“It’s the personal approach that makes it in UL”

Tuesday, 1st August 2017

Pat Gibbons - MBA, Kemmy Business School 

I’m a principal production engineer working within Element 6 for the past 12 years. I started the MBA two years ago and I’m just finishing now. I saw a number of my colleagues go through it, and then develop and progress in Element 6 and I thought it was something I should be looking into. There’s plenty of MBAs out there but I think UL, being an in-class environment, made the difference as did the pull-factor of the Kemmy Business School. UL’s MBA has accreditation from the AMBA (Association of MBAs), and it’s a serious world recognised accreditation that distinguishes the UL MBA.

At the beginning of every semester you get your roster with four block releases of three days over the semester. The MBA block release structure is fantastic because it allows you to plan ahead and clear your schedule for three days of in-class work. It’s important from an employer’s side too as they want to know when you will be away. The classroom experience really adds to the MBA, you are studying and debating real-life, topical case studies and the discussion helps you learn more.

There’s an international business trip as part of the course too. We went for a week to Buenos Ares and met with a broad range of exciting organisations; it was a busy schedule but you have memories for life from it. The opportunity for networking was brilliant; not only with your class but with a lot of the companies you meet as part of your trip.

UL holds additional activities as part of the MBA offering. The MBAAI organises multinationals to come in and talk once a month; I attended one by the Kerry Group. We also visited Analog to see how they do things there. You get to meet people in different organisations and that’s not something you get every day of the week. I think the academic standards in UL are very high, the in-class activity is where you see the benefits of these high standards. The MBA is set at a strategic level, whether it is accounting, finance, supply chain or HR everything is set at that strategic level. It does make you think in a completely different way. When I go back to work I see things in a different light; thinking at a strategic level is something you take away from this course.

The big advantage of the UL MBA is that it doesn’t finish after two years, a support network is available to you after. You can bounce ideas off lecturers, colleagues and friends here; it’s the personal approach that makes it in UL.

While the course is challenging, the rewards are huge; more senior management job specs these days say “MBA highly desirable,” personally I think that will become “MBA essential” in the future and the UL MBA adds that extra prestige.