For the last installment of the Leadership Development Programme, UCD provided the full-time MBAs with a two-day session at the Talbot hotel. Hosted by the class favourites, Professors Karan Sonpar and Patrick Gibbons, and MBA Programme Manager Agnieszka Wisniewska, this session instigated a reflection on our personal development and provided one last dip into self-awareness. It was also our first gathering as a class after almost 5 months, and all of us were geared up and enthusiastic about getting back into a classroom setting.
The first day started with an introduction to the Myers-Briggs type indicator and a review of our results. I was familiar with this test but had never officially done one before. Discussing with colleagues I notice how far our self-perception can be from our real image. For example, I was surprised to discover that introversion is one of my dominant features.
The highlight of the second day was the case study analysis of the Nucor case, where we used many of the skills acquired during the last 12 months–financial statement analysis, organizational behaviour, marketing and corporate finance–to discuss the growth of the different departments of a steel manufacturing company. With no pressure for grades and the relaxed atmosphere provided by the event, this exercise felt more like a game. It was also a great opportunity to see real-life incorporation of one year’s worth of theory and practical lessons.
Of course, I must not forget that, with a small dose of grief, this was our last opportunity to say “Together” together with the great Paul Slattery, whose presenting techniques spared us from many embarrassing moments during presentations. The session dealt with Executive presence and how to make the most impact on our body language while remaining relaxed. This was our third session with Paul and it was truly a great experience to see the difference in all of us from our first session back in September 2019.
However, the real highlight of the event was the chance to see my classmates again. It’s been a weird and unpredictable year and it felt great to have one last MBA classroom experience before we all went our separate ways.
—Ricardo O’Connor, FTMBA Class of 2020