At the 40th Anniversary of NUI Galway’s first MBA/MIE programme were: Dr Alma McCarthy, MBA Programme Director NUI Galway; graduate from the first cohort of students in 1974, Ken O'Hara; Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway; and other graduates from the first cohort Michael Ryan and Tom Ford. REPRO FREE
Sep 23 2014 Posted: 11:35 IST

Over 30 alumni who graduated from the very first Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and the Masters of Industrial Engineering (MIE) at NUI Galway recently celebrated a 40 year reunion in Galway. The occasion enabled the former classmates to reconnect and reflect on their journeys since completing the MBA in what was then UCG.

“It is testament to the vision and foresight of the team at NUI Galway in the early 1970s to lead the way in management development by introducing the first MBA outside of Dublin. Over 40 years later, there are over 530 MBA alumni, with many achieving significant career success nationally and internationally. The programme recently attained AMBA accreditation which is the global mark of excellence for MBA education and places NUI Galway’s programme in the top tier of MBA programmes worldwide,” said Dr Alma McCarthy, Executive MBA Director.

Helen Ryan, former CEO of Creganna Tactx, was the keynote speaker at the event and Helen recounted the success story behind the global medical device company based in Parkmore in Galway. A clear strategy and vision, sound financial management, recruiting and investing in the right people, and being brave and ambitious in business planning are the key success factors identified by Helen learned from her time with Creganna, which saw it grow from having less than 100 staff when she joined to being a global business today with over 1200 employees.

The alumni group was also addressed by the inaugural NUI Galway MBA Director, Professor Jim Doolan, a Harvard MBA graduate himself, who reflected on the need for management education in the western region of Ireland in the 1970s and how NUI Galway was one of the first in Europe to offer the MBA programme at that time. The 1974-1976 MBA drew students from across the country and had a significant impact on management education in the region at the time and one which continues today.

Commenting on the changing landscape of management education and the MBA in particular, Dr Emer Mulligan, Head of the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway, said: “MBA programmes have proliferated across the world since NUI Galway introduced the MBA in 1972. Obviously much has changed in terms of the curriculum since then and yet some key management principles are still as relevant today as they were 40 years ago. One of the biggest differences now is the diversity of typical MBA class groups where there is greater gender, age and international diversity and a much greater focus on globalisation in the curriculum compared to 40 years ago.”

ENDS

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