Good Luck Brian Marrinan!

This week, the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) announced the shortlists for the 2013 Awards for Excellence. These competitive awards attract nominations from across the HE Careers sector in the UK and from the Irish Universities and the ITs.

Brian Marrinan, MBA Career Manager

We are delighted to announce that MBA Career Manager Brian Marrinan has been shortlisted along with two others for the AGCAS Outstanding Individual Contribution Award. Brian is the only nomination from outside of the UK for any of the awards.

These are some of the reasons why Brian was nominated,

“Brian has shown absolute dedication to creating links that pair the Smurfit Business School with the very best of industry in Ireland and abroad. It is out of these links that UCD MBAs secure access to top-tier companies for Capstone projects and for employment opportunities. I am grateful to Brian for creating the opportunity for me to demonstrate my abilities to my current employer. Brian understood my interests, strengths and motivations, and contributed hugely towards the value that I continue to gain from my Smurfit MBA.”
– Paul Buckley FT MBA 2012

“I decided to do an MBA as I wanted to make a radical change in my career. Right from the get go, one of the best parts of our year was the careers and personal development programme which Brian ran. Every Friday we had an amazing array of speakers, life coaches and career advisors spend time with us. Brian put extraordinary effort into getting the mix right.
However, what stands out for me most, was the degree of personal care and attention Brian gave each of us. His door was always open and he supported, advised and pushed us as we struggled through next steps.
As I went through the arduous interview process with McKinsey, Brian was a fantastic coach and supporter. He really set me up for success.
Brian is an exceptional careers manager, an advisor, support and friend. I will always be very grateful to him for helping me to find a new career and path post MBA.”
– Barbara O’Beirne FT MBA 2011

– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

MBA Experience Day 15 June 2013

On Saturday 15 June, UCD Smurfit School played host to the MBA Experience Day 2013.

MBA Director Orla Nugent summed up the sentiment of the day, “This was the first MBA Experience Day and the day was very exciting for us. It is also encouraging for us to meet new candidates and to share with them a flavour of our MBA programme”

A nice sunny morning welcomed 120 prospective MBA students to the Smurfit Campus for a busy morning of lecture, workshop, mingling and networking with the aim of giving those who might be considering an MBA the  chance to get some real insight into what it would be like.

After the welcome address by MBA Director Orla Nugent , Prof. Niamh Brennan delivered a ‘Taste’ lecture entitled Greek Chorus, Posse or Lynch Mob? The Role of Accountants in Corporate Governance. In true MBA fashion, participants were called upon to share their views -I am not sure they were expecting that!

Facilitator Fintan Ryan gave a taste of the Leadership Development Programme and soon got everybody in the room talking about dolphins, owls, panthers and peacocks! MBA Careers Manager Brian Marrinan talked about the Careers Programme and some of the activities scheduled over the course of the MBA, referencing “The Bachelor”.

On a more serious note, Prof. Pat Gibbons and Prof. Damien McLoughlin both shared their insights to the Smurfit MBA programme and the MBA Admissions Manager of course gave some tips and tricks as to how to submit the best MBA application.

Finishing off the day was a networking lunch where MBA Experience Day participants got a chance to network with and ask questions to the MBA team, current MBA students, MBA Alumni and faculty. The fact that the networking lunch ran until 4pm that sunny afternoon makes the MBA Experience Day a great day in my books and I am hoping to see many of the people I spoke to that day back on Campus whether this August or next!


– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

Some people just amaze me

One such person is FT MBA 2010 Alumni and social entrepreneur John McInroy. Always in good spirits and with a ton of energy and enthusiasm, he launched I Wear Red Sock on Fridays during the FT MBA (and blogged about it here).

At the moment, John is now halfway on a 1600+ km cycle trip and a marathon, his most recent initiative…

” This 10 day cycle from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg to run the Comrades Marathon on day 11 is a journey of the heart inspired by the life of Phil Masterton-Smith who in 1933 couldn’t afford the train fare from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg so he cycled up instead and finished 10th in the race. He died in World War Two in 1942. His nickname was “Unogwaja” meaning hare in Zulu and his legacy lives on in the Unogwaja Challenge. Wherever you go, go with your heart “

To follow John and the team on their journey go to

– Rikke Budolfsen, FT MBA Programme Manager

MBA Thought Leadership Forum and CV Book Launch

Earlier this week, the first MBA Thought Leadership Forum took place in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

The event, jointly organised by the Smurfit MBA and the MBA Association of Ireland, featured a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Stop, Start, Continue’  and an opportunity for our next generation of leaders to discuss what can be done to avoid the mistakes of the past and what we can do to build for the future, hence the topic theme “Start, Stop, Continue”.

Each panelist gave their thoughts and insights on what the Irish people need to start doing, stop doing and continue doing to deliver future success for Ireland in a global context.

Professor Niamh Brennan kindly chaired the event, with Hugo McNeill, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs; John Moran, Secretary General of the Department of Finance and Anne Nolan, Chief Executive of the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association on the panel.

The event also marked the launch of the UCD Smurfit MBA CV Book – Class of 2013!

– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

A few highlights,

Visit by Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn

Quite often, our lecturers bring in guest speakers from industry, trade unions, organisations etc. to bring to life some of the topics and cases covered in class. Earlier this week, Ashley Hughes (lecturing in Organisational Behaviour and Decision-making) had invited Minister for Education and Skils and longterm member of Dáil Éireann Ruairi Quinn to address the class. It was a very entertaining hour where the majority of the time was spent answering questions from the class.

– Rikke Budolfsen, Programme Manager

…And off they go!

It is that time of the year again where the Smurfit Rugby Club is off to defend its title in the MBA Rugby World Cup.  The teams -one men’s and one women’s- left Dublin for North Carolina this morning after a few hectic months of training, organisation and fundraising.  In anticipation of an update from the Rugby Club, here’s a recap of how they got on last year. Also check out their Facebook Group page!


– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

Returning from Brazil and China

After a busy week in Brazil and China on the International Study Trip, respectively, my colleague Roisin and I are  now back in the “real world” in Dublin. With the MBA students still on Spring Break (and indeed some still in Brazil and China) this is a time for us to start focusing in more detail on the MBA programme 2013/2014.

This is always an exciting time for us, planning, keeping, chopping and changing, organising and indeed meeting applicants and participants for next year. As we speak, I am drafting up my first communication to the 5 (maybe 7?) students coming to the UCD Smurfit MBA programme on exchange in September and indeed also to those who have already confirmed that they are ready to start the MBA Programme  fulltime in August. Happy and exciting days ahead!!

– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

MBAs in Brazil

This morning a group of UCD Smurfit started the annual International Trip which forms an integral part of the module Doing Business in Emerging Markets.

First stop this morning for the group in Brazil is a visit to FIA business school in São Paulo with talks by Prof. Simão Silber and Prof. Alfredo Behrens.

Stay tuned for more from Brazil…

-Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager

Vietnamese Culture Night at UCD Smurfit

A few weeks ago, Smurfit School played host to the Vietnamese Culture Night, celebrating the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. The event was organised by the IDEAS Programme participants in connection with the Vietnamese Youths and Students In Ireland organisation and all proceeds went to the Vietnamese charity Only Rice is Not Enough.

The event included singing and dancing performances, quiz, photo booth with national costumes,  souvenir sales, children’s entertainment and of course Vietnamese food and drink.

About 400 people attended the event, both the Vietnamese community, fellow students and staff, and Irish families who had adopted children from Vietnam and more than €2200 was raised for the charity. Overall, a great success and can’t wait to attend next year’s event!

– Rikke Budolfsen, MBA Programme Manager