Reminiscing on the Smurfit MBA; a path to who knows where?

It’s funny thinking back to this time of year 5 years ago when I was getting ready to start my MBA; or more accurately gearing up for Electric Picnic with the MBA more an uncomfortable thought in the very back of my mind that I would deal with when off site after the event from mid-September.

When I started on the journey I was a concert promoter by trade, and had been for the previous 9 years – all of my working life. Cut to 5 years later; I’m a global project manager for Accenture and looking at the stints in between – heading up corporate communications for Hewlett-Packard, programme managing the government JobBridge internship scheme with now-Tánaiste Joan Burton, marketing in Accenture to my current Project Management role.

If anyone had asked me where I saw myself in 5 years’ time, I wouldn’t have been able to guess where the journey might have taken me – and for me that’s the exciting thing about going down a new road. For me, the MBA was the enabler as it helped by virtue of contacts, confidence, knowledge and a combination of hard & soft skills which helped me to land where I am today. Now expecting my first baby in about 8 weeks’ time it’s the beginning of another new chapter, and it’s hard to say where the next 5 years will take me. I guess it’s all to play for!

Best of luck to everyone starting out… may you all get what you want out of it, and what you don’t even know you want yet!

Siobhan O’Dowd, Accenture Enterprise Enablement PMO Services Manager (EMBA 2011)

Second Term: New Challenges, New Vibe

It’s scary to think we are nearly half way through the second term.  The first term seemed to progress far slower with the workload being quite evenly distributed throughout the week. This term classes are mostly at the beginning of the week, which is presumably designed to allow you time to network with businesspeople and focus on job hunting. While this makes a lot of sense it’s less fun than the first semester when the entire class had similar schedules and we could eat lunch together most days and go to the pub on Thursday evenings.

However all good things must come to an end and the reality is that an MBA is very much an applied degree during which you’re supposed to get outside the classroom and out into the real world to meet businesspeople and work on real business challenges as much as possible. Whatever we are missing in terms of socialising together in recent weeks I’m sure we’ll more than make up for during the China trip which is only a few weeks away.

In my experience travelling together is an excellent way to bond and while going through airports with very little sleep and suffering being away from home comforts can be difficult, such experiences are great bonding and learning opportunities. I think the whole class is really looking forward to the trip (for those with families the sudden burst of freedom might be truly shocking!) and even though I’m sure we’ll all be tremendously jet-lagged by the time we get back we’ll be an even more unified cooperative class for the rest of the year.

Conal Campbell

Full-time MBA 2014