IMAGE Businesswoman Of The Year Awards 2016

On The Silver Screen - The Award Winning Selfie
‘On The Silver Screen’ – The Award Winning Selfie

On Monday evening, November 21st, among 800 guests, the winners of the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2016 were announced at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. The Smurfit MBA Team and IMAGE MBA Scholarship winners were delighted to join in the celebrations.

L - Editor in Chief IMAGE Magazine, Melanie Morris. R - MC Anne Doyle.
L – Editor in Chief IMAGE Magazine, Melanie Morris. R – MC Anne Doyle.

Now in its tenth year, the much anticipated IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards champions trailblazing businesswomen’s contribution to Ireland’s economy and their vital role within the Irish business community at home and abroad. There were nine categories, with over 90 nominees; all inspirational, talented, not to mention glamorous, Irish businesswomen.

You can see the full list of winners here.

L-R: Susan Murdock, Davinia Anderson, Avril Donohue, Kathy O'Reilly, Ro Downing, Aisling O'Keeffe, Grace Milton, Virginia Stewart, Paula Thomas
L-R: Susan Murdock, Davinia Anderson, Avril Donohue, Kathy O’Reilly, Ro Downing, Aisling O’Keeffe, Grace Milton, Virginia Stewart, Paula Thomas

Ahead of the awards we enjoyed Winter Wonderland themed cocktails and admired the amazing, glittering backdrops by Miller & Lamb. It was a fantastic evening which left all guests feeling inspired and empowered. It was a pleasure to share it with so many extraordinary women. The Smurfit Team didn’t come away empty handed, we won the much coveted prize of ‘Best Selfie’, chosen by IMAGE and The Irish Independent.

Winter Wonderland Cockatils
Winter Wonderland Cockatils

I’m sure I speak for all guests when I say that I’m already looking forward to #BWOTY17!

To find out more about the IMAGE MBA Scholarship; application dates, entry criteria and how to apply, click here.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

The Smurfit MBA IMAGE Scholarship

Image DPS 2016

Win up to €17,250 towards a Full-Time or Executive MBA at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

IMAGE Magazine, in association with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, is offering one female candidate a scholarship covering 50% of fees (upper value €17,250) for the Full-Time or Executive MBA programme starting end August 2016.

Selection will be based on submission of a short essays as follows:

“Tell us (in 500 words or less) about how you have demonstrated initiative and leadership in your career to date”.

A panel of judges will evaluate essay submissions and entrants will then be invited to complete a full MBA application if they have not already done so.

The scholarship worth up to €17,250 can only be used towards tuition fees on the Full-Time or Executive (part-time) MBA Programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; it will be awarded to the best female candidate who meets the selection criteria and standard MBA programme entry requirements as outlined below. Applications close April 29th 2016If you are interested in applying, please click here.

  1. You must have a minimum university degree or equivalent professional qualification and a minimum of three years’ relevant work experience.
  2. A panel of judges will select a short-list of candidates who will have to complete the standard MBA programme application process.
  3. You must have already taken or be prepared to take at short notice the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Admission to the programme is subject to achieving a minimum score of 580 (full-time)/520 (part-time) on this test. Further information at and The scholarship winner must have taken and secured the relevant minimum GMAT test entry score by May 31st at the latest.
  4. You must have two references, normally from current and/or former employer and/or colleague.
  5. The Image Scholarship will be awarded to the highest calibre female candidate selected from the applications received, subject to their meeting, at a minimum, the standard entry requirements of the UCD Smurfit School full-time or executive MBA.
  6. UCD Smurfit School reserves the right not to award the scholarship if the judging panel does not deem any of the candidates to be of the required calibre.
  7. Final admission is subject to an interview.

Previous IMAGE MBA Scholarship winners, Davinia Anderson and Paula Thomas, discuss the impact that winning the scholarship has had on their careers and personal development, and offer advice to anyone considering applying to the IMAGE MBA Scholarship at UCD Smurfit School this year. Watch the video below:

Applications close April 29th 2016. If you are interested in applying, please click here.

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Communications & Events

IMAGE Businesswoman of The Year Awards 2015

image sign

Last night, we joined almost 800 other guests to celebrate the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel, Dublin. The awards, now in their ninth year, honour the incredible businesswomen of Ireland and their outstanding achievements.

'The Smurfettes' putting our complimentary selfie-stick to use!
‘The Smurfettes’ putting our complimentary selfie-stick to use!

The room was buzzing with energy as we awaited the announcements of the awards. Presenter Pat Kenny (the “thinking woman’s crumpet”) got the evening off to a great start, reflecting on his student days and gender imbalance, and miraculously somehow managed to silence a room of 750 excited women (well done, Pat!). Mary Finan, former Chair of the RTÉ Authority and one of the founding partners at Wilson Hartnell Public Relations, gave an inspirational speech when picking up her Lifetime Achievement Award.

IMAGE MBA Scholarship Winners with Melanie Morris, Editor in Chief IMAGE Magazine L-R – Aisling O’Keeffe, Grace Milton, Melissa Camargo, Melanie Morris, Paula Thomas, Davinia Anderson
L-R – Olivia Caslin, Carley Wasechek, Paula Thomas, Davinia Anderson, Aisling O’Keeffe, Melissa Camargo, Grace Milton, Orla Nugent, Lindsey Nguyen

The Smurfit MBA was represented by both our past and present IMAGE Scholarship Winners and also two of our students who promote Women in Business via the MBA Social Outreach Committee.

Orla Nugent, MBA Programme Director and member of the IMAGE BWOTY judging panel, Olivia Caslin, UCD Smurfit Marketing Manager, and myself were also present to celebrate each of the winners and enjoy a truly fabulous evening.

IMAGE Awards 1
L-R – Olivia Caslin, Melissa Camargo, Davinia Anderson, Carley Wasechek, Aisling O’Keeffe, Avril Donohue, Lindsey Nguyen, Paula Thomas, Grace Milton, Orla Nugent

A very special congratulations to our Smurfit MBA Alumna, Niamh Gallagher, on winning the award for Social Entrepreneurship, co-founder, Women for Election, along with her business partner Michelle O’Donnell.

Photo from

Women for Election provides training, support and mentoring to women, to encourage them to become more politically active. The group was 2011 winner of the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland IMPACT award, and in 2014 the Ireland Funds Flagship Programme Award. Prior to Women for Election, Michelle spent over 17 years in the financial services sector focusing primarily in the area of multinational project management and change management, while Niamh worked as a Research and Policy Analyst at the Children’s Rights Alliance in Dublin.

Thank you IMAGE for a wonderful evening, you can see some of the highlights here IMAGE Highlights.

More selfie-stick action
More selfie-stick action

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Marketing & Events