Want to win a Smurfit MBA scholarship? Here's how

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is once again partnering with IMAGE to offer one candidate a 100 per cent scholarship to join the full-time MBA or part-time Executive MBA in August 2019. For details on how to enter, read below and then visit smurfitschool.ie/image. Applications are open now and the deadline is April 12, so don’t wait!



Danielle Courtney, winner of the IMAGE MBA Scholarship 2018



What I was doing before the MBA programme
I graduated from Trinity College medical school in 2012, and since then have been working full time as a doctor in the Irish healthcare system. Over the last number of years, I completed a doctorate in gut health and nutrition and have published academic research papers in peer-reviewed medical journals on a broad range of topics from cardiovascular health to gut bacteria and methadone use. I have rotated through the Irish hospital system in diverse roles, from general surgery and psychiatry to general internal medicine and anaesthesia. Most recently, I worked as a registrar in anaesthesia, having completed my membership exams for the College of Anaesthesiologists of Ireland. I also have ongoing research commitments in the field of exercise physiology.

Why I applied for the IMAGE Scholarship
Since graduating from university, I have been continually looking for fulfilment in my career in such a way that I can improve the lives of others by facilitating them in being their most healthy and empowered selves. Having gained a wealth of experience from multiple medical specialities, the next step for me was to combine my medical knowledge with a new skill set that would give me the edge I need to promote my ideas. I wanted to gain a more universal view of the impact of health beyond the individual. The Smurfit MBA programme was on my radar and, with a natural break in my career, I decided to go for it. The IMAGE Scholarship has enabled me to be financially secure in achieving my goals. It is exciting, I feel honoured and thankful that I was the successful scholarship candidate this year. When word got out that I had been successful in my application, I received an endless stream of congratulations from those in the know, my friends and family. This was an immense boost to the journey I had embarked on.

It’s a juggle, but worth it
Alumni weren’t exaggerating when they advised us that our management skills would improve exponentially during the first term. Since the introductory week in August, my juggling skills have been challenged to the extreme. I am hopeful they will eventually be finely polished and ready for action. With classes dominating Monday and Thursday evenings, both work and research commitments are confined to other weekdays and weekends. I have yet to master multitasking, but I’m getting there. You can also count on seeing me jogging, gymming or swimming to switch off and zone out when I need to.

The greatest challenges so far
Learning to balance work, study and life was very challenging at first. Luckily, my supportive friends have understood this and kept me in check by giving me both space and love when I needed them most. One of the most obvious parts of the curriculum I hadn’t given a huge amount of thought to before starting was the language of business itself. Coming to terms with how to articulate myself in terms of the world of business, marketing and finance has been tricky and a skill I hope to continue to improve on.

The networking opportunities are incredible
The introductory week in August was an inspiring start to my time in Smurfit; not least because we were given a taster of the path to come but also for meeting and connecting with my new classmates who were open and welcoming, normalising the whole process. There have been a great many networking events organised for us too. A few stand out, like the MBA welcome dinner in September, which gave me a chance to sit down with classmates and professors and gave me the sense that I was now part of a very large and well-connected family. I was also invited to the IMAGE Businesswoman of the Year Awards 2018, where I witnessed incredible Irish businesswomen being rewarded for having reached for the stars.

My advice to anyone considering applying for the Smurfit MBA programme…
If you have an inkling that an MBA in Smurfit might be the ticket to expanding your horizons, building on your skillset and submerging yourself in the unknown world of business, take the plunge. While you initially have to be certain this is indeed the right path for you, clarity in the decision-making process doesn’t often come straightaway. Talk to people who have done it or are in the process of doing it – these will be invaluable in giving you an open, honest synopsis of what is expected of you. Also, while not a problem for some, timing was especially important for me. I was coming to a natural break in my career and, if this is the case for you, then your time is now.



UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School


Thinking of applying? Here’s what you need to know...

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is delighted to partner with IMAGE Magazine in offering one candidate a 100% scholarship to join the full-time MBA or part-time Executive MBA in August 2019.

The value: One award of up to 100% MBA tuition fees.


Eligibility: Open to all successful MBA and Executive MBA female applicants, achieving the relevant minimum GMAT score or above (MBA full-time: min GMAT 600; EMBA: min GMAT 520 or Executive Assessment/EA 149 and above).

Please note the GMAT/EA deadline is April 12, 2019.

How to apply
There is no separate application process for this scholarship. All successful applicants for the full-time MBA or the Executive MBA who meet the eligibility criteria and have met the deadlines noted below will be considered for shortlisting for the assessment centre.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Early application is recommended.

For more details on how to apply, visit smurfitschool.ie/image.

Scholarship deadlines:

MBA Application Deadline: Monday, April 12, 2019


GMAT/EA Deadline: Monday, April 12, 2019

Assessment Centre Date: Monday, April 29, 2019

* Please select UCD Smurfit as a recipient school for your GMAT Official Score Report on the day of the exam (University College Dublin - Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School). Score reports can take up to 20 days to become available to the School, so please email a copy of your provisional results to [email protected] (which you will receive on the day of the exam), before or on the GMAT deadline noted above. For further information, please refer to the GMAC website.

Terms and conditions
1. The IMAGE Scholarship competition is open to residents of Ireland except employees of UCD and IMAGE Magazine, and their associated affiliated or subsidiary companies, and their immediate families, agents, or anyone connected with this competition.

2. The competition is open to those who have already submitted an application directly to UCD Smurfit School for 2019 entry to the MBA programme.

3. The IMAGE MBA Scholarship will be awarded to the candidate deemed to be of the highest calibre by the UCD Smurfit School assessment panel. UCD Smurfit School reserves the right not to award the Scholarship prize if no candidate of the required calibre is identified. The decision is final and any further correspondence will not be entered into.

4. Candidates should have a university degree or equivalent professional qualification, a minimum of three years’ professional experience, the required minimum score or above on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or GMAC EA test (EMBA Only), and two references, normally from current and/or former employers and/or colleagues.


5. The winning candidate has a choice of participating on the one year full-time MBA or the Executive MBA (midweek or weekend option).

6. The scholarship consists of either one year full-time MBA or two years’ part-time MBA tuition fees, worth up to €34,500.

7. The competition is not open to recipients of any other MBA scholarships being awarded by UCD Smurfit School, but is to open to those who have applied for 2019 entry to the programme.

8. Deadline for submission of MBA programme applications: Monday, April 12, 2019.

9. The scholarship winner must have taken and secured the relevant minimum GMAT/EA test entry score by Monday, April 12, 2019.

10. Shortlisted candidates will attend the assessment centre on Monday, April 29, 2019.

11. The winning candidate will be informed following the Assessment Centre.


12. Candidates must be available to commence the MBA programme end of August 2019.

13. Scholarships cannot be deferred to a future academic year.

14. No cash alternative.

15. No substitutions allowed.

16. Winner must agree to participate in publicity, if applicable.

17. By entering you are deemed to have accepted the rules and terms and conditions of the competition.



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