Fundraising for The MBA Rugby World Cup 2016


Having played rugby for many years, I knew I wanted to continue during the year I was taking off work for my MBA. Spare time is precious and I knew I wouldn’t be able to commit to a new club. When looking at different schools to attend, other than being the top-ranked school in Ireland, the Smurfit MBA programme stood out because of its fantastic rugby club.  The club has an enviable reputation, winning the MBA World Cup a record 11 times in its short 16-year history, competing against and beating some of the most well-known b-schools in the World like Harvard and Stanford year-on-year.

I currently sit on the executive committee with four other MBA students. Beyond playing each week with the team, we work on the successful organization of the club which includes recruiting new members, fundraising, finding corporate sponsorship and training a men’s as well as a women’s team. Currently we have over 220 members made up of students from the college and we can have anywhere up to 60 students training with us at UCD on Wednesdays. We have the makings of a great team this year and preparations are well underway for this years MBA World Cup hosted by Duke University in Virginia, USA.

Being part of the Rugby club is giving me an avenue to test some of the skills I am acquiring during my MBA.  Managerial accounting helps us build better budgets and forecasts, negotiations helps us when we sit down with companies to discuss sponsorships, and leadership and personal development programmes have given me insights into my own leadership style when working with the other committee members, coaches and players.  The MBA is an intense academic exercise, but applying the skills is where you get the real value.

To help us reach our fundraising goals for the trip to the US, we are running a raffle until until the 4th of March. If you are interested in helping out with our fundraising efforts, we are selling 2,000 tickets with the price corresponding to the number on ticket you commit to purchase (if you pull ticket number 1 you pay €.01, if you pull ticket number 676 you pay €6.76 all the way up to number 2,000, so the maximum you can pay for a ticket is €20.00 but it might cost only 1c!).



1st place is a framed, signed Irish rugby jersey from the 2015 Rugby World Cup Team including Paul O’Connell (generously donated by the IRFU)

2nd place is €500

3rd place is €250

To purchase a ticket, or if you would like to contribute to the club this year, email us at 

Dan Kinsella ~ Full-Time MBA

Find out more about the Smurfit Rugby Club here

UCD Smurfit Rugby Club

Fintan coaching the ladies!
Finbarr coaching the ladies!

Founded in 1999, the UCD Smurfit Rugby Club has grown from humble beginnings into one of the most successful business school rugby clubs in the world.

This year, the rugby club has increased its numbers with both male and female current students joining the team. There are MBA students (Carley, Jack, Michael, Dan, Finbarr and Muireann) as well as MsC students from Marketing, Management, and Management Consultancy.

Rugby Training on Wednesday night
Rugby Training on Wednesday night

The rugby club are holding a raffle that will have tickets on sale until March 4th.  They are selling 2000 tickets and if anyone is interested in purchasing a ticket the price corresponds to the ticket you commit to purchase (if you pull ticket number 1 you pay €.01 if you pull ticket number 676 you pay €6.76 all the way up to number 2000, so the maximum you can pay for a ticket is €20 and the minimum is only €.01!). Once you pull a ticket you must pay the price on the ticket.


1st place is a Signed Jersey by the 2015 Irish World Cup Team including Paul O’Connell!

2nd place is €500 cash prize

3rd place is €250 cash prize

Best of luck to everybody who enters!

Avril Donohue ~ MBA Alumni Relations, Marketing & Events 

Joe Schmidt inspires Smurfit MBA candidates with Leadership Talk on ‘Managing High Performing Teams’

Joe Schmidt - Photo Credit - Jason Clarke
Joe Schmidt – Photo Credit – Jason Clarke

Last Thursday, Joe Schmidt, the double Six Nations winning Irish rugby coach, talked to Smurfit MBA candidates on ‘Managing High Performing Teams’ at the St. Stephen’s Green Hibernian Club.

He chip-kicked the event by praising his team for being natural athletes who work hard and give their everything to the sport. As a coach, he believes in giving players the freedom to evolve and self-lead themselves. In a team, individuals need to do their job right to win the team’s trust.

Joe Schmidt & David Cashman. Photo Credit - Jason Clarke
Joe Schmidt & David Cashman. Photo Credit – Jason Clarke

Executive MBA candidate and MC for the evening David Cashman steered the talk by discussing Schmidt’s extensive experience in leadership as a coach and strategies for glorious back-to-back Six Nations wins.

Schmidt emphasized the importance of investing in the people that these players are by the route of giving constant feedback. Team members feel assured that they are being noticed and that the leader is invested in them that yields better dividend.

He also spoke about his recruitment style; Besides observing a player’s game, Schmidt studies the player’s attitude too. He said that a player’s game can be improved by the right training but a player’s attitude or DNA cannot be changed. It is not about provinces, it is not about red or white jerseys – he says his foremost task is to pick the 15 best Irishmen who should represent ‘the green jersey’.

Photo Credit - Jason Clarke
Photo Credit – Jason Clarke

He highlighted that a player can lead his team by being emotionally intelligent and unselfish enough to drive younger players – qualities that Paul O’Connell possessed which is why it will be difficult to find his replacement.

Schmidt anecdotally mentioned that many young coaches seek tips from him to be professional coaches. He chuckled and said that they don’t know how tough his job is. And on a serious note, he added that it all depends on the way we invest in our people.

Schmidt delivered an inspiring talk on leadership that had the audience on its feet, clapping most of the time, whistling and roaring in approval.  His address was candid and replete with humour making this event one of the most popular leadership talks of the year.

Joe Schmidt and Dean Ciaran O’hÓgartaigh with MBA Thought Leadership Club committee members – Vincent Cooney, Pooja Dey, David Cashman, John O’Brien, Paul Murphy & Aileen Butler. Photo Credit - Jason Clarke
Joe Schmidt and Dean Ciaran O’hÓgartaigh with MBA Thought Leadership Club committee members – Vincent Cooney, Pooja Dey, David Cashman, John O’Brien, Paul Murphy & Aileen Butler. Photo Credit – Jason Clarke

The event was curated by the MBA Thought Leadership Club, Smurfit School, UCD. There are a few people we would like to thank without whom this event would not have been of this magnitude – Dean Ciaran O’hÓgartaigh for supporting the event, Yvonne Harding from the MBA office for providing guidance and advice, Executive MBA candidate Conor Drudy for helping to set up Joe Schmidt for this leadership talk.

We wish the Irish Rugby Team the very best in chasing the three in a row!

Pooja Dey ~ Full-Time MBA

Rugby Club Fundraises for 12th MBA World Cup Win

The new semester is in full swing now. Our new groups have been assigned and my group has already made our first presentation. We had our first night out as a group last week and enjoyed Mediterranean cuisine in Keshk, a restaurant in town. Deniz, my teammate from Turkey selected our dishes and did not put a foot wrong. It was really good to have some fun with the team and get to know each other better.

This semester is not going quite as expected however. Last semester we heard about the promised land of semester two – we would no longer be working around the clock, we would get to meet up with the friends we had neglected in semester one, Semester two is going to be easier they told us….I am pretty sure they lied. I seem to be busier than ever.

Partly this is as a result of some of the clubs I am involved in – specifically the rugby club. As Jim has already blogged, we had a great dinner in aid of the rugby club in the Pillar Room in the Rotunda Hospital. The Smurfit School has an impressive academic tradition but it also has a proud rugby tradition and we hope to continue this tradition of excellence by winning our 12th title this year! The MBA world cup will give us an opportunity to represent the Smurfit School, Ireland, Irish business, and the companies that partner with us on the world stage.

The dinner was part of a wider fundraising campaign which includes producing a match-day programme that is showcased in the Smurfit School before we head off to the world cup and also distributed widely during the world cup amongst the other teams. Many teams have fundraising challenges, so the organisers of the competition focus heavily on distributing the match-day programme as widely as possible amongst participating teams. This means that advertisers get really good value for money. As I was less involved in organising the dinner as other members of the committee (one of us is a chef!), I put my hand up to project manage the match-day programme. No pressure! If any of you out there are involved in successful organisations that want excellent exposure to the Smurfit School or to students from 25 of the top MBA schools in the world, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I am starting to realise that fundraising is a much tougher gig than I had expected! And I was expecting it to be tough. Any contributions to the team would be much appreciated! Seriously – you can donate from our home page.

Thady Duggan

Full-time MBA 2014