Teams – A Hybrid Approach


Undertaking an MBA was something I had considered for a long time. However, with my career progressing and being in my mid 30’s I has thought that the time to take on this challenge had passed me by. Realising that I wanted to change my career path, I spoke with friends & colleagues, and made enquiries into what options and programmes were available to me. I quickly realised the Full-Time MBA in Smurfit Business School matched exactly what I was looking for.

After 10 years in the banking industry, giving up my job (and salary!!) for a year was a scary prospect. However, unlike many of my classmates, being from Dublin was advantageous in terms of not having to move, which made things easier for me. Returning to full time education after a gap of 10 years certainly took some getting used to, but after 2 to 3 weeks of a settling in period I was back in the student mind-set.

There is a wide diversity in the class in terms of experience, industry, and nationality. Adapting to different people’s way of doing things takes time and includes some trial and error – but I am always learning. An engineer and a banker certainly have different ways to tackle the same problem! However, what I have learned is that there are many ways to successfully complete a task. Quite often a hybrid approach between team members proves to be the most efficient way of achieving success.

The past 4 months have flown by. It has been tough at times and the hours have been long, however I have learned a huge amount both academically and personally and I have met some great people along the way. Semester 1 is complete, however there is still a long road ahead and I am looking forward to the challenges that 2017 will bring.

I have really enjoyed the MBA experience to date, but having said that I am certainly enjoying the Christmas break! Lots done – even more to do!

Mark Kavanagh ~ Full-Time MBA

Back to School Again

2015 classes commenced earlier this week

After finishing the module 1 exams in December there were many days and nights of celebration at regaining my free time. Friends and family I had ignored over the previous three months were contacted and reminded that I was alive.  The celebrations lasted for two weeks before the New Year was upon us with the promise that this year will represent the new me.

The new me would be able to do it all; tackle a full time job, part time MBA, take on hobbies, maintain contact with friends and do it all without feeling wrecked. Fast forward to today, 2 and a half weeks later and reality has hit; work is as mental as ever and the MBA has started back with talk of presentations, exams, continuous assessment and self development. The first thing to fall out are the friends, I shall see you again maybe for Paddys Day but definitely sometime in June!

As part of the first weekend back in the MBA we completed an SDI workshop – Strength Deployment Inventory. It allowed us to assess our own motivational value system (MVS) and our team members’ MVS while also looking at how this changes when faced with conflict. I found this workshop really interesting and learned a lot about myself and the extreme personalities in the class. After the first weekend of lectures that dreaded feeling of going back to school is gone and it has reconfirmed why I decided to go back to education.  I am really looking forward to the interactive ethics lectures, developing my understanding of HR in the form of HR strategy, and enhancing my finance abilities through Management Accounting and Corporate Finance.

The next hurdle is getting the module results for the first semester this week, fingers crossed I get them and can fully focus on enjoying both the education side of Semester 2 and the networking side of the MBA. Roll on the next 3 months!

Darren Kelly

Weekend EMBA YR1