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


UCD Smurfit Rugby Club Fundraising Dinner

Former Minister Dick Spring Speaking at the Event

Last Friday night, February 7th, saw the Pillar Room in the Rotunda Hospital come alive for the UCD Smurfit Rugby Football Club Fundraising Dinner and Auction. This event was hosted by the organising committee of the Club from the full-time MBA class of 2013/14. Former Minister Dick Spring and Kingsley Aikens, formerly of the Ireland Funds, were special guests at the event and provided insightful and extremely entertaining accounts of their memories and experiences in the Rugby arena. Minister Michael Noonan was also in attendance to support the event along with MBA Alumni and friends of the MBA.

A great night was had by all and valuable funds have been raised for the 34th Annual MBA Rugby World Cup Championship which will take place in Danville VA from April 11th – 13th 2014. A group of our MBA students will aim to defend the title for the 12th time! Watch this space!

Organising Committee
Former Minister Dick Spring (L) & Kingsley Aikens (C-R) with MBA students, Jim Radmore (C-L) & Michael Noonan (R)

Good Things Come to Those Who Plan Ahead

Having been used to Dublin’s ubiquitous WI-FI connection, I was flabbergasted to find how hard it is to find decent Internet during my travel in Spain and Italy. So I’m finally glad to be able to write this blog post from …Vietnam my final holiday destination.

If there’s one thing I learnt through last year, it was that I could never really plan for anything. I was a planning enthusiast. I would spend countless hours drawing up Excel sheets and action timelines, planning to the tiniest details. I usually overestimate my own capability and underestimate the externalities. Often, I did not get to achieve the goals I set out to be, but arrived somewhere in between. While this has worked out okay in the past, there was unsatisfaction inside me; a feeling that I never reach my full potential. I was not happy.

Then last year came and brought me better things than I’d even hoped for. Of course I was delighted but also worried at the same time whether my luck would run out. Then I realized that these good things, despite not being what I originally planned for, were the culminations of my continuous efforts for a long time.

While the virtue of staying organised and committed remains, I’ve learnt I can never be certain in this increasingly competitive climate. However, by staying prepared, I could hope to be ready to grasp the opportunities when they come.

Cong Vu

Full-time MBA 2014