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DCU Business School

DCU MBA Society Inaugural Event

September 2010


The inaugural event of DCU MBA Society was held last week in the magnificent surroundings of St Patrick’s Hall, Dublin Castle. In attendance were more than 200 DCU MBA students and graduates and guests of the Society. Among the high profile guests were President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith; Mr Christoph Mueller, CEO of Aer Lingus, who gave the inaugural guest lecture; the Ethiopian Ambassador, Mr Zerihun Retta (DCU MBA‘09); Professor Bernard Pierce, Dean of DCU Business School; and several CEOs from companies involved with DCU MBA graduates and students.

Welcoming guests to the inaugural event, Cormac Brennan, DCU MBA ‘98 and Chairman of the Society, explained that the idea for the Society came from the current MBA students, and that both students and graduates alike warmly welcomed this initiative. The main aims of the Society are to organise guest lectures and networking events, to provide mentoring to current students, and to assist in the continued development and promotion of the DCU MBA programme.

Cormac added that those who are MBA graduates know just how much the MBA has changed their lives and the value it has added to their careers. Graduates are very proud of their DCU MBA qualification and the excellent reputation that it has gained in the market place. Cormac stressed that the DCU MBA programme, which is internationally accredited, has become the programme of choice for many companies when seeking to develop their executives. He extended a particular welcome to first year MBA students who are just commencing their MBA journey and reminded all students that the network of 700+ DCU MBA students and graduates would be more than happy to help them at any time.

DCU President, Brian MacCraith, officially launched the DCU MBA Society. The President welcomed the formation of the DCU MBA Society and commented that it was especially appropriate that it be launched in the year that the DCU MBA comes of age. The first intake for the programme was in 1990, making this the programme’s 21st year. President MacCraith shared his vision for Dublin City University and explained that his objective is that DCU will be known in the future as the “University of Enterprise”. The President also spoke of the important place students and graduates will have in the future growth and development of the University. He promised to support the Society in every way he can.

Mr Christoph Mueller, CEO of Aer Lingus, then gave a guest lecture on “The Challenge of Change”. His main theme was that, in the airline industry, the starting point for any strategy for change must be a clear-sighted and forensic analysis of the industry’s underlying economic structure and how it is evolving over time. Drawing on some of key elements of Porter’s now classic framework (very familiar to MBAs), especially the ‘barriers to entry and exit’, the ‘power of buyers’ and the ‘power of suppliers,’ and applying them in quite a unique and insightful way, he shared his own assessment of the potential implications for the future of the industry. He concluded that the airline industry continues to be a challenging one for all of the players.

Professor Brian Leavy, President of the DCU MBA Society, commented that one the central messages that might be taken from Mr Mueller’s presentation is the reminder that meeting the challenge of change requires just as much attention to the ‘hard’ elements (the ability to face up squarely and dispassionately to the changing economic realities), as it does to managing the equally important ‘softer’ ones associated with people, process and culture.

Professor Leavy thanked all those who had played a part in organising the inaugural event including the committee, students, sponsors, staff from Dublin Castle and many others who had helped to organise such a superb event and to bring together so many students and graduates of the DCU MBA.

The guests then moved into the Portrait Gallery for refreshments and networking. The catering on the night was provided by Tracey Cusack (DCU MBA ‘06), who has set up her own catering company – Zest Catering.

It was a really successful event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. The Society is now working on a programme of further events for the coming academic year and intends to equal if not exceed the really high bar that was set with its inaugural event.