McKinsey & Company’s European Strategy Manager Muireann McCarthy on the UCD Smurfit School MBA.
Note: This piece was originally published in Business & Finance magazine, vol. 59, no. 1, available to read, with compliments, here.
“The MBA helped me to first figure out what I wanted to do in my career, and second how to make it happen,” said Muireann McCarthy, McKinsey & Company’s European Strategy Manager and UCD Smurfit School alumna.
Starting her career as a consultant engineer, Muireann designed mechanical systems for major healthcare infrastructure in Australia. After four years, she returned to Ireland to work in the pharmaceutical sector.
As she progressed in her chosen field, the work became more specialised and she was curious about other opportunities that might exist, including pursuing an MBA degree.
“I found it helpful to speak to people who have different perspectives,” explained Muireann. “For example, someone who is currently doing an MBA or has just graduated might be able to give more details on the course content and what to expect day to day, whereas someone who graduated several years ago may be able to provide a more long-term view.”
After considering a few different options, Muireann began the UCD Smurfit School full-time MBA. While the decision to give up a good job to return to full-time study was a risk, Muireann believed it would open up exciting options for her career.
Advantages of the UCD Smurfit School MBA
MBA candidates benefit from an outstanding and challenging academic curriculum, delivered by an international faculty within an intimate classroom setting. The experience includes immersive case studies, action learning, international study trips, integrated projects and global virtual teamwork.
“Alongside the academic element of the course, there are modules on personal and career development which provide dedicated time and space for self-reflection as well as networking,” continued Muireann.
“Understanding, more deeply, my personal motivations and strengths, coupled with speaking to alumni working across various industries helped me to focus in on what excited me and gave me energy.”
As Ireland’s leading business school, UCD Smurfit School offers a globally ranked MBA which provides an unequalled opportunity for students to unlock and develop leadership potential, build global networks and accelerate their career.
In fact, within three months of graduating, the full time MBA class of 2020 saw an average increase in salary of 77% and 100% were employed within five months of graduation. UCD Smurfit School’s Executive MBA class of 2019, saw 80% of graduates promoted within 12 months of graduating.
After completing her degree, Muireann joined McKinsey & Company and is now the organisation’s European Manager for Strategy and Competitive Stance, a role that sees her leading and advising the firm’s strategic decision making processes to ensure sustainable, inclusive growth.
“It’s incredibly interesting work with an inspiring group of people.”
Pursuing your MBA
While the best time to do an MBA often comes down to an individual’s personal situation, Muireann believes now is an interesting time to apply to the programme.
“Given the extraordinary external forces we are all currently facing–the global pandemic recovery, the accelerated tech revolution, the impact of climate change and unique global geopolitical challenges–now is certainly a good time to evaluate how to best equip yourself to successfully navigate these challenges.”
Business & Finance Awards UCD Smurfit School MBA Scholarship
Business & Finance and UCD Smurfit School are delighted to continue their partnership to provide a unique opportunity for an individual to advance their professional goals through an MBA qualification from Ireland’s leading business school, while gaining access to some of Ireland’s most successful business leaders through the Business & Finance network. Read more about the scholarship here.