Moving Across the Atlantic for my MBA


When I decided to do my MBA at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, I was excited and naturally a bit apprehensive to leave my comfortable life in Wisconsin to move across the Atlantic to a completely new country. The transition to Ireland was a lot easier than I could’ve imagined. I have moved countries once before and it was much more difficult. Maybe it is easier because I have done it once before, but I think it has more to do with the exceedingly nice Irish people. Everyone has been incredibly welcoming and inviting. To me, the people make all the difference, and this experience has proved that to be true.

The structure of the program also helps with meeting everyone in the program. Foundation week has a lot of events that get everyone involved and the Leadership Development Program gets everyone working in various small groups and as one large group so everyone really gets to know each other. Also, the group work that is involved with the various assignments starts very early on which forces interaction with the other members of the program.

The group work is very rewarding and helps with developing the best ideas possible through discussion in a small group. It is not without its challenges, but the various workshops assist in team dynamic development. The group work was difficult in the beginning getting used to all the different work styles of the various members of the program, but it definitely does improve drastically and quickly over time if it is worked on and the rewards from efficient group work is worth all the effort.

David Camp ~ Full-Time MBA

My Skydiving Experience


After twelve years away from the books I decided to refine my fundamental understanding of business management by obtaining an MBA. My expectations of MBA life were based on how my mind processed the stories that previous MBA graduates described. However, I must say that the value of the descriptions about MBA life were as good as the descriptions I got before I went for a skydiving experience. So let me describe the MBA life based on my Skydiving experience.

While I was in the airplane with my friends we were all smiling and full of confidence until … yes until the airplane doors opened and the cold breeze hit my body creating this unknown fear and chill. At this point there is no return, I free fall out of the airplane door, everything is moving so fast, a few tumbles, rushing wind, not able to express or focus. Now back to the MBA experience, I can say that I felt the same in my first three weeks.

I was instructed to open up my arms, legs and arch my back suddenly I am in a steady state and moving at enormous speeds. I see a different view of my town, I located my office , my commuting route and my home, wow it looks fantastic, I have never seen it from this angle… ohhh it’s so fast. Okay now I’m smiling, feeling better at this moment, I am recognizing that the excitement is overtaking the fear and I am realising details that I have never seen before. Such a similar feeling of my MBA experience is when the pattern of the lectures started to stabilize, specifically after the third week and carrying on to my sixth week.


It’s time to open the parachute, my gut feels like it has transformed into liquid and is going to come out of my body, I pull the cord, a small jerk and wow what a feeling …what a view. I love this view I see, the details, the shortcuts and understand the reasons for road diversions and see all the different shades of colours. Week seven, eight and nine reflect similar feelings whenever I come towards delivering assignments, throughout the lectures and debating views with my team mates. My business understanding and vision is getting better by the day, I am enjoying this phase.

Okay now we are approaching landing. I am descending towards the solid earth mass, any mistake can yield into significant injuries. Here we go, a suitable landing point decided, all I need to do is to perform as I practiced, be calm, pull the levers gently, lift my legs and slide. What a safe landing, my heart is racing, my face muscles are frozen in smile mode, and my feelings are numbed. Now at the time of writing this I haven’t experienced the MBA last quarter dash of the semester and final exams yet however, I am confident that with practice and focus when applying what I have learned, it will yield to a successful achievement of the MBA first semester.

I am happy to have built up the courage to take this step forward. The experiences outside my comfort zone are incredible, the fast pace is enlightening. In return I am getting a clearer insight towards business management, and I am anticipating a fruitful future. I would like to thank the MBA Administration Team for making this experience possible, the Academics & Leadership Programme Team for helping me obtain the precise vision and my peers for adding the contrast and colours to my vision. I would also like to thank the Careers Team for paving the roads for bright future matches.

Majid Al-farayedhi ~ Full-Time MBA