Indian Ambassador to Ireland Visits NUI Galway

NUI Galway was delighted to welcome Mrs. Vijay Thakir Singh, Ambassador of the Republic of India, Ireland to campus on 7th March 2018. Ambassador Singh met and spoke with a number of NUI Galway’s Indian students studying in the College of Business, Public Policy & Law who presented her with a framed photo of NUI Galway’s iconic quadrangle. She then joined the students for a group photo in front of the J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics. The Ambassador’s visit highlights NUI Galway’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.


L -R Prof John McHale, Dean of the College of Business, Public Policy & Law, Anish Umarjikar, current student MSc in International Management, Mrs. Vijay Thakir Singh, Ambassador for India, Dr Ann Torres, Vice Dean of Internationalisation, Dr Tom Acton, Head of J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics.


Why Business at NUI Galway? – Lisa Hynes, B.Comm Graduate

For all the romanticists out there I would love to say that my desire to study business was borne as a result of a light-bulb childhood experience…Could it have been whilst listening to my Granddad’s stories about his audio-visual shop or maybe as an awestruck twelve year old experiencing the bustle of business or the high rise corporate buildings when travelling the United States? In fact no, the reality is much more boring…my interest in Business really started with the Junior Certificate Business Studies Curriculum.

Business was the first subject that inspired me to think and to critically think about its relevance outside the classroom. For me, learning about chemical reactions never sparked a flame, but studying business ignited a desire to know more. It got me thinking … Why do firms use a particular colour to promote their business?What are their motivations for using specific slogans? Why are some firms more successful than others in their media campaigns? Or why for instance is Christmas time a good time for Starbucks, for example? It was evident that from my innate curiosity that studying business at third level was the right choice for me.

Often I am asked ‘Why NUI Galway?’ Most assume that the obvious reason being that my home is less than a 10-minute drive. However, I didn’t come to NUI Galway due to its convenient location. I studied here because it suited me. When attending my first ever open day in NUI Galway I was nervous, scared and unsure. Walking in through the doors of the Bailey Allen hall was like walking into a different universe. A lady approached me as I walked in and offered to show me each stall.She was a second-year commerce student. We got on so well that we decided to go for a coffee next door. We chatted for 2 hours where she willingly answered all my questions and gave me advice on starting University. She also gave me her email address so I could contact her. It was the friendliness of other students; openness of the campus and the willingness of other to help that blew me away and made me put NUI Galway first on my CAO.

That was the reason that I Choose NUI Galway but next question… Why did I choose commerce?

On that same open day, I attended a talk on ‘Business at NUI’. The lecturer showed passion and enthusiasm for what he spoke about…I wanted to know more! He connected with those who attended and offered invaluable advice. Lecturers and graduates attended this talk too and spoke about their subject areas. I was inspired, curious and wanted to experience what they had just spoken about…and more! I left NUI Galway campus that day knowing this was where I was going to do a Degree in Business.

When studying Commerce at NUI Galway you will undoubtedly develop and achieve many functional skills, from writing essays from a critical thinking perspective to conducting business research to developing strengths in accounting, there is just not one, in particular, this may be the reason I liked it so much. Studying business at third level is completely different to studying at second level. My commerce degree allowed me to explore eight different areas. These subject areas included; Accountancy, Economics and Public Policy, Human Resource Management, Finance, Marketing, Business Information Systems, Law and International Business. After my first year in college, I knew that a career in marketing was the career I wanted to pursue. Although I was academically quite strong too in other business areas, marketing best suited me in terms of my creativity, motivation and scope for business development. At the end of my 3-year degree in NUI Galway, I was confident that I had developed a very knowledgeable understanding of all 8 subject areas.

There is no better way for students to prepare for their career than to gain real and tangible industry experience. The Bachelor of Commerce at NUI Galway focused hugely on industry engagement. During my three years in college, I worked with a number of student groups developing projects with local Irish companies and devising marketing strategies for them. I learned very valuable workplace skills which all of us will eventually need but more often than not will not have had the opportunity to acquire while in University.

In my final year, I was provided with the opportunity to put my business knowledge into practice using one of our modules on Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise (ICE). This module involved partnering with local business leaders who provided us with the opportunity to engage in their business projects; requiring us to innovate in a variety of interesting areas. Although I did not will the final prize (still bitter) I can’t express enough how much my appreciation escalated for those starting their own business

When I look back at my time as a commerce student, I can proudly say it was three very productive years which I thoroughly enjoyed and which left me with an insatiable appetite for more! My love for NUI Galway continues to grow as I am now doing my Masters in Marketing Practice and loving every minute of it! I am working as a Marketing and Student Recruitment Executive in the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics. I would not be where I am today without the invaluable skills, knowledge and experience I gained from studying commerce at NUI Galway.


NUI Galway Masters students tackle real 21st century HR problems

Students from the NUI Galway Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM) and Strategy, Innovation and People Management (SIPM) programmes recently completed applied HR projects with leading local and national companies across a range of industries and sectors including Deloitte, Ingersoll Rand and McDonald’s. Led by Dr Alma McCarthy, the students applied theory and best practice to address contemporary HR challenges facing the organisations.

Each of the participating companies identified a current HR challenge they face and the students completed research on best practice to recommend solutions to the companies. Challenges included effectively managing virtual global teams, talent attraction and employee engagement.

Speaking about the event, Dr Alma McCarthy stated: “One of the key challenges with University education is how to make learning as real and applied as possible. This innovative project required our Masters students to work on real HR challenges and issues for leading companies so they could apply theory to practice. The companies got some really good ideas which they plan to use in implementing their HR strategy”.

One of the MSc HRM students said: ““I loved working on this assignment. It was amazing to actually work on a real HR project, and it was a really unique yet great learning opportunity”.

The MSc in HRM and the MSc in Strategy, Innovation and People Management are both approved by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) for accreditation at the advanced level. Students on these programmes can achieve Associate Membership of CIPD. After graduation, as they build professional experience, they can progress through the professional stages of CIPD membership from Chartered Member to Chartered Fellow.

Further information on the programmes is available at

Staff Profile: Dr Johanna Clancy

Dr. Johanna Clancy has recently taken on the role of Lecturer in Business Enterprise at NUI Galway. She is a graduate of NUI Galway, having completed her B.Comm, MBS and subsequently her PhD in 2009. Johanna, along with her co-authors, won Best Paper Award at the 20th IAM conference, held in QUB this year. The subject of their paper was subsidiary manager influence in the multinational company network. Earlier this year, Johanna’s work, along with same co-authors, was published in the British Journal of Management. The paper is titled: Regional Head Quarter’s Dual Agency Role: Micro-Political Strategies of Alignment and Self Interest.

Johanna also works closely with colleagues at NUI Galway and Trinity College Dublin, researching in the area of knowledge embeddedness of the multinational subsidiary its internal and local external context. Their upcoming published book chapter is titled: Subsidiary Combinative Capability for Knowledge Creation as a Coevolutionary Development Process. Johanna’s new role at NUI Galway will see her teach and research more in the enterprise / entrepreneurship space at undergraduate level, where she will engage more with industry in establishing and delivering courses that are externally influenced.

J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, NUI Galway T + 353 9 495385 E

Human Resource Stream Event

The HR Steam Event was organised by Dr Deirdre Curran (HR Stream Co-ordinator) and her team of three excellent student representatives; Orla O’Connor, Kamila Los and Micheal Fahey.

The objectives for the event were;

  • To provide Stream Students with an opportunity to network with HR Professionals
  • To provide valuable learning on the reality of HR
  • To give students an opportunity to connect with each other outside of class and build an identity as HR Stream students
  • To experience a fun learning event
  • To gain ‘first hand’ information on the MSc HR

Five experienced Human Resource professionals took part in the event which was formatted in two parts.

The first part took place in Friars Canteen on the ground floor of the Business School, where the students participated in speed-networking.

A HR professional sat at one of five round tables. The Stream reps had prepared question cards in advance relating to the workings and importance of HR. Students joined the professional at each table and asked questions randomly from the pile. After ten minutes, a whistle blew and the students rotated to another table and another HR professional for the same process. This created a high-energy communication buzz and meant that the students got to spend time with, and learn from, each professional guest.

For the second part of the event the students and HR professionals moved to a teaching room where a structured conversation was facilitated by Deirdre Curran. The guests sat in a panel in front of class and shared their experience of HR in response to set questions.

Two of our current MSc HR students sat at a 6th table and responded to pre-prepared questions about the masters programme.

Despite being an evening event in Week 10 of the semester, over 40 students attended and engaged fully in the event.

Guest Professionals:

  1. Mary O’ Donovan, HR Manager, Boston Scientific
  2. John Geraghty, Independent HR Consultant
  3. Kerri O’Neill, KCR Recruitment
  4. Joan Hannon, HR Manager, Boston Scientific
  5. Catherine Dollard, Comp & Benefits, Medtronic

Boston Scientific is named a “100 Best Company” for working mothers

MBA Graduate Donna Leahy, Production Unit Coordinator, Structural Heart at Boston Scientific shares her advice on successfully managing a career and home life every day.

How work success helped her succeed at motherhood:
“To succeed at work you need to be highly motivated and focused but also enjoy your work. With motherhood it’s similar. You need to be focused on getting your children ready for each stage of their lives, but also enjoy every moment along the way.”

How she integrates life and work to feel fulfilled in both:
“Through the years, I have brought my sons to numerous Boston Scientific Kiddies Parties and Family Days, which they really love. Plus, I am lucky to be surrounded by really good friends at work, who my family and I spend time with on the weekend.”

How she disconnects:
“When I leave the plant each evening, I spend my time in the car prioritizing my ‘to do’ list for the next day. But, from the minute I put the key in the door, it’s family time. As well as the obligatory dropping and collecting of the kids, I do a lot of walking in the evenings and love going to hurling matches.”

“If you work hard, the company will retain you”

Ailish Kelly studied the BSc (Business Information Systems) & MSc (International Management) at NUI Galway. She has been working in sales for a company selling medical devices since 2012.
“We have to look at the good in what we have right now. With the big tech and social media multinationals, there’s a lot of flexibility and people have the idea that that’s a fantastic way to work, they feel that that should be the way in every organisation. Other workplaces are moving towards that model, but it’s not the reality of every single organisation, nor should it be the expectation.
No matter what company you go into, you have to work really hard and if you work hard enough, the company will want to retain your talent

My experiences have all been positive. The transition from college to work took some adjusting to – I definitely had to adapt, I didn’t expect it to be as it was. You have such a different lifestyle in university, and going into the professional world with complete independence, it’s a completely different ballgame. I don’t think graduates realise when they do leave, the change that is ahead of them.
When I had completed my undergrad, a lot of people that were getting employment had postgrads or Masters, and because it was so competitive, I thought it would benefit me to bring me to the standard of where the majority of people were. I feel like the Masters is the new degree these days.

My company is very friendly to millennials, they really welcome them into the organisation. There’s an older generation there, and I think the younger generation has something to teach them, too.
It’s critical to be recruiting millennials in terms of technology and social media, and they can really add value when they’re given the floor space to share opinions. Having them more a part of the team is crucial to success on both sides.