From a recent WIT graduate carving out a career with Vodafone to a senior manager with Enterprise Ireland advising on entrepreneurship and export strategy to a social entrepreneur launching garlic bulbs into the audience, the Graduate Business Seminar Series 2012-2013 platformed a rich and diverse range of speakers for the masters students this autumn.
With an enlarged group of more than 125 graduate students across the range of taught masters programmes enrolled in the Seminar Series this year, the invited speakers shared their personal narratives and career trajectories with a highly motivated and inquisitive audience. The benefit to the student of being exposed to experienced and skilled practitioners and academics will be seen as they compete for careers post graduation, but it is also key that external stakeholders are exposed to the strong cohort of students that WIT School of Business continues to attract in these straightened times.
Agriculture is of course a key indigenous sector that has shown growth throughout the recent difficulties in the Irish economy and Dr Maeve Henchion of Teagasc gave a perceptive seminar on the opportunities for, and the necessity of, innovation and expansion in the Irish agricultural sector. In this vein, Michael Kelly shared his journey from IT specialist through journalism and into his current social entrepreneur role with Grow It Yourself and how his organisation encourages people to be mindful of the environment as well as reducing shopping bills.
Photographed are MBS students with guest speaker, Dr Meave Henchion, Head of Department of Agri-Food Business and Spatial Analysis, Teagasc.
The tourism sector has similarly shown recent signs of growth, and Bill Kelly of Kelly’s Resort Hotel in County Wexford spoke of the leadership and marketing challenges in a sector which has contracted significantly in recent years, but which Kelly’s has withstood and indeed come out stronger. The South-east was also represented by the new start up Dungarvan Brewing Company, and in an engaging and informative session, brothers in law Tom Dalton and Cormac O’Dwyer spoke of the twin challenges of starting in a downturn and of the family business dynamic.
Photographed are MBS students with Bill Kelly, Managing Director of Kellys Resort Hotel and seminar keynote speaker with Dr Sheila O’Donohoe, Programme Leader, MBS Economics and Finance
On the other end of the scale from these family and start-up enterprises were sessions from larger corporations such as Padhraic McGinn, Plant Manager of Nypro Healthcare in Bray and Lake Region in New Ross, with Renee Flynn of the latter corporation detailing the HR needs of a workforce which has grown to more than 800.
More academic approaches were provided by Professor William Forbes of Loughborough University in the UK who gave a passionate presentation on the role of behavioural finance in the recent financial crisis – which was also a subject of discussion by Dr Fergal McCann, and economist with the Irish Central Bank as he spoke of the trends in financing available to Irish SMEs in the current climate. The current climate is indeed a challenging one for our current students, but Brian Molloy a recent graduate of the MBS programme who partook in the Seminar Series as a student just a couple of years ago, returned to relate his story of climbing the corporate ladder with Vodafone. By sharing interview and network techniques, Brian helped show that the path to success is still possible and is supported and strengthened by the innovative and inclusive approach of the School of Business.
For further information, please contact: Dr Sheila O’Donohoe ([email protected]) and Mr Gerard Arthurs ([email protected])