The Executive MBA Career Skills Development Day put 2nd year DCU Executive MBA’s through their paces again this year.  The number of professionals involved in delivering and facilitating the event outnumbered the number of MBA’s, which ultimately ensured the MBA’s were put through thorough assessments and received detailed personalised feedback. Professional coaches, interviewers, careers advisors, organisational psychologists facilitated a number of events all personalised to the individual MBA participant. So whether MBA’s were looking for objective feedback, careers advice on progressing to the next stage in their organisations or looking for further personal development insights, this day enabled these goals.

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The day culminated with a keynote inspirational speaker, Darragh Richardson, Managing Director at Agile Networks – Ireland’s leading IT Network Integrator, who spoke candidly about his journey, successes and pitfalls.

The event, designed by the DCU MBA Programme Director, Dr Claire Gubbins and Organisational Psychologist Dr Finian Buckley was organised and run by DCU Career Service with Yvonne McLoughlin and her team, Ruth Finnegan; the MBA programme Officer, in collaboration with DCU Business School and DCU Alumni Office through Padraig McKeon.

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Yvonne McLoughlin, Director of the Career Service noted that “The MBA Careers Day provides a focused platform for our MBA professionals to reflect, engage and explore their career trajectories. It is a fast paced event with mock leadership interviews; coaching sessions; CV reviews and assessment centre feedback. We owe our thanks to our employers and coaches for their contribution on the day and for putting the MBAs through their paces“. Padraig McKeon, Director of Alumni relations connected with a number of Alumni whom facilitated the day and noted that “one of the strengths of DCU is the sense of community that is created here. Again this year we had a great response from graduates who were delighted to support today’s MBA’s in assessing their career skills. It is a very rewarding exercise for all involved and one that is now firmly established on the alumni calendar“.

Some of the MBA’s had this to say at the end of the day:

I really had an amazing day, I suppose I wasn’t 100% sure what I would get out of it and yet I have a list of objectives from yesterday to help me move forward. On an activity by activity basis, from the interview I got some good feedback on how I came across. For the assessment centre feedback, the facilitator was great and pushed me to find the positives and negatives in the feedback. The coaching session was absolutely amazing and the highlight of the day for me. He was open and honest with his own experience and pulled my issues out. He provided next steps and asked hard questions that challenged my thinking about both my short and long term goals. I couldn’t give him enough praise for our session. (Customer Care Manager)

It’s probably the day I’ve taken the most from so far in the MBA, and that’s saying something when there is so much to take from it all (Finance Manager).

The sheer scale of activities and calibre of individuals involved was really impressive. I found it to be an extremely informative experience which far exceeded my expectations, and those of the entire class, judging by some of our conversations! My coaching and interview panel provided feedback in a constructive and concise manner.  I really got the sense that they wanted the best outcome for me as a leader and I will, most definitely, apply their recommendations as I progress in my career. Interestingly enough, my feedback from the assessment clinic was bizarrely accurate. The experience of this level of assessment is something that I feel will add significant value, to all MBAs, as we progress through our professional journey’s.  (Administration Manager)

This is why I signed up for the MBA, this is why I’m here, it’s not finance or marketing, it is this, developing me (Finance Manager)

I found it the most beneficial day and a highlight on my EMBA journey. The opportunity to speak to the coaches and interviewers and to get constructive feedback on my strengths and maybe more importantly my weaknesses was very welcome. As individuals we generally don’t like to be criticised but it is necessary if the individual is to grow. I found the feedback very informative. As I sit here today pondering the application for a promotional opportunity, I have my notes from yesterday beside me trying to address the points raised in a constructive manner to best present myself to the board and prepare for interview. (Senior Public Role)

I would like to take the chance to thank both you and your team for a fantastic careers day experience. For me personally it was a thought provoking experience that caused me to challenge and reconsider my approach to: How I structure my CV for a leadership position; My interviewing style and how I can sell myself more; My career plan, where to next!. I would like to specifically highlight the excellent coaching session I had. I found this to be almost therapeutic like! It was great to have the opportunity to bounce ideas and thoughts about my career plan off an experienced yet very independent and unbiased coach. (Senior Engineer)

Post written by MBA Programme Director Dr Claire Gubbins and MBA Administrator Ruth Finnegan. If you’re considering an MBA contact the DCU team on mba@dcu.ie to find out how the DCU MBA will help you achieve your career ambitions.  

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