The world’s biggest tech companies circle Dublin’s vibrant innovation hub like sharks looking to pick off the next big opportunity. And opportunities there are aplenty.
As business and tech continue to align, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the smartest business school minds will be needed to help steer innovation.
An MBA in Europe from Trinity College Dublin’s Trinity Business School could be the key to launching your career in tech. Both Alejandra Garza and Padraic McMahon (pictured below), Trinity MBA graduates from the classes of 2019 and 2018, respectively, did just that, landing jobs with Telnyx and HubSpot.
Lory Kehoe, director of digital assets and blockchain at BNY Mellon, and currently an adjunct professor at Trinity and the leader of the MBA’s Technology Today module, says it’s a sign of growing opportunities in tech in Ireland’s capital. Lory is also the founder and advisory board member of Blockchain Ireland.
Trinity Business School: educating tech leaders
Lory’s job is to keep on top of the latest business and tech trends. Not easy when the landscape moves so quickly. For Trinity MBAs, he’s identified eight areas that form the basis of his course: cryptocurrency and blockchain; digital transformation; fintech; robotic process automation; artificial intelligence; entrepreneurial innovation; the platform economy; and the cloud.
Students on Technology Today study the latest papers being published by the likes of Harvard and MIT, McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. Lory also brings into the course research from the past—think Peter Drucker’s management theory—that allows students to see the impact of tech on business over the decades.
Case studies and classroom debate also feature prominently, something Alejandra (pictured right)—who worked in petrochemical HR in Mexico before the MBA—says enhances the classroom experience.
“The fast-paced, interactive, and innovative nature of the MBA program provided me with the tools needed to thrive in the tech space,” she says.
As tech seeps into every department the diversity of the Trinity MBA cohort exposes students to how this is impacting businesses across the board. The average age of the cohort is 31, with seven years of work experience. 73% of MBAs are international.
“The MBA thrusts you into a new way of working, you work with a smorgasbord of people you wouldn’t normally work with and I think that was the biggest learning,” explains Padraic, whose eclectic career before the MBA saw him set up his own web design and internet consultancy, go on tour with his band The Thrills—who are signed to Virgin Records—and land roles with both Google and LinkedIn.
Networking with companies
One of the reasons Alejandra chose Trinity Business School for her MBA was the Company Project modules. These focus on live action learning and see students work on real company projects in each of their three semesters.
“In addition to the insightful theoretical knowledge gained, this experience provides you with exposure to networking opportunities and teamwork management. The companies range from big multinational firms, rapid-growing startups, and social enterprises,” Alejandra explains.
She worked with a tech company on one of her projects which gave her a better understanding of the industry, and the current challenges companies in the sector are facing.
“The experience of working directly with companies proposing solutions to real-life strategic business issues is one of the program’s greatest assets,” she asserts.
This all resulted in Alejandra being able to land a job as people operations manager with Telnyx, an all-in-one communications platform, after the MBA—she says that she’s able to directly apply learnings from her strategic HR module, alongside more effective communication when collaborating with different business departments.
For Padraic, the MBA opened doors by equipping him with a holistic knowledge of business, helping him identify the type of company he wanted to work for, and providing ample networking opportunities.
You can become pigeonholed if you remain in the same function or industry long-term, he thinks. The Trinity MBA built his understanding of finance, HR, operations, strategy, and tech. That also gave him the confidence to identify the value he could bring to a firm after graduation.
He leant into his network and contacted around 20 companies to see if there was a contact who’d have coffee with him. CRM software company, HubSpot, was one of the companies he’d identified, and after he met with a representative of the firm, he impressed and was able to land a job as manager for customer success for UK and Ireland—he’s now manager for customer success for the firm’s EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) strategic accounts business.
Growing career opportunities in tech
The idea of Ireland as a sales and support hub is eroding, thinks Padraic. HubSpot now have in Ireland engineering, product, and finance teams all fueling localization efforts.
The opportunities are rich, Padraic adds. And it’s not just with the big tech firms like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. There is a wave of upstarts from legal tech and security firms, to software and healthtech companies also on the lookout for talent.
Lory (pictured right) has seen an uptick in the number of roles available in product development, sales, customer success and support, and project management.
“Dublin and Ireland have become a hub for many of the tech companies,” he explains. “Slack, Twitter, DropBox, Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have their EMEA hubs in Dublin, and for those operations to grow they need people.”
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