CEMS School of the Year: UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

CEMS School of the Year: UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School rosinski Fri, 12/17/2021 - 11:48 University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School has been named as the 2020-2021 CEMS School of the Year for the first time. The selection of this prestigious award is based on overall student satisfaction across all aspects of the CEMS programme and by a vote by the academic directors of the CEMS schools and is a great honour for the programme. News

With leading Business Schools from across the world, UCD has been keen to engage, learn from, and collaborate with the many excellent schools that make up the CEMS Global Alliance. With multiple initiatives within CEMS from cross-school business projects to UNFCCC to the Global Elective Platform, CEMS schools have led the way in showing the power of working and collaborating together.  In the last year alone UCD has been able to take part in the first iteration of the Global Elective platform, running workshops with other CEMS schools, and working on other initiatives such as the CEMS Webinar Series. Furthermore, many of the UCD staff CEMS have contributed to help shape the present and future direction of CEMS with Prof. Damien McLoughlin acting as the Treasurer of CEMS, Associate Professor Andrew Keating  heading the Curriculum Innovation Subcommittee, and Jola Meagher leading the CEMS language steering committee, and Evelyn Wickham being heavily involved in the Programme Managers Committee. 

"From UCD's perspective, a core strength of being part of the CEMS alliance, and one that we harness, is the collaborative nature of the programmes where Schools act together and learn from each other, all to provide unique modules and experiences of the highest standard. This collaboration proves that we are stronger acting together than alone," said Professor Andrew Keating, Academic Director of UCD Smurfit School’s CEMS Programme.

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Specific to UCD and its programme a great emphasis has been placed on providing the best possible experience and outcomes for those who come to study here.  With the support of the Dean, Professor Tony Brabazon and the Director of the Smurfit School, Prof Gerardine Doyle, UCD has invested into all aspects of the programme. With a dedicated Programme Manager, Corporate Relations Manager, and Language Manager for CEMS and access to a range of services from Language Classes to writing workshops, and a wide range of support UCD provides the best possible environment for their students, both home and visiting, to both thrive and flourish.  Furthermore, UCD has focused on trying to offer as wide a choice of electives,from exclusive to open, that cover a range of topics that match the wide interests of CEMS students. Innovation is also a major area of focus within the curriculum, covering topics such as sustainable supply chains, future trends in procurement, consumers in the digital era, the future of work covering everything from the gig economy to voicebots to the impact of Covid-19 and hybrid working.

"Dublin is perfectly located for those interested in cutting edge, leading technology as the majority of the world’s major technology companies base their European Headquarters here. As a core element of the programme, UCD Smurfit School has cultivated strong relationships with these firms to help to develop, work with and employ many of our graduates,” continued Associate Professor Keating.

Over the last 7 years, UCD has become one of the best schools in corporate relations and engagement and a key strength has been UCD’s ability to leverage their access to multiple European Headquarters in technology as well in other areas from consulting to finance. This is to build one of the core CEMS value of business embeddedness. As well as multiple practitioners being involved in the delivery of varying aspects of the curriculum, UCD also runs multiple events throughout the year ranging from company visits and (during Covid) virtual company visits, multiple skill seminars with both professional trainers and CPs like Google and  Meta (Facebook), and mock interviews with the likes of Salesforce, Google and Vodafone to name but a few. Furthermore, UCD has developed a core competence in running and delivering some of the best regarded and student rated business projects within the CEMS Alliance.

“UCD Smurfit School has worked hard to build an outstanding reputation and is now recognised as a leader in corporate relations and engagement. The College has a great ability to leverage their access to multiple European Headquarters in Dublin ranging from technology, consulting, finance, medtech and more, to build on a core CEMS value of business embeddedness.” Professor Gerardine Doyle, Director of the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.


With a recent focus on sustainability, diversity and inclusiveness, UCD also offers a number of course options for students studying the CEMS MIM through courses like Work and Employment in a Global Economy, Leading Corporate Reputation in a digital era, Sustainable Supply Chains and Social and Cultural perspectives on Managing Technology and Change to name but a few. UCD is also introducing a new course on Renewable Energy Finance into its curriculum for semester 2 2022.  In addition, 4 of the 10 business projects run in 2021 involved some aspect of sustainability and responsible citizenship. The school also has invited high level speakers like David Donoghue the former Irish UN Ambassador who was instrumental in the formulation and agreement upon the UN SDGs, senior personnel from Médecins Sans Frontières,the chairperson of the Irish Health Service (HSE), and the head of the largest and most respected Irish NGO Concern. 

Finally, UCD is actively engaged with the CEMS Alumni community with many recent alumni now working and living in Dublin.  Such engagement has included  the CEMS CAA President Francesca Barberio & CAA VP Silvia Cocciolillo participating in welcoming new students, CEMS Club Dublin organised a series of ‘Let’s Talk CEMS’ with alumni as well as alumni networking, talks, rotational events and mentoring. In addition to events, alumni have participated in various curriculum elements as well, including Global Citizenship Seminar, Business Projects, Professional Career Development workshops and skill seminars as well as guest speakers.

“We worked hard to ensure that students who could not meet in person could still build a vibrant community and develop their CEMS class spirit and network. We continued to hold weekly meetings with the CEMS Club so as to be able to support them in their initiatives. The CEMS Club, with our support, hosted online networking events, case study competitions, social evenings, quizzes, sustainability initiatives and also produced a Yearbook, class hoodies and other merchandise. The CEMS Club were also particularly active when it came to engaging with Alumni from the Ireland CAA and around the world." Evelyn Wickham, UCD CEMS Progarmme Manager

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“On behalf of the CEMS community, congratulations to the whole CEMS team at UCD! You are doing an amazing job and CEMS is very proud to count UCD as one of its very committed and successful members!” Nicole de Fontaines, CEMS Executive Director


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