The Easter Bunny pays early visit to UCD Smurfit

The Easter Bunny and friend examine an easter egg

The Easter bunny made an early visit for the second year running to UCD Smurfit on Saturday 12th April to assist with an easter egg hunt run by the EMBA classes.  We arrived to find he’d been very busy laying out coloured streamers and various kinds of eggs all over the grounds.  Baskets were kindly supplied by his helpers to the hunters to assist them with keeping their finds together.

Bunny worked the crowd and made sure everyone got their share.  Also in attendance was his friend the Green Dragon who had to be coaxed around the grounds by small children who offered up easter eggs as tribute, despite the occasional roar and some very odd dance moves Dragon seemed to have a good time too.

Many thanks to Jennifer Boyer who is apparently the Easter Bunny’s contact on campus, Claire McAlistair who was on face painting duty, Ciara O’Brien who fronted the operation and most especially to Andrew ‘Easter Bunny’ Watene and Steve ‘Green Dragon’ Kelly.

The Green Dragon demands more tribute


A day at Druids Glen with the Smurfit Golfers

21st March 2014 – Druids Glen

Welcome to the first outing of Year 2 of the UCD MBA Michael Smurfit Golf Society (we really must reconsider the length of this name; we are officially open to suggestions!!). On what looked like yet more glorious weather for our prestigious society members, our combatants met with all the anticipation and excitement of Trevor Whelan going into one of Damien McLoughlin’s Marketing lectures. With a full 400% increase in participants from our first ever event, the stage was set for an exciting day’s competition.

Now unfortunately, such were Trevor Whelan, Jim Gannon and Mick O Dwyer’s enthusiasm to get started, they managed to miss the opportunity of what would have been a Hugo Boss style photoshoot, you handsome devils, we’ll get you next time. Bear in mind, these guys know how to play. Mick “I swear I’m an 18 handicapper” O Dwyer showed some delicate touches around the green, while Jim “oh did I get ANOTHER par” Gannon was easing back into the swing of things (no pun intended) after achieving 3rd place last year in Player of the Year competition, leaving Trevor “I might just fit in a quick weights session between the 9th and 10th hole” Whelan looking forlorn after many a missed opportunity, in spite of his 6 handicap.

Next up was a relatively new fourball, with our resident entrepreneurial expert Joe Kenny (WAY smarter than Bruce Martin), sales guru extraordinaire James O Rourke (actually in love with Pepsi) and our youngest, and might I add loveliest, recruits James Sammon (absolute cowboy) and Jessica Brady (golf’s first lady) – we reckon incessant flirting actually helped their scores. Moments of genius, intermingled with moments of madness, ensued as the weather turned from glorious to disastrous. Rumour has it Joe only started to play properly once the heavens opened, a stark contrast from his factor 50 wearing self in the K Club last August! The two James’s continued to battle it out leaving the deviously quiet Jessica to secretly rack up points on almost every hole (finishing with a commendable 26 points – Emma Fagan and Caroline Mackell, are you watching).

Joe, Jessica, Pepsi James and Cowboy James

Continue reading A day at Druids Glen with the Smurfit Golfers

Ireland – Realising the Potential

The CV book launch event, “Ireland – Realising the Potential,” was a beautiful evening that provided an opportunity to meet alumni and expand networks to people from varied companies. The evening was prepared far in advance by student representatives and the MBA Careers team, who contacted and invited many companies to attend. This was a special time for MBA students on the full-time and executive programmes to get together and meet guests from prestigious companies.

The evening began with a cocktail hour before welcoming two Smurfit MBA alumni speakers, Julie O’Neill and Fintan Slye, who gave accounts of their professional life leading up to becoming senior leaders in the pharmaceutical and energy sectors. By listening to them, we realized the extent of the opportunities available after an MBA. The speakers provided strong messages about passion, independence of thinking, and finding courage in his/her convictions, which are the characteristics of a leader who unites people in business. These human values ​​derive business as well as innovation, entrepreneurship, performance, incentive, investment and infrastructure development.

Listening to them, we found there are a number of routes available to each of us.
The evening continued with Dean Ciaran O’hogartaigh providing a strong message to keep, maintain and build this special link with other students who are future alumni, with the school and companies.

The evening ended with the distribution of the 2014 CV Book, the resume synthesis of the Smurfit Business School’s MBA cohort which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Everyone met afterword around a friendly nightcap.

As the Dean said: “Stay connected, Stay plugged in.”

Erwan Le Pavec

Full-time MBA 2014


Smurfit MBA CV Book 2014 successfully launched

The MBA CV Book 2014 launch took place last night, Thursday 27 in the Law Society building at Blackhall Place.  Professor Pat Gibbons performed the introductions and made the opening and closing remarks.  Guest speakers were Julie O’Neill – Smurfit MBA Alumna 1996; First woman president of IBEC; VP and GM of Gilead Sciences and now GM of Alexion Pharmaceuticals and Fintan Slye – Smurfit MBA Alumnus 2001; CEO of EirGrid.  The book was launched officially by the Business School Dean Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh.

Congratulations are due to the current MBA students who organised the very successful and engaging event.  Thanks to to Brian Marrinan and the Careers team for their support.   Further accounts of the event and photos will follow.

Vietnam Culture Night

Let’s remember and be proud of yourself and your ethnic identity. We often feel lost in a complex and large world. However, you will feel consoled if you have a knowledgeable background of your ethnic cultural heritage. It gives you a historical root, a sense of your place in the present and a unique permanent though this world is always changing.

– Le Hong Diem, MSc Strategic Management & Planning, UCD Smurfit

Traditional Costume “Ao dai” Performance

On the first day of the Lunar New Year, though living far away from home, Vietnamese MBA students in Dublin were involved in organizing a successfully special and meaningful event – Vietnam Culture Night. The event’s purpose, along with introducing and promoting Vietnamese culture, was to raise funds to support poor children in mountainous areas of Vietnam through the programme, “Only rice is not enough.” The event attracted more than 400 international friends, expatriates and Vietnamese students in Ireland.

Guests attending the event enjoyed the traditional foods of Vietnam such as Gac sticky rice, spring rolls, salt roasted chicken, Vietnamese salad, and a traditional five fruits tray garnished with apricot, peach blossom and Lunar New Year calligraphy. The entire space of the event was decorated with red and yellow symbolizing “luck” and “prosperity”. International friends were excited to take memorial pictures in Vietnamese Tet space and enthusiastic to participate in quizzes about Tet traditions in Vietnam.

I want to send best wishes to the MBA program staffs and my classmates in the new year!

Chuc mung nam moi!

Happy Lunar New Year 2014!

Hung Nguyen

FTMBA 2014


L’Oréal, Sodexo, Imerys…oh my!

The Carnet Alliance is a group of 12 business schools, including UCD Smurfit Business School, which develops links between employers, students and schools.

Recently, I participated in The Global Talent Day, an event organised by EDHEC in Paris, France, with the help of my Career Manager. The event brought together business schools from Ireland, France, England, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Scotland to meet with French companies including L’Oréal, Sodexo and Imerys.

As well as attending a series of company presentations, the event provided an opportunity to discover a wide range of sectors through roundtable discussions and question and answer sessions.

Through meeting other students, developing new branches of networks, and obtaining feedback from a recruiting firm, I gained direct contact to domestic firms and took advantage of the multi-national event.  I made the most of the network with the help of Smurfit.

Erwan Le Pavec

FTMBA 2014


UCD Smurfit MBA Rugby Defence is Up & Running for 2014.

There is a quote I often like to fall back on and whilst it originates from the sporting world, it is pertinent across all aspects of teamwork.  It comes from the man who is revered in NFL circles (especially those from Green Bay) – Vince Lombardi.  

One of the greatest sports coaches of all time, he  said ‘The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand’. Given that the UCD Smurfit rugby club is focused less on playing rugby and more on ensuring there is an opportunity to play the sport, this is apt.  With the not inconsiderable task of putting together a squad and ensuring we have the funds to travel to the US to defend the MBA Rugby World Cup, our small, dedicated and hard working committee has hit the fundraising road as early as possible.

On Tuesday 29th October, UCD Smurfit Rugby FC held what is hoped will be the first of many table quizzes in the Dark Horse on Carysfort Avenue. Whilst some of the question rounds proved trickier than hoped (maybe the rugby questions should’ve been easier…), the pub was buzzing with arguments about the second largest city in the EU, what the highest selling album of all time was and what is that obscure country that begins with a ‘D’.  With the division of labour across the committee and the opportunity to drive additional fundraising through selling questions and phone use, the rugby club committee was kept busy. With the kind support of the Dark Horse (MBA students can make time for the pub), it is hoped that there will be many more table quizzes during the year.

It was great to see some of our predecessors and other members of last year class come out and support this first event – we hope to see them more often! With all funds going towards ensuring that the club can attempt to defend the MBA Rugby World Cup in April, every little bit certainly does count.

With the hard work, dedication and determination shown at getting this first fundraiser put together and executed, there is no doubt that the UCD Smurfit rugby club will make a success of the task at hand.  With ongoing support from family and friends and growing interest in the club, future quizzes will promise to be even more competitive, so get your thinking caps on!

Keep an eye on the club’s website:

facebook page:

and twitter @ucdsmurfitrugby for news of the next event.

Jim Radmore, UCD Smurfit Rugby Football Club Chair 2013-14.

FT MBA 2014.

UCD Smurfit MBA Entrepreneurship Club kicks off a new season in Google HQ.

The UCD Smurfit Entrepreneurship Club put together an introductory event on 8 October. Over 35 current and recent MBA participants attended. The event was hosted at the Google Docks building on Barrow Street with an incredible line-up of speakers and club member who stepped up to make it happen. When you see them, thank these incredibly generous individuals who provided the substance to the event and helped to coordinate everyone and everything on a VERY short timeline.

One of our own, Mathilde Miravete EMBA 2015, did a fantastic job securing Google as the venue and also MC’d the panel. Michael Culligan pulled double duty on the panel, providing an introductory overview and discussing the types and availability of funds in Dublin. Eamonn Sayers provided an overview of the Incubator environment at the Guinness Enterprise Centre (GEC), discussing the benefits of close working environment for entrepreneurs. Our NDRC representative, Gary Leyden, discussed his LaunchPad programme and that an Accelerator slightly differs from an Incubator by focusing on projects closer to viable start-up status. individuals who provided the substance to the event and helped to coordinate everyone and everything on a VERY short timeline.

Bringing social responsibility to the discussion was Darren Ryan from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland (SEI). He gave us an overview of how SEI is working to make a difference through entrepreneurs and redefining success by social impact. Brendan Cremen provided an academic supported Incubator at NovaUCD, which leverages the school’s researchers, leaders, and investors.

Our attendees found the event an incredibly useful introduction to the entrepreneur landscape. Pawel Ostropolski enjoyed that a “broad range of the entrepreneurship landscape” was covered from physical products, to IT solutions, and process change through social process reform ideas. Sundar Balasubramani enjoyed the chance to meet and network with Gary and Eamonn. David Keirnan found that “The discussions outlinedpractical steps to take a business concept to reality. Advice on the do’s and do not’s for start-up enterprises was given by highly experienced people working in the field.”

Being Google, we also got some swag in the form of stickers, diary pads, and pens. After the formal Q&A everyone enjoyed canapés with wine kindly sponsored by the MBA Office.

In all, a great introductory event that provided everyone a feel for some of the major players in the Entrepreneur scene in Dublin in such a beautiful setting overlooking Dublin city from Google headquarters.

The next meeting of UCD Entrepreneurship Club is scheduled for 31 October at 7:30p in the Pillar Room.

Pete Kloehn,  MBA Entrepreneurship Club Chair 2013-14.

FTMBA 2014.

Work on sharpening up the softer skill set! (aka the UCD Smurfit MBA Leadership Development Programme).

They say time flies when you’re having fun. It also seems to fly when you’re up to your neck in project work. Well, perhaps more accurately, when you feel like you’re up to your neck in project work. In fairness we’ve had a relatively balanced distribution of fun and hard work to date. A bit of hard work is good for us.

Everyone in the class had something of a shock when we each listed out all of our assignment deadlines, put dates against them and sorted them into date order. In reality the work load, while heavy, is very manageable with a group. It actually feels good to be dealing with a heavy workload again. Yesterday I found myself booking rooms and sending mails that related to meetings and work that will be done two to three weeks down the line, knowing that I needed to get those tasks done now to facilitate the future work. Of course that’s the normal way of things when you’re busy in a job and it was good to feel back to having that sense of purpose and drive.

Given the workload, some people in the class have been challenged and frustrated by the amount of time that is scheduled for personal and team development (Leadership Development Programme) but I feel this is one of the best elements of what we are experiencing. Having come from large, tiered and management driven organisations I’ve seen how important it is for teams to work well. Without the teams functioning, an organisation doesn’t function. The teamwork development aspects of the MBA will certainly stand to candidates when they get back out into the real world. The course is a great opportunity to take time to develop and reflect on team and interpersonal skills in a supportive environment where you can get feedback from peers and experts. Don’t get me wrong, when there are grades on the line in a class of achievers, temperatures rise and tempers fray but that is exactly the emotional live-fire environment needed to work on sharpening up the softer skill set.

I’m looking forward to getting involved with the Thought Leaders and Entrepreneurs Clubs and putting together some interesting events. While club activity will keep me busy, my other project commitments outside of the course are reducing so I’ll even have a little time for sports in the coming weeks. I’m going to do my best not to pack on the MBA pounds that we’ve been warned about. Or at least that’s what I keep telling myself!

The Team 5 Massive has survived our first few projects and has grown as a team from the experiences. Our first presentation is coming up next week so it will be fun to get the team up and present to the class. Fun, tough, exhilarating and nerve-racking no doubt. Of course, that’s what this experience is all about; getting stuck in and doing our best. Speaking of which, my 8.30 lecture is about to begin…

Liam Doyle.

FT MBA 2014

Annual Smurfit MBA BBQ 22 June 2013

The annual Smurfit MBA BBQ took place last Saturday 22nd.

There were approximately 190 staff, students and their families in attendance. In the best Irish fashion it was partially indoors as we had to contend with the occasional short but sharp summer shower but what would an Irish BBQ be without a little rain?  The sun did occasionally show itself though and a good time was had by all.

This is especially true of the younger attendees who bounced on the bouncy castle, had their faces painted, ran races and watched a great floor show provided by Sillybilly the entertainment troupe who assisted with the day, some of the adults participated in all these activities too.  A rather spirited game of impromptu cricket also took place.

– Roisin O’Loughlin, MBA Programme Manager