"May the luck of the Irish be with ya!" With that jovial wish from one of my classmates in his best imitation Irish accent, I wrapped up my weekend of classes in New Haven and headed to the airport for a flight to Dublin, Ireland for Global Network Week. I was joined in Ireland by three full-time and seven EMBA students from Yale to study Executive Decision Making at the Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business at University College of Dublin (UCD). At UCD, we were joined by an enthusiastic and diverse group of MBA students from partner schools across the globe as far away as China, Spain, Turkey, and Mexico.
During the week, we received lectures from experts on a wide array of topics exploring both the art and science of decision making, behavioral issues that affect decision making, decision making in the context of a dynamic supply chain, and critical decisions in marketing. These lectures were complemented by a visit to Accenture to learn about the use of data analytics and a lecture from Boxever, a start-up company that is using big data to improve airline travel. We later applied the principles of decision making in a week-long simulation, as groups of students formed bicycle manufacturing firms and competed against each other for market share. I was pleasantly surprised to find how much knowledge I had acquired in only three months of my MBA curriculum at Yale and my ability to apply those principles to complex managerial challenges. Together, my team members and I drew upon our individual and collective expertise to successfully position our company in a dynamic and competitive environment.
Of course, no trip to Ireland would be complete without requisite visits to Ireland's famous pubs, the Guinness storehouse, and Ireland's breathtaking coastline. These extracurricular activities provided an extraordinary opportunity for camaraderie and team-building. Additionally, the experience of connecting with our counterparts from different parts of the globe and learning about their respective MBA curriculua and work experiences in context of their unique cultures was an invaluable part of this trip.
As our classes came to a close, one of our well-humored professors asked a group of students that arrived a few minutes late to class to sing their country's national anthem while standing at the front of the classroom. The students initially appeared nervous while singing, but their voices grew more assertive as our supportive classmates cheered them on. In a show of support and a display of national pride, several groups of students proceeded to the front of the classroom to sing their own respective national anthems, with each rendition growing louder and more fervent. As I stood in front of the class to sing the American national anthem with my colleagues, I looked around the room and was humbled by the burgeoning world-class talent and leadership surrounding me on every side. Experiences such as Global Network Week continually affirm my decision to pursue my MBA at Yale, and I eagerly look forward to continued opportunities to develop my business acumen and skillset.