Michael Bulman is the Client Unit Leader for IBM Global Technology Services in Ireland. He is also currently a DCU Executive MBA student and has just completed year one of this two-year programme. In this piece, Michael provides an insight into life as a DCU MBA student and highlights some of the key takeaways from his first year on the programme.


I have just completed the first year of the Executive MBA program and I’m now revelling in free Thursday evenings and a care free existence for a couple of months before diving back into Year 2. As such, it’s a good time to be asked to reflect on the year that’s just behind me (and believe me, a blog a few weeks ago with multiple end of year assignments on the go might have been a whole different read….)

The first year of the Executive MBA contains a real mix of subjects (as is probably to be expected on an MBA course). From Accounting for Decision Making to Organisational Behaviour and Change, from Business Strategy to Marketing and from Personal Development to Human Resources, we covered a really broad set of disciplines. What I would say is that the style of each class is probably a combination of the subject matter and the style of the lecturers, and they are as individual and different as the subjects themselves. That’s a really good thing, as each subject stands on its own and is different. We are really encouraged and helped to bring the learnings from one area into another.

One of the things that has stuck with me the most this year is just how relevant the work I do on a Thursday night is to my day to day work back in the office. I have found myself looking at challenges and opportunities in a new way and bringing different perspectives to my current role than I could have a year ago. That’s a real, tangible benefit from a lot of hard work and is the kind of thing that makes the effort worth it. Without a doubt, there is a lot of work and I’d encourage anyone looking at the Exec MBA not to underestimate the commitment you’re making. But I’d also say you will learn more than you expect and while it’s evidence based, academically sound learning, it’s also real world, practical stuff that you’ll use right away. A lot of that comes from the course and the faculty, but a whole lot more comes from the rest of the class. The thirty or so like-minded people in your class are an absolute wealth of knowledge and experience and that bounces around the room on a Thursday afternoon. I found that my classmates and in particular my project team have been a huge help and support during the year both in giving different views and experiences and in keeping me on track and being a sounding board when it gets too much at times. No matter how tough I was finding it, talking to my classmates made it easier as it was clear we were all in the same boat and all finding our way through it. A particular highlight was the Kinsale residency trip – we learnt a lot from the company visits and a lot about and from each other from socialising together in the pub.

On the whole, I’ve really enjoyed the last 12 months and am really looking forward to next year. I’d wholeheartedly recommend the course to anyone thinking about taking the plunge into an MBA!

Michael Bulman

Ireland Client Unit Leader

IBM Global Technology Services


About the DCU Executive MBA

The DCU Executive MBA is a two-year part-time programme, delivered one day per week, for executives with ambitions of becoming Senior Managers/CEOs. At DCU Business School we believe that the Executive MBA should be a transformative experience at a personal level.

The DCU Executive MBA is built on four foundational pillars;
  1. Shape individuals to become effective business leaders
  2. Help transform organisations to cope with complex change
  3. Support an integrated approach to business across the enterprise
  4. Influence the sustainable and ethical approach to business within society

For more information visit The DCU Executive MBA. or download the course brochure below.

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