Microsoft, KPMG, and EY are among the companies hiring MBAs from University College Dublin’s (UCD) Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.
In today’s business environment, companies want employees with an understanding of global practice, international markets, and a mindset geared towards globalization. The triple-accredited Smurfit MBA is ranked the best in Ireland and among the top-70 MBA programs globally by the Financial Times.
Creating global leaders, the Leadership Development Program that runs throughout the school’s one-year, full-time MBA program prepares graduates to innovate and lead teams anywhere in the world.
Three main pillars make up the leadership program—self, team, and organizational—which runs across each semester of the MBA, with topics including case study analysis, team building, conflict management, executive coaching, and a 360-degree peer review.
Students learn to understand themselves, their own motivations, and how to interact with others when placed in diverse teams—71% of the Smurfit MBA is made up of international students, creating a global classroom made up of a variety of cultures, behaviors, and ideas.
Being able to harness your emotional intelligence, and the ability to lead a multitude of personalities and cultures, will only be half the battle for the global leaders of the future though.
In 2018, as advancements in big data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain rewrite the business model rulebook, it will be ever more important for MBAs to understand how to implement their knowledge into international companies across the globe, and to work together to help them adapt to change.
To do that, Smurfit MBAs are given international exposure through the program’s two overseas modules—International Consulting Week, and Doing Business in International Markets.
During the first international consulting week in Iceland last year, students learned about organizational diagnosis, data collection, data analysis, and strategies and cultural nuances of operating in specific markets.
A diverse team of MBAs worked with Reykjavik Excursions, a tour bus company that had highlighted an internal problem with one of its programs. Within five days, the students had solved the problem and it was implemented into the company’s strategy.
Students on the Doing Business in International Markets module are taken further afield—the school has previously explored emerging markets—the BRICS—with students travelling to Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.
Through company visits, and panel discussions from leading executives and government officials, students learn about the cultural idiosyncrasies that affect the way business is conducted across the globe, meaning they are better placed to work for multi-national corporations after graduating—91% of Smurfit MBA students find employment within three months of finishing their degree.
But, during these trips, they also learn from their peers. In an international classroom, there is a wealth of cultural, industry, and personal experience that can be tapped into.
Being a member of the Global Network of Advanced Management (GNAM)—a network of 29 business schools scattered around the world—means that Smurfit MBA students get the chance to learn from peers at other schools too, during the one-week global immersion scheme in the program’s first semester.
With school’s like Yale School of Management, INSEAD, and the London School of Economics also members, there is huge opportunity for students of the Smurfit MBA to immerse themselves in world-leading thought currently circulating in the business world.
For Professor Karan Sonpar, the academic director of the Smurfit MBA, that means studying an MBA is a no-brainer.
“An MBA […] is highly valued in business as it shows a willingness to learn and develop oneself which is a very positive signal to employers. [It] offers participants the opportunity to develop more generalist skills which are required to lead an organization,” he says.