movie.

The students take on roles based on their strengths and skills across the cultural and economic spectrum to not only understand how business works but also enables them to experience it first-hand.

Needless to say, it was an inspiring day for all involved!

Michael McDonnell

– Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager

UCD Smurfit MBA alum goes from strength to strength!

Last Autumn we covered the success of MBA Alumn Cathal Brady. Here’s another win for Cathal…

“A break-through contract for Dublin start-up Ultan Technologies will see the company work with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to help public authorities around the country manage their energy use.

Ultan’s founder, Cathal Brady (MBA 2004), valued the three-year deal at €300,000 or more to supply a version of the web based technology it has developed to monitor and manage utility devices and sensors,.

“This is huge for us” he said. “It has been in the pipeline for a number of months now and we have just signed the contract in the last few weeks. It is a three year contract with the probability of it being renewed. Over time, it could be worth maybe €300,000 to €400,000. It is going to open up bigger customers to us. We sell to a lot of water companies in Ireland, but this is a different type of market and it is a great validation of the platform and the company.”

A software developer by trade, Brady established Ultan Technologies in early 2011 in Dublin’s Docklands Innovation Park. The idea behind the company’s web-based software is to allow utility companies to bill and manage their customers more easily and efficiently. “We develop products that work with any device, meter or sensor to take readings from them and put them up on the cloud, allowing people to monitor usage, set alerts or manage the device, report on the various readings and compare them to historical or external readings,” said Brady.

The software can be used by energy, water and gas providers. “We can take in readings from meters and generate bills, but the software could also be used by other device manufacturers ,” said Brady. “For example, you might have a guy making devices to monitor diesel tanks or bins to see when they’re full. They can monitor their device to be uploaded on to the web and to manage them and control them from there.”

Ultan Technologies employs four people in Dublin and eight sub-contractors in Ukraine.  Brady said the company was preparing to ramp up sales to the British and US markets in the coming months and would create ten further jobs in Dublin this year and next. A graduate of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, Brady recently scooped the Association of MBA’s 2012 Entrepreneurial Venture Award. Ultan Technologies also topped the best investment proposal category at last year’s Bolton Trust Docklands Innovation Park Awards.


– Michael McDonnell

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

Success for MBA entrepreneurs

Congratulations to Lynne O’Donnell, MBA 2012, who came second in the final of the entrepreneurship accelerator programme, LaunchPad, run by the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC).  Lynn is founder and CEO of the start-up company, Tempity, which took second place at yesterday’s final granting access to an investment fund of €20,000.

Tempity is a cloud-based platform, which allows Recruitment agencies to easily monitor the availability of temporary candidates and match their clients with temps in real-time, based on skills match and location. Tempity dynamically tracks candidate availability so recruitment consultants will only see temps who are available for work now.  On the other side, Temps can actively manage their availability, location & accept jobs directly from their smart phone.

Lynn was in good company yesterday with a second UCD Smurfit MBA start-up company also competing on the day – Buzzoo.  Three graduates from the Fulltime MBA 2012 are part of the management team – Founders Dave Byrne and Vishal Balasubramaniam and Business Development manager – David Pierce.  Buzzoo is social music software for businesses that play music. It allows people at a premises to control the music by using their smartphone to view and influence the music playlist for the venue. It’s like moving the jukebox onto the smartphone and turning the smartphone into a remote control for the music so that the crowd becomes the DJ. Buzzoo also represented UCD Smurfit in the inaugural ‘Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition’ last June.

NDRC LaunchPad is Ireland’s first digital accelerator, ranked 1st in Ireland and 6th in Europe, supporting the next generation of digital entrepreneurs to accelerate good ideas to sound startups. This innovative programme is managed by another UCD Smurfit MBA graduate – Gary Leyden, who has worked with over 80 digital ventures to date on LaunchPad.

– Michael McDonnell, MBA Programme Manager