Meet an FTMBA Class Rep: Tanveer Dosani

As a multitasking professional, I wear many hats, with sales being one of my strong suits. On my free days, I love to delve into the latest non-fiction books, keeping myself up-to-date with the latest trends and ideas. Being a die-hard fan of Marvel movies, I make sure to catch every release on its opening day. My passion for learning and keeping up with current events reflect my dynamic personality, making me a well-rounded individual with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and entertainment.

FTMBA Spring Class Rep Tanveer Dosani

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your MBA?

Looking back, there are several key things I wish I had known when I started my MBA program. One of the most important is the importance of effective time management and workload management. Balancing the demands of coursework, group projects, and other responsibilities is challenging.

One of the key things I wish I would have known that would have helped me would be to speak to more people about their experiences and insights on how to make the most of the program. I believe that speaking to other students and alumni would have given me a broader understanding of what to expect and how to manage my time more efficiently. Getting to know other people and their experiences could have also helped me in creating a network that would have been useful throughout the program.

Another important thing that I wish I had known earlier is the value of networking. While I had a fair understanding of networking, I now understand the importance of being well-prepared and intentional in building meaningful relationships with other students, alumni, professors, and professionals in my desired industry. By building these relationships, I would have been able to gain a better understanding of the industry, secure internships and job opportunities, and also gain insights into the job market.

What skills have you learned in the programme so far that you’re most excited to take to work?

As I progressed through my MBA program, I have learned a variety of skills that I am eager to bring to my professional life. One of the most significant areas of focus has been gaining a deeper understanding of crucial aspects of business, such as finances, strategy, and macroeconomics. This knowledge has equipped me with the tools necessary to make informed business decisions and comprehend the complexities of the business world. 

One of the most fulfilling aspects of the MBA program has been realizing that the most demanding tasks are also the most rewarding. Whether it was a challenging course or a complex group project, pushing myself to tackle these tasks has resulted in substantial growth and satisfaction.  I still recall the time when I had a particularly challenging course. The concepts were difficult to understand, and I struggled to keep up with the pace of the class. Here, I decided to push myself to tackle the task at hand. I put in extra hours of study, sought help from my professors and classmates, and eventually managed to not just pass the course, but also excel in it. Similarly, when I was assigned a group project, I was initially apprehensive. Coordinating with different team members, managing conflicting schedules, and ensuring that everyone was on the same page seemed like an impossible task. However, by breaking down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks, and collaborating effectively with my teammates, we were able to complete the project on time and produce excellent output.

I have also significantly improved my communication and presentation skills during my MBA program. Whether I am delivering a presentation to classmates or leading a team meeting at work, being able to effectively communicate my ideas and thoughts is essential for success. Through coursework, group projects, and other opportunities, my MBA program has provided me with ample opportunities to develop and refine these skills.

What inspired you to volunteer to serve as class rep?

I was motivated to volunteer as a class representative because I want to assist others and promote a sense of unity and positivity in our cohort. This role aligns with my personal values and provides a valuable learning opportunity as I pursue my MBA. As class representative, I have the chance to connect with a diverse group of classmates and staff and gain a deeper understanding of different perspectives within our group.

As a class representative, I aim to bring people together and create a supportive community within the cohort by planning and organising social events, facilitating discussions, and representing the class’s collective interests. I believe that my role as class representative is crucial in fostering a positive environment for everyone. I am also excited about the challenge of solving problems and finding solutions that benefit the class. This experience will help me grow as a leader and provide me with valuable knowledge and skills for my future career. 

Overall, I am honoured to serve as class representative and am eager to make a positive impact on my classmates and the broader community.

Tanveer Dosani, Full Time MBA Class of 2023

MBA Cultural & Performing Arts Club Outing

There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.” Vincent Van Gogh

Why would you visit Van Gogh Experience as an FTMBA student? The same question ran through my head when I was planning this trip as the President of the MBA Cultural and Performing Arts Club. However, MBA has definitely taught us one thing: adapt to the unknown. With this in mind, our class went to explore what turned out to be an amazing experience that most of us will cherish for a really long time.

A group of young adults in colourful coats, smiling in front of a Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait
Some FTMBA Class of 2023 Students

In less than one decade Vincent Van Gogh, the Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, created some 2000+ artworks and a majority of his work came in his last two or three years. Van Gogh, Immersive Experience in Dublin is more than just an experience. It is a wide array of emotions, plentiful surprises and moments that are very relatable. This one-hour journey will take you to places – the life of Vincent Van Gogh and his true love for nature – by depicting them artistically in its most innocent sense.

The 3D Immersive Hall: I promise you will not want to come out of it

The Vincent Van Gogh Exhibition is a potpourri of imperfections and yet everything looks perfect and surreal. The flowers, the vase, the depiction and the story through his paintings.

Personally, his work has inspired me to embrace uncertainty and imperfections and admire individualism. His artworks depict emotions ranging from anxiety and sufferings to love and hope.

On a lighter note, the kid in us was reborn to juggle and struggle with crayons when we learnt about one another on how good (or bad, haha) we all are at sketching. It was super fun.

The Creative Space: some of the sketches on that wall belong to MBA students

I thank the administration of UCD Michael Smurfit School and their support to help us live this experience amidst the rigorous and intense curriculum.

Abhinav Chaturvedi, FTMBA Class of 2023

Why UCD?

‘Experiential. Transformational. International.’ Those were the first words that stood out to me when I looked up the official Smurfit MBA website a year ago, looking to see if the school fit into my plans, and I with it. I can never forget those words. 

If you are reading this, it means that just like I was, you are considering doing the UCD Smurfit MBA program. And you are probably wondering, ‘is this the one?’ Well, a thousand times, ‘Yes!’ And I hope to show you why through my experiences.

A wood-paneled hallway with a student walking through and flags from a multitude of nations suspended from the ceiling
My favourite part of school for the first few weeks: the ‘Hall of Flags’, as I call it

To take up studies at the UCD Smurfit MBA program, I embarked on a life-changing journey: leaving my home in Nigeria to come to Ireland. I was airborne for 2 days, arrived on Sunday evening, and started classes the following day. I do not recommend this type of travel itinerary–I promise it is not fun when it comes down to it. But I was too excited to feel the exhaustion that no doubt coursed through my body. 

Hey! I made it, I’m here now (me, dancing on the inside). In my head, as I stared at the red brick walls of the Smurfit building on day one, I said to myself, ‘Shall we begin?’

An Asian man and a Black woman in business casual dress, smiling inside the cutout of a cardboard photo booth frame, in front of the red brick UCD Smurfit main building
Study Partner Linh & I on Picture Day

A typical day at the MBA involves two classes, at most 3. Almost always, there are classes every day of the week (it’s the downer, I know. Wipes imaginary tears). The modules themselves are fascinating. What is most compelling to me, however, is that, with each module, you are not just reading books to pass an exam, you have the opportunity to take the knowledge and apply it to real-world problems.

In Leadership & Organisational Behaviour, for example, my module partner Linh and I took a real problem at a real organization and we diagnosed the cause of the massive attrition rates the organization was experiencing. The results were far beyond what we expected and we felt very proud of what we accomplished together. It felt very empowering for me. Needless to say, we scored an A on the project (again, dancing with joy on the inside).

Or take the project that my study team took up for the Marketing management module. We wrote a paper on a very real digital camera company and were able to diagnose the weaknesses in its marketing mix and its value proposition. We came up with some solid recommendations for the company at the end of the paper. I felt proud to be able to produce a value of such magnitude and feel like the Smurfit MBA has unlocked hidden potential in me.

Five smiling students around a computer keyboard on campus
With my study team, putting an assignment together

Right now, I am preparing for a pitching session that to me is the equivalent of the dragon’s den, for the entrepreneurship module. It is hard work, as much as it is exciting. But I am confident that the program is preparing me for the career I intend to pursue after the MBA.

Seven smiling students in a wood-paneled hallway in front of a huge, brightly-lit Christmas tree
Some classmates & I just around Christmastime

The Smurfit MBA is structured such that you work in teams for a large percentage of the time. This helps you increase your network, and ensures that you benefit from the strengths of your classmates as they benefit from yours. In my class of about 30, I get to work with engineers, medical professionals, salespeople, architects, creative designers, and much more. So do not worry if you do not have an accounting or business background. Working with a diverse and international cohort from a variety of backgrounds, you will learn valuable skills that will help you come out on top in your career, whatever it may be.

So why UCD? Tell me, why not UCD?

Blessing Ehinomen Ebare, Full Time MBA Class of 2023

So you need to find a place to live in Dublin

After receiving my admission letter, I was eager to begin my MBA journey. However, as I spoke with more people about job prospects and college life, the issue of the housing crisis in Dublin was frequently brought up. I initially disregarded these warnings as just another urban problem, having lived in cities that had faced similar issues before. Yet, I quickly realized that this crisis was much more severe. Each attempt to search for a place to stay was met with a daunting number of people also seeking accommodation, resulting in intense competition and exorbitant prices. Even locating a shared room was a challenge as most places had waiting lists.

Securing accommodation in Dublin is a challenging process that involves searching for potential properties and reaching out to landlords and real estate agents through various means such as email, calls, and texts. The competition is intense, and potential renters must play a numbers game. Properties listed on Daft.ie can receive over a thousand views within hours, and even with a high number of inquiries, landlords will still interview candidates and select the most suitable one. It was hard to believe until I experienced it myself that despite high rental prices and proof of financial capability, securing a place to rent is not guaranteed.

Photo by Sophi Raju on Unsplash

Arriving in Dublin with only two acquaintances, finding a place to stay proved to be a daunting task, in line with the warnings that it was harder than finding a job. Exhausting every possible avenue, I applied to all available housing websites and used social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, responding to every listing for days. Despite my efforts, finding accommodation was a constant struggle, and it took securing a temporary stay before things began to change. Eventually, I gained more viewings and connections, showing that patience, resilience, and unwavering determination are necessary to navigate Dublin’s housing crisis. Despite the difficulties, staying positive and exploring every possible option is crucial until finding suitable accommodation.

As with all the other listings, I wasted no time calling the landlord from the listing and managed to secure a viewing for the next day. During the viewing, the landlord interviewed me and familiarized me with the house rules. The following day, the landlord called to confirm that he had accepted my application and that one of the rooms was now mine. I was immensely relieved, and I stayed there for a few weeks until the housing market calmed down. Afterward, I found another place to stay with my friends. 

Here are some suggestions for a student who is looking for accommodation:

  • If you have any friends who are already living in the city or have lived there before, ask them if they know someone who is moving out and you can fill in for them. This can be a great way to get a place to stay without having to go through the tedious process of searching for accommodation. 
  • Check out UCD Residences, which is UCD’s own accommodation and is highly reliable. However, they get booked out early, so make sure to apply as soon as possible. Other student accommodations are also a good option, but they also get booked out by May or early June, so it’s best to book your place as soon as you get your admission. 
  • UCD Accommodation Pad is a platform specifically for UCD students. Landlords on this platform have experience renting out their places to UCD students, and you can leverage the UCD goodwill. If you haven’t arrived yet, you can ask a friend to view it on your behalf. 
  • Facebook groups are also a great way to find decent places to stay. However, there may be odd posts asking for exorbitant rents or scam posts. It’s important to be vigilant and carefully review the post, comments, and the profile of the account before making any commitments. 
  • If you find a temporary place, you can rent that and use that time to find a permanent one. If need be, you can fly in a couple of weeks early to search for a long-term stay. If you find a long-term stay early and don’t like it much, take up the option of that stay and once the market calms down, you can always move out. 

However, there are also some things that you should avoid doing. Never pay any amount to anyone unless you or someone you know in person and have seen the place in person. Scammers are prevalent, and it’s crucial to be cautious.

Finally, do not lose hope. Finding accommodation is difficult, but persistence and asking for help can go a long way in finding a suitable place to stay.

–Anonymous MBA Student

MBA EDI Club welcomes Melíosa O’Caoimh of Northern Trust

At the invitation of the UCD Smurfit MBA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Club, Dr Darren Thomas Baker and Executive MBA student Deirdre O’Grady Interviewed  Melíosa O’Caoimh, Country head of Northern Trust and Chair of the 30% Club for an audience of MBA students. The three discussed Melíosa’s career journey to date as well as  her views on gender balance within the workforce.

Assistant Professor Darren Thomas Baker interviews Melíosa O’Caoimh, chair of the 30% Club Chair and Ireland Country Head of Northern Trust

Having completed her undergraduate degree at UCD in Economics and Politics, Melíosa, like so many new graduates, was uncertain regarding what the next stage in her career should be. Little did she know at the time, a successful career in financial services awaited her. There was no better fit for someone who wanted to work in a business that brought about real change for people and impacted so many lives on a global scale.

Melíosa joined Northern Trust as her second role in Financial Services. At the time, the company was just starting out in Ireland, and employed approximately 80 people. Fast forward to now: Melíosa is Country Head with an employee network of 1800 staff managing over $600 billion in assets, and Ireland acts as a central hub attracting investment managers from all around the globe. Melíosa spoke passionately about her commitment to her career and how it affects so many people both nationally and globally. She feels privileged in her role to be part of something that is truly transformative.

Melíosa firmly believes that a strong work ethic coupled with ambition, resilience and an active curiosity are the key ingredients to successful career progression. She spoke about avoiding linear progression within your career, particularly in the early stages. She introduced the interesting concept of ‘meandering’ as you progress in order to gain exposure to many sectors within your organisation: this will equip you with a knowledge base that will add substance to your profile and offer greater opportunity to maximise your career potential.

Executive MBA Student Deirdre O’Grady smiles in response to a statement from UCD alumna Melíosa O’Caoimh

No successful career proceeds without difficulties along the way. Melíosa spoke about her biggest obstacle: challenging people’s perception of her. She remarked on the amount of energy it took to prove to her colleagues that at work she was present and ready to give 100% despite being a mum of four children. She also experienced a small setback early in her career when she wasn’t offered a particular role. However, she turned this into an opportunity to prove to others that she had the capabilities and was worthy of the position when she was offered it two years later. 

Melíosa strongly believes in the value of mentorship and sponsorship: ‘A lot of learning is self-navigation, you need to be the CEO of yourself’. In our careers, we often expect the right mentor to present themselves to us but the fact is that we need to seek them out based on our weaknesses. She also warns against underestimating the value of sponsorship. Everyone needs someone senior to vouch for them in order to get ahead in an organisation: ‘Having someone speak to you in the room is good, but what you need is someone who will speak about you when you leave the room’.  

Melíosa strongly advocates achieving gender balance within the financial sector. She welcomed the new mandatory gender pay gap reporting agreement, focusing on the importance of the actions that will arise from it.  She believes the main issue within top organisations is representation–however it is equally important that women are not used as a distraction for organisational issues within a company. Company leadership should focus on effective strategies for getting more women into senior roles, and should promote both gender equality and diversity. It is well established that businesses who achieve this make better decisions and perform better. 

A conversation with Melíosa O’Caoimh offered novel insights, providing the UCD Smurfit students excellent advice on career progression. She is a visionary leader, a gifted spokesperson and above all else humble in the midst of her outstanding success–in all, a true inspiration. 

From Left to Right: Assistant Professor Dylan Thomas Baker; Assistant Dean of the UCD College of Business and Director of UCD Smurfit Graduate Business School Professor Gerardine Doyle; 30% Club Chair Melíosa O’Caoimh, and UCD Smurfit Executive MBA student Deirdre O’Grady smile for the camera following an event put on by the UCD Smurfit MBA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Club

Eimear O’Reilly, UCD Smurfit Executive MBA Class of 2024

Meet an EMBA Class Rep: Fardod O’Kelly

EMBA Class of 2022 Representative Fardod O’Kelly has contributed posts in the past on applying the triage technique to work/life balance, and on the importance of resilience on the MBA. Today he gets a little more personal via our Student Profile Questionnaire:

An image of a US$50 bill, with Fardod O'Kelly's headshot in place of Ulysses S. Grant
Sometimes in-class simulations require props

What ways do you hope your career will change when you’ve earned your MBA?

I guess I may be a little atypical when it comes to career progression post-MBA in that I’m already a consultant surgeon and assistant professor, and therefore am not using this for career advancement. One of my main motivations was to gain significant business, and leadership skills in order to effectively communicate with senior management, and understand issues like strategy, investment management, supply chain, digital transformation and finance. I also wanted to use the MBA to improve my own clinical service delivery and personal development, and as an adjunctive tool for research. I would therefore hope to take a larger role in clinical leadership in the hospital setting and use it to improve healthcare delivery and to advocate on behalf of my department.

How would you spend your ideal day off?

With 3 kids and a busy household and career, there is no such thing as a day off as I’m taxiing kids to training, working or doing research, but if such a thing existed it would involve the following:

  • Send the kids and pets down to their grandparents the night before
  • Wake up really late at 8:30am. Brew some fresh coffee and go down to the store to get some fresh bread for breakfast with my better half
  • Lounge around the sitting room reading a newspaper and/or tinkering around on the piano for the morning
  • Go out for lunch with my wife and then browse a few shops and have a couple of coffees with her
  • Watch some tv for the afternoon, and then go for a walk and just chat and catch up
  • Go out for a nice meal and a glass of wine (and get a taxi home)
  • Aim to be in bed super early for about 11pm

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a boss or co-worker?

A former division chief (and friend) of mine once told me that no matter how good, popular or productive you are, there will always be someone you can’t please, and will never like you. Don’t be so naïve to think that everyone you meet or work with will want to be your friend. The important thing is to be true to yourself, make your own luck, and build strong friendships based on loyalty and mutual respect. 

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your MBA?

I would definitely have loved to have known that I was not simply an imposter starting the MBA. I felt a huge level of uncertainty and anxiety as I had no business acumen. Smurfit is a great leveller of backgrounds. No matter where you have come from, your knowledge will be built from the ground up.

What’s one thing none of your MBA classmates know about you?

We’ve all gotten to know each other reasonably well online and in-person. Many of my interests you could probably guess from my profile, or social media. However what you won’t find is that I really love 80’s/90’s karaoke with a couple of drinks! I’ve got some firm crowd pleasers.

What inspired you to volunteer to serve as class rep?

I’ve really been continuously involved with university education since 1998 when I left school. I’ve been lucky enough on many occasions to serve as class rep, faculty convener, students union, sports union, chief surgical resident, hospital committees  etc. I have a reasonable understanding of the role, am used to advocating, and tend to be fairly direct. It wasn’t a huge jump to be a class rep in Smurfit. Furthermore, my class colleagues are a great bunch, so it’s a privilege to be able to help them in any way I can.

Fardod O’Kelly, Executive MBA Class of 2022

Meet a Class Rep: Abhimanyu Kacker

Originally from India, Abhimanyu moved to Ireland from the United Arab Emirates in summer 2021 to begin his studies with the UCD Smurfit MBA. He serves as one of two class representatives for autumn term. Please enjoy this brief introduction:

A man with short dark hair, wearing glasses, a windbreaker, jeans, and hiking boots, smiles next to a whitewater river at the base of a mountain.

What skill have you learned in the programme so far that you’re most excited to take to work?

Perspective. During my pre-MBA experience, more often than not, I used to focus on activities at very micro levels. The most important skill I’ve learned from the MBA so far is the ability to zoom out and have a look at the bigger picture. By virtue of being part of a cohort which has tremendous diversity in terms of culture, background, and experience, one also learns to look at one common problem from different viewpoints and acquires the ability to solve it through several approaches.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a boss or coworker?

Your network is your net worth.

What’s one thing none of your MBA classmates know about you?

I almost became a hearty snack for a whale shark in the Philippines!

A man in shorts, t-shirt, life vest, and scuba mask floats in a blue sea next to a spotted whale shark.

Abhimanyu Kacker, FTMBA Class of 2022

Meet a Class Rep: Anish Arora

Anish Arora moved to Dublin from Mumbai in Summer 2021 to take on the Full Time MBA at UCD Smurfit, and serves as one of two Class Representatives for the autumn term. Please enjoy this brief introduction:

A young man in hiking gear on a concrete path. The left side of the path is shrouded in fog; the right side is brightly sunny.

How would you spend your ideal day off?

I would spend my ideal day off outdoors, probably hiking. Would like to end the day with a chilled beer.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever got from a boss or coworker?

Don’t get disheartened if you fail at something the first time. Try and try again till you get it right.

What’s one thing none of your MBA classmates know about you?

I am presently ranked 4th in the world in the online version of Jaipur.

A young man in black, including dark glasses, perched on top of a rock overlooking a misty valley. To his right a triangular orange flag tied to a branch waves in the wind.

Anish Arora, Full Time MBA Class of 2022

A Path that Leads to Enlightenment

A wooden bridge over a shallow stream, leading to a gravel path through a grassy clearing with a backdrop of deciduous trees

Ever stop to think what a “business” really is? With a quindecennial work anniversary coming soon, and having gained a wealth of experience in the design and development of technical solutions from concept to finished product as a Chartered Engineer, the idea that a company and its business is more than my regular profession or occupation began to crystallise in me.

David Packard, an electrical engineer by profession and one of the founders of Hewlitt-Packard, once famously said, “I think many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being. As we investigate this, we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so that they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately—they make a contribution to society, a phrase which sounds trite but is fundamental.”

This idea that every business contributes to society has always stood with me, and I have been intrigued by how different businesses achieve success on their respective missions to improve society. However, it was not until a coffee table conversation with my better half sometime in May 2020 that I finally decided that I needed to do an MBA to understand this. With bills to pay, I did not have the luxury of taking a year off for my pursuit.  I researched the best universities and courses in Ireland, and was glad to find the Executive MBA programme by UCD’s Smurfit School of Business, one of the top business schools in the world.

One year into the Executive MBA program, time seems to have flown by. Some of the things that I’ve learned include: how an effective Competitive Strategy is drawn up based on the business environment; the role of effective financial control in Corporate Finance; how Managerial Accounting influences behaviours; how Operations & Supply Chain Management transform a business; the importance of Leadership & Organizational Behaviour, together with Human Resources & Management in transforming the culture of a company; and much more!  

The subjects I have learned have most definitely opened my eyes to a new understanding of the business world, through the lenses of some brilliant lecturers and a class of highly experienced and talented individuals. 

The learning curve has been steep and intense, with a plethora of readings, case studies and project work that are bound to challenge even the more seasoned academic enthusiasts. Add a full-time job and a family into the mix, and you are surely in for an awakening into the world of business and the importance of time management!  However, you begin to realize that every aspect of the course is like a melting pot of ideas and experiences. The MBA makes possible a unique environment: a diverse pool of professionals from different sectors of our society: ranging from medicine to manufacturing, human resource to finance, all sharing a common passion for business.

For the two years of the MBA, you get to experience many lives in this microcosm of society, this sandbox of business scenarios and solutions, this fellowship of friends…..

I will cherish this enlightenment for years to come. I think Bill Lazier, co-author of the book Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0, explained this perfectly when he said, “You can go at life as a series of transactions, or you can go at life building relationships. Transactions can give you success, but only relationships make for a great life.” 

Tony Korah, CEng MIEI — Executive MBA Class of 2022

Fresh Off the Plane

I arrived in Ireland last year for the full time MBA program at UCD Smurfit. I chose Ireland because I wanted an international life, I wanted to see Europe but most importantly, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. 

I figured: Hey, they speak English. I have a red beard. It’ll be a nice way to break into the European lifestyle. What could possibly go wrong?

A young man in a blue button-down shirt sips a full pint of Guinness
Nathan Jones

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, these are some of the things I wish I knew: 

  1. The Irish are self-deprecating in the best way possible. In the US, if you drive a nice car, have a nice house, or live in a nice area it’s lauded– you’ve worked hard, go-ahead and talk about it. In Ireland, self-glorification is almost always viewed negatively. It’s okay to talk about yourself and your background just don’t go overboard, it may make the Irish uncomfortable.

    This has been the biggest culture shock for me. An entire country of people that don’t solely care about their self-interests? What is this?
  1. What’s the craic? Small talk is an artform in Ireland. Be prepared to talk about the weather, what you did yesterday, what you’re doing today, what you’re doing tomorrow, etc… Deep conversations are typically reserved for people you’re close to and only after multiple pints. Don’t expect any heart-to-hearts out of the gate.

  2. Nobody here really cares that your great-grandfather is from Ireland. I recall one of my first nights out with the lads:

    Me: “Did you guys do ancestory.com?
    Them: Crickets… 
    Me: “Oh, yeah, I guess you all know you’re Irish… ha.” 
    Them: Crickets… 
    Me: “Well, I’ve got Irish blood in me!”
    Them: Crickets… 

    Just avoid the conversation, you aren’t Irish… save it for the heraldry shop. 
  1. Southern hospitality on craic. You need to be aggressive and preemptive if you’re going to pay for your own drinks anywhere. I’ve stayed at people’s houses after meeting them twice. The Irish have driven me hours out of their way out of pure generosity and hospitality. There’s a sense of trust and community in Ireland that just doesn’t translate to anyplace else I’ve been.

  2. I’m staying in Ireland. In spite of COVID, this has been the most transformative year of my life. I came here to get out of my comfort zone, that has happened in more ways than one. This has been a year of self-reflection and self-refinement. I’m grateful to have had this experience and would highly recommend the UCD Smurfit MBA to any American looking to explore the European lifestyle.
Beer taps and a Guinness Harp next to two pints
Photo by Ana Ribeiro on Unsplash

Bonus: It’s not a joke, the Guinness actually tastes better in Ireland. Some say “it’s a different formula in the States”, it’s not. All Guinness distributed throughout North America, The UK and Ireland is sourced from St. James’ Gate Brewery. The difference is… The Irish pubs regularly clean the tubes that connect the keg to the tap. Also, the freshness is unparalleled. At most you’re drinking Guinness produced three miles (4.8 kilometers) away.

Nathan Jones, FTMBA Class of 2021