MBA Social Outreach Society


The busy MBA life is nearing completion. Without doubt, it has been one of the most happening years in my life to date. Working for the MBA Social Outreach Society was one great experience that I had during the MBA term. We got the opportunity to organize a number of events for various social causes as part of the club’s activities.

We started off by volunteering for the dragon duty events organized by BizWorld Ireland in various primary schools in Dublin.  It is part of a two-day BizWorld workshop, delivered in a classroom setting by a specially-trained BizWorld Ireland tutor. During the workshop, classes are split into groups and each group develops their own mini enterprise. At the end of the workshop, they get to pitch their business ideas to a visiting ‘Dragon’, usually a representative from the local business community. Many of our full time MBA colleagues have participated in these events acting as Dragons. In short, a dragon’s role is to act as in investor and negotiate with the children to own stake in their ‘companies’ in exchange of ‘Bizbucks’ (Bizworld money). Meeting these ‘innovators of the future’ has indeed been an amazing experience for all of us and we participate in these events on an ongoing basis. 2

During the second semester, we organized a fund raising event – a snack festival, for the Special Olympics Eastern Region, which provides year round sports training and competition to over 2,300 people with an intellectual disability. As part of the event, we sold a variety of snacks to the students at Smurfit. It was a one-day event and we were really happy to see the students from Smurfit taking active part in the event and offering their hand of support to the Special Olympics participants. We were able to raise a good amount as part of this event.


Later during the year, in association with Biz World Ireland and Local Enterprise office, we organized a Primary School Showcase event at Smurfit School. As part of the event, nearly ten teams of students from three primary schools in Dublin presented the business ideas to the professors and students at Smurfit. They also sold various hand-made goodies in exchange for ‘Biz Bucks’ during the event. We got a chance to interact with the children, learn more about their business ideas and engage in small negotiations with them in order to buy their goodies. They were smart and creative. They knew some really good negotiation tactics as well! The children, the professors and the students at Smurfit found the event really interesting. It was indeed an unforgettable day!


Working for the Social Outreach Society was a wonderful experience. It was great to see our MBA classmates taking time off from their busy schedule to take part in these activities and work together to make a positive impact on society.

Nitin Paul ~ Full-Time MBA

Smurfit Social Outreach Society & Bizworld


On Tuesday, the Smurfit Social Outreach Society welcomed Bizworld, a local charitable foundation, to our campus in Blackrock for a Primary School Showcase. Our guests included 35 sixth class children as well as teachers from three local schools (Our Lady’s Grove, Goatstown; Scoil Mhuire, Shankill; Harold Boys NS, Dalkey), BizWorld staff including CEO Fiona McKeon, Don, cathoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Barry Saul, a television crew from Irish TV, and members of the UCD Smurfit community.

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The children made up seven teams of 4-5 and they used this opportunity to showcase their learnings from the BizWorld programme. BizWorld holds two-day sessions in which students create business ideas and learn about topics from teamwork to finance. They pitch their businesses to MBA students like ourselves who act as “Dragons in the Den,” developing communication skills and confidence in the process. At this event, we invited Smurfit lecturers Brian McGrath, Virginia Stewart, Christoph Dreschler, and Bruce Martin to ask questions to the students and offer advice.


The event started with an address by UCD- Bizworld coordinator Kamala Sadanand welcoming everyone for the morning. I then followed and spoke for a few minutes sharing my experiences with Bizworld and what I have learned from the children. After these brief words, the adults in the room walked around to each table, learning about the different business ideas which ranged from a zoo app that allows people to watch animals around the world to a taxi service in which riders can replace traditional taxi rides and enjoy a trip in a Bugatti while sipping chocolate milk and playing video games.

Each group then presented its business ideas to the room, expertly communicating ideas, sharing responsibility, and fielding questions from lecturers, students, and each other. We then had a few minutes in which the students sold goodies like baked items and handmade bookmarks in exchange for currency with which to invest their business, known as “biz bucks.” When buying slowed with adults fatiguing of sugar, the students worked the room, lowered prices, and attempted to make more sales. They impressed us!


Finally, Barry Saul from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council address the room, surveying the students about key learnings. The main takeaway from the groups was how much they learned about teamwork and working with one another. Mr. Saul presented certificates for each of the students to honour their participation in the programme and also to the MBA dragons who participate in the workshops across schools in Dublin Irish TV, a channel that broadcasts on local networks and internationally, was on hand covering the day. In the end, we all gathered for photos and cheers.

Participation in the Social Outreach Society has been such a great way for Smurfit students to learn about business in contexts outside of the classroom. We enjoy the BizWorld programme because it reminds us of some of the ways in which participating in business can develop communities and inspire people. Also, we can relate to the kids who say that they learned the most about teamwork and grew through that because we have experienced the same thing in the MBA. I’m sure some of the talented students we saw on Tuesday will find themselves excelling in UCD Smurfit classrooms in the future, no doubt with BizWorld experiences in mind.

Find out more about the Smurfit MBA here

Elsa Heffernan ~ Full-Time MBA

Sunny Day to Volunteer on July 4th!

On Saturday at 10am, six MBAs, three friends, and one Smurfit MSc student joined Volunteer Centre Dublin City to clean-up the Grand Canal. (To volunteer for this, just show up at the Leeson St Bridge on the first Saturday of every month! All are welcome!)


The Smurfit Clean-up Crew were met with the smiles of seasoned volunteers who were delighted that we have decided to join them! So many of us showed up that the Volunteer Centre ran out of vests for us. The ten of us were deployed along the canal with gloves, pickers, and trash bags. Several walkers, cyclists, and drivers along the way told us to keep up the good work as well, which made it even more rewarding!

Our teamwork and organizational skills from the MBA paid off – we quickly implemented a system of working in a team to fish out cans and plastic – Angie had to hold on me as I tried not to fall in while reaching for an abandoned shoe in the canal! She’s smiling from all the fun she was having with me! Pictured below, Niall is expertly using the picker while Maíre collects the items found.

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After two hours of hard work, we were delighted to have a few chats and some treats provided by Starbucks. The coffee and scones were well deserved by all the volunteers. Here is a photo of most of the volunteers enjoying themselves and the beautiful view behind them!


In all seriousness, we were able to collect lots of recyclable materials which  shocked and surprised us at how anyone could let trash get into the waterways. This experience really made us think about sustainability and our responsibilities to the environment. Hopefully we will be more of a positive change in near future and be able to volunteer again next month!

The UCD Smurfit MBA Social Outreach Society aims to give back to society and the local community. We decided to join Dublin City Volunteer Centre for this event because we believe in doing something good, especially when Ireland’s natural greenery provides us with so much. To date we have also supported BizWorld Ireland by volunteering, mentoring, and fundraising for an organization which provide curriculums that inspire an entrepreneurial spirit and empower children between 10-13 years old with business and financial knowledge. We hope that next year’s class can add more initiatives to MBA SOS.

Special thanks to…

Full-Time MBAs: Edel Kennedy, John Haus, Niall Randles, Nhung ‘Angie’ Dao Hong and Prachi Garg

Three MBA friends: Maíre, Jovi and Kevin

MSc in Human Resources Management: Constanze Hoenel

Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full-Time MBA

So, 126.28km later and we’re back to the Books! – Wings for Life World Run!

Life moves so fast… We are at the end of Semester 2 and there are so many events on! I have finally recovered from the race to get this blog together :)


On Sunday, the rain stopped just in time for over 2,000 runners to run as far as they can from Dún Laoghaire south to the heartland of Wicklow. Having been launched in 2014, the Wings for Life World Run is the only race in the world where the finish line actually chases and catches the athletes! What is refreshing about this event is that 100% of the race proceeds fund spinal cord injury research. You can still donate to the foundation today!

MBAs from the Full Time and Executive classes got together with alumni and friends to run for World Sports Team.

Instead of punishing our brains, we punished our bodies by taking on the gruelling hills in support of World Sports Team. All of us proudly support the growth of this global network of sportspeople which helps those affected by catastrophic sports injuries. We faced a few challenging ascents on the course, but these cannot be compared to the challenges endured by those who cannot run. Join the team at

It was great to have an opportunity to be involved with the Wings For Life Foundation and World Sports Team’s missions. Collectively, the team – Karen, Eva, Elaine, Cormac, Tomas, Cathal, Niall, and Lindsey – ran 126.28km!

Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full-Time MBA

BIZ Factor’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year


The MBA Social Outreach Society was proud to see Dublin and Limerick primary schools compete for BIZ Factor’s Social Entrepreneurs of the Year yesterday. Six schools competed by submitting their business plans and giving a two minute pitch to a panel of judges in Dublin Castle. Everyone involved was buzzing with excitement to see the hard work in action! The MBA class were especially happy to mentor the future business leaders.


Thanks to Pete, Prachi, Sarah, Cathal, Deepak and Enda for their time and energy to prep the young entrepreneurs on USPs, market research, and value propositions!

Alum Steve Kelly was also showing his support with YoungHorizons by sponsoring a prize!

We all encourage you to volunteer for BizWorld!

Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full-Time MBA

Wings for Life World Run


Red Bull Wings for Life Run is happening on 3 May 2015 in Dun Laoghaire. The MBA Social Outreach Society and MBA Golf Society have joined forces to run on behalf of World Sports Team.

The concept is, you set a goal/distance and try to reach it before the chaser car gets to you! It’s a pretty cool/fun run that takes place all over the world.


This run aims to raise awareness and funds for people who can’t run. Moreover, the spinal chord research and support aligns well with World Sports Team’s mission to build a network for people who suffer catastrophic sports injuries.

By the way, your goal doesn’t have to be huge! If you are interested in joining us you can register here and then join the team once you’ve completed registration.


Lindsey Nguyen ~ Full Time MBA