The MBA: A Year of Transformation

The MBA programme has finally come to an end.  My one-year roller coaster experience has ended faster than I had imagined.

When I bid farewell to Orla, Michael and Yvonne in the MBA programme office before heading to Dublin airport, I found myself stuck by a simple question asked by Yvonne,  “How do you feel right now?”. I had a strange feeling that I never had before. I felt glad yet sad, relieved yet nervous. I am so glad and relieved that I have endured this demanding programme (not to mention the intensive 6-week capstone project that has just ended at Microsoft). At the same time, I was sad as I was about to leave Ireland and all the lovely people I met here very soon. I also felt a little nervous since the end of the MBA programme means the beginning of the real career challenges ahead, given the expectations of prospective employers for MBA graduates.

When reflecting upon the year I spent in Smurfit, I found that the past year was a truly rewarding one in terms of personal growth and knowledge gained. Other than the nice combination of the business knowledge that I have gained, I have developed a deeper self-awareness through the Leadership Development Programme (LDP). I have also learned a lot by working with classmates with different backgrounds, experiences and personalities.

On the other hand, the opportunities to gain international exposure were tremendous in Smurfit. In October last year, I studied for a week at Yale School of Management as part of the Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM) programme. Earlier this year, our class went to China for a week as part of the “Doing Business in Emerging Markets” module. And now, I am heading to Malibu, California for a semester long MBA exchange programme in Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University, before I officially complete my MBA programme.

Going forward, I am cautiously optimistic about my future. As mentioned by my mentor, an MBA degree will not magically transform a person to what he or she wants to be. Indeed, I have to be realistic of what to expect in the near future and try very hard to pursue every opportunities that are presented to me.

However, I believe there are reasons to be optimistic about the future. After a year of immersion, I believe I am different from what I was a year ago.

The transformation has just begun.

Sai Mun Leo

Full-time class 2013-14, currently on exchange at Pepperdine University in US.

My Ideas for the Future Scholarship

John McInroy, scholarship winner of the “Ideas for the Future” scholarship 201o updates us on the progress of his winning idea. Deadline for MBA scholarship applications for 2011 is 21 March

Having completed my MBA on exchange at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, India I returned to my homeland, South Africa via the United Kingdom, to pursue my dream of spreading around the world. I was awarded the Ideas for the Future scholarship at Smurfit for this initiative and during my Smurfit MBA the concept was formally launched on redsockfriday 9th April 2010.

Just over 10 months later there are over 1,200 redsockers worldwide in 43 different countries and we continue to work towards the dream of connecting all passionate positive people in the planet by wearing redsocks every Friday wherever you are in the world and whatever you are doing! Each sock that is sold through the site, part of the sale goes towards various redsocker charities which we are actively involved with. We are also involved with various global events such as the Comrades Marathon (Unogwaja2011) and the Put Foot Rally. All information and ways to get involved can be found on

Recently I was lucky enough to be interviewed on two national television shows in South Africa talking about the redsockfriday UNOGWAJA2011 which 4 redsockers are attempting later this year, involving a 1,730km cycle from Cape Town to Durban in 10 days followed by running the gruelling 89.1km Comrades marathon.

John McInroy Smurfit MBA
John McInroy celebrating redsockfriday

Being part of the Smurfit MBA class of 2010 gave me a great platform to start to realise my dream.


– John McInroy, Full-time MBA 2009/2010

To see me in action,

Expresso live breakfast show (SABC 3)Supersport Sports Trust round up (Supersport1)