The student perspective on an MBA open event

Open event taken from first floor landing, note the funky lighting

Last night I was fortunate enough to be a participant on a panel discussion with regards to the MBA for prospective students. I am in my second year of the mid week EMBA. It is the first time that I participated, last year I was too worried about my exams to give the time. However, this year I think I have relaxed more into the course and also have the self confidence to know that I will be OK exam-wise.  The evening began with a presentation given by Gillian Durnin, MBA Admissions Manager, Orla Nugent, MBA Programme director and Brian Marrinan, MBA Careers Director. It was great to see so many people interested  in the MBA, but disappointing to see so few women in the audience. It was the same when I came for the MBA evening 18 months ago. I had the same questions and worries as expressed by those present. It was nice to be in a position to advise on my experiences to date on the course. Other panellists were current students from the first year Exec and weekend courses, a second year student from the weekend course and two students that have survived the MBA and lived to tell the tale, so a broad perspective was given. The main areas of concern were the GMAT (a big one for the majority of us), the costs not only financially, but also the time commitment and the required juggling with home and work life. Brian was able to advise on the return on investment career-wise for the course. For me the most interesting part was meeting people afterwards and having the opportunity to speak on a one to one basis. For one prospective student, they had come to the evening not sure if they wanted to choose this course or another, but after the information session, they felt more inspired to pursue the MBA. I wish everyone that decides to pursue the MBA the best of luck in their endeavours. It is a lot of hard work, don’t think otherwise, but there are a lots of rewards that go with it too.

Muireann Cullen

Midweek year 2

Scholars Meet Industry Leaders Over Burgers

Current and past Aspire scholars gathered for dinner, drinks and to hear speaker Brian Hogan: 2013 Winner Industry EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland and CEO of Kylemore Services

A highlight of the semester so far was an informal networking event I attended this week. I was really fortunate to be awarded an Aspire scholarship and we had our first ‘Aspire burger night’ on Monday in the Waterloo, a bar in town. It was fantastic. The current and past Aspire students now number in excess of 40 and well over half of us were able to make the event. The premise was for us to have an opportunity to meet each other informally and to have a Q&A session with some Irish business leaders.

Brian Hogan of KSG chatted to us and offered insights from his long and distinguished career. He was inspirational and I could not believe he had not done this type of thing before. He is a natural public speaker. We then had a further chance to pose questions to a wider set of business leaders present. It was great to hear that these titans of industry had made mistakes, it was great to hear that they had doubts. There is hope for us all.

The best thing about the evening was the positive attitude in the room. Everyone was hopeful about their future and about Ireland’s future. I left the Waterloo inspired and ready to take on the world. I am really looking forward to the next event. If any of you are interested in finding out more about the scholarship you can click on the link below. I am incredibly grateful to have been awarded such a scholarship and would urge any of you thinking about attending the Smurfit School to consider applying for it.

Thady Duggan

Full-time MBA 2014