Does a global pandemic offer the perfect opportunity to reimagine and transform your career? Yes. 

For the last 13 years IMAGE Media has been proud to partner with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School to offer one female candidate a 100% scholarship to join the full-time MBA or part-time Executive MBA in September 2020. To celebrate this exceptional opportunity we asked Mark Davies, Head of MBA Careers with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, why this might just be the perfect time to make a change and transform your career.


Mark Davies, Head of MBA Careers with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. Photo: Supplied

Why a global pandemic offers the perfect opportunity to reimagine and transform your career

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Use this time

You may have more time in your day because you no longer have to commute, which you can use to reflect on what you want from your career and have to offer potential employers. Start by asking yourself what you have genuinely enjoyed in your career to date and why. Make your next job a conscious and strategic choice, as part of a longer term career plan. You don’t need to get into your ‘dream job’ straight away, as long as you are making a move closer to it.

Opportunity to upskill

There is a boom in online training. If you are missing a few specific technical skills that are required for the role you want, then now is a great time to upskill.

Get ready for the upturn

You can get ready for the upturn.  If you are seeking a change of career direction for which you would need to comprehensively retrain over a period of years, then now would be a good time to start, so that you complete your studies in a more favourable job market.


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Apply for the 2020 IMAGE MBA Scholarship here before July 5, 2020


Establish a good network

Industry conferences and networking opportunities have moved online, lowering the cost and barriers to participation.  Networking across borders is also easier, as we become more used to meeting for ‘virtual coffees’.  A good network in the area you wish to work in is critical to job hunting success in many countries. Your contacts can give you insider information you need in order to identify the right job and successfully negotiate the assessment process. You can take advantage of employee referral schemes if you build rapport.

Working from home advantage

The shift to working from home and online meetings means you can now consider new locations and new careers.  If you’ve been ruling out certain opportunities because of the commute or business travel, now would be a good time to revisit them.

Freedom in an uncertain future

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For many, the risk of changing career is lower than it has been for years.  Redundancy may be forcing you to look for new opportunities.  Even if not, then the expected promotion and salary increases which would have kept you in your current career might now be looking far from certain.

Timely entrepreneurs

If you’ve  always dreamed of starting your own business, the pandemic could be a blessing in disguise. Companies like Airbnb and Uber were founded during recessions, which are seen by investors as proving grounds. The pandemic has also changed consumer behaviour, opening up new business opportunities for timely entrepreneurs.

Back the winners

Back the winners, even if you have to take a step down in seniority or pay.  During a seemingly global and cross-sector recession, there will still be businesses or departments who benefit and are growing. If they have roles which suit you, you are better off getting in sooner rather than later in order to grow with them. A junior role in the right company or team can lead to a senior management position within a few years simply because they hire a lot of people under you.

Want to give your career a major boost? 

Then the IMAGE/Smurfit MBA scholarship may just be the ticket. Read on to find out how you can win a scholarship for an MBA at UCD Smurfit School.

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For the last 13 years IMAGE Media has been proud to partner with UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School to offer one female candidate a 100% scholarship to join the full-time MBA or part-time Executive MBA in September 2020.

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School MBA Programme is the only Irish programme to hold the “triple crown” of EQUIS (The EFMD Quality Improvement System), AMBA (the Association of MBAs) and AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) accreditation. The full-time MBA is highly regarded worldwide and has been in the Financial Times rankings of the world’s top 100 for 20 years, the School also sits amongst the top 1% of elite global business schools.  As well as being Ireland’s leading business school, the Executive MBA is ranked 66th in the world by the Financial Times.

How to apply

To apply for the 2020 IMAGE MBA Scholarship click here. The closing date is July 5, 2020.

For information on the Smurfit MBA programmes click here.

More on the Smurfit MBA

The UCD Smurfit School MBA provides exposure to leaders on global issues, delivered by an international faculty. Candidates will be challenged and stimulated by an outstanding academic curriculum, including global case studies, action-learning via global collaboration and international study trips and exchanges. A Smurfit MBA offers a leadership development programme that focuses on building the necessary skills to communicate effectively, understand yourself better and lead diverse teams and organisations anywhere in the world.

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Mark Davies is a Careers Manager at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Blackrock, Dublin. Mark has 15 years of experience in graduate recruitment, employer engagement and careers services in the UK and Ireland. In his current role he advises experienced MBA students looking for career change.

The deadline to apply for the IMAGE MBA Scholarship is July 5, 2020. Apply here

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