In conversation with Prof Denis Harrington, Head, Graduate Business, South East Technological University on Ireland’s Distinctive Graduate Business Programs and Opportunities
What sets your graduate business programs apart from others, and how do they leverage regional strengths and industry partnerships to offer valuable experiences to students?
At the School of Business, we take pride in offering a unique and enriching educational experience that stands out in several ways:
CEO in Residence Program: Since 2006, we have pioneered the CEO in Residence program, the first of its kind in an Irish academic institution. This initiative aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry by integrating leading businesspeople and entrepreneurs into our learning environment. Through this program, our students gain invaluable insights and mentorship from seasoned professionals, allowing them to apply real-world knowledge to their studies.
International Perspective: Our teaching and learning strategy emphasizes a strong international dimension. We provide opportunities for embedded study periods in Europe, allowing our students to broaden their horizons and gain a global perspective on business practices and culture. This international exposure is vital in today’s interconnected business world.
Personalized Interaction: One of the core features of the Business School learning experience is the personal nature of the interaction between our dedicated staff and students. We believe in fostering a close-knit learning community where students receive individual attention and support. This approach helps students thrive academically and personally.
Research-Informed Curriculum: We are committed to delivering a curriculum that is research-informed, practice-oriented, and tailored to the needs of industry and the professions. Our programs are designed to equip students with the latest industry insights and practical skills, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the demands of their chosen fields.
Emphasis on Research and Professional Skills: In addition to academic coursework, all of our programs include modules dedicated to research and professional skills development. We encourage students to engage in project work with a strong research orientation, empowering them to explore and contribute to the latest developments in their respective areas of study.
In summary, what sets our graduate business programs apart is a combination of innovative initiatives like the CEO in Residence program, a global perspective, personalized support, research-driven curriculum, and a strong focus on professional skills development. We are dedicated to providing our students with a well-rounded education that prepares them to excel in their careers and make a meaningful impact in the business world.
What research opportunities and funding options are offered to international students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Ireland, and how can a student explore potential fellowship programs in his/her field of study?
South East Technological University (SETU) has recently introduced a range of exciting scholarship opportunities to promote research and postgraduate education. The SETU PhD Scholarship Programme 2023 is a standout initiative aimed at fostering high-quality, innovative research leading to a PhD. While many scholarships have already been awarded to enthusiastic students, there are still openings for those interested in the January 2024 intake. Additionally, SETU offers academic scholarships, reducing tuition fees by €2,000 for full-time taught postgraduate programs, enhancing accessibility to advanced education.
SETU’s School of Business distinguishes itself by offering a unique Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) program, tailored for experienced professionals seeking to contribute to the field through rigorous research. The business school also accommodates self-funded candidates, facilitating discussions with the supervisory team and the Research Programme Leader to ensure alignment with program suitability.
Our Business School faculty actively contributes to international business journals, serving on editorial boards for esteemed publications such as the European Journal of Marketing, Service Industries Journal, and the International Journal of Organisational Analysis. Their work reflects a commitment to advancing knowledge within their respective disciplines.
SETU’s overarching mission is to align research excellence with regional, national, and international priorities. This commitment extends to fostering partnerships and engaging stakeholders, particularly industry, to address evolving societal and industrial needs. SETU’s dedication to regional growth underscores its ambition to become a globally recognized university offering tailored expertise.
Moreover, SETU places a strong emphasis on global engagement, providing opportunities for students and staff to participate in international academic and research experiences, enriching the learning environment and positioning SETU as an attractive destination for international talent. In essence, SETU is dedicated to driving knowledge creation, regional development, and global collaboration in higher education.
How does the university foster entrepreneurship and encourage students to explore entrepreneurial ventures as part of their academic journey, and can you share any success stories in this regard?
The university is strongly committed to promoting entrepreneurship among students as an integral part of their academic journey. The Business School is a recognized leader in entrepreneurial education and research, focused on fostering knowledge transfer and driving economic development in the south-eastern region of Ireland. This commitment is exemplified through government-funded programs such as GrowthHub and Funds Academy, which provide essential resources and support to students pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors.
Our approach to entrepreneurship involves teaching, research, and practical application, all aligned with international standards. Faculty professional development is a priority, leading to an increase in staff with doctoral qualifications and enhanced research performance. This ensures that students receive the most current and relevant guidance in entrepreneurship.
We facilitate student engagement with industry and practical entrepreneurship through partnerships with professional bodies, companies, regional business networks, and associations. These connections offer valuable real-world experiences, crucial for nurturing entrepreneurial skills and mindsets.
Complementing these initiatives, the Business School hosts a variety of entrepreneurial seminars, masterclasses, and online events. These activities promote innovation in teaching and learning and expose students and staff to a diverse range of industry speakers, inspiring and motivating them with success stories from various fields.
These efforts have resulted in remarkable success stories within our university community, with numerous students and alumni launching their entrepreneurial ventures, contributing significantly to the region’s economic growth. Their achievements exemplify the university’s dedication to cultivating entrepreneurial talent and providing an environment where students can explore and realize their entrepreneurial aspirations.
Can you share some inspiring success stories of alumni from your graduate business programs who have gone on to make a significant impact in their industries, and how does your university contribute to their achievements?
Dr. David Dempsey: Dr. Dempsey is a shining example of the success our programs can foster. He is currently the Senior Vice President and Country Leader at Salesforce Ireland, and an original co-founder of Salesforce EMEA in Ireland. David’s journey started with our MBA and DBA Doctorate in Business Administration program.
Heather Reynolds: Heather, a graduate of our MBA program, has made her mark as the Chief People Officer at Scurri, a technology startup company. Our MBA program equipped her with the business acumen and leadership qualities needed to excel in the fast-paced world of startups.
Sidhant Seth: A graduate of our MBS Finance and Business Analytics program, Sidhant joined Virtual Vet, a technology startup. In his role as a Data Analyst, he played a pivotal role in data cleaning and using tools like Power BI for analysis.
Narjis Hasan: Another success story from our MBS Finance and Business Analytics program, Narjis Hasan, joined Virtual Vet as a Systems Administrator. Her responsibilities included supporting the development and deployment of VirtualVet services, maintaining IT tools, and working with technologies like IBM Watson
Our university contributes to these success stories by offering rigorous and relevant graduate business programs that equip students with the knowledge, skills, and network needed to excel in their careers. Through our faculty’s expertise, industry connections, and practical curriculum, we empower our students to become industry leaders and innovators, just like these accomplished alumni. Their achievements reflect the transformative impact of our graduate business programs on their professional journeys.
Could you provide information on the availability of post-study work visas for international students who wish to remain in Ireland after completing their studies?
Ireland offers post-study work visa options for international students who wish to remain in the country after completing their studies. International students who have completed a degree at a recognized Irish higher education institution (university or college) can apply for a post-study work visa. This allows them to stay in Ireland for a specified period to seek employment and gain valuable work experience related to their field of study. The duration of the post-study work visa depends on the level of qualification obtained:
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent: 24 months
Master’s degree or higher: 24 months
PhD: 12 months
During the post-study work period, students can work in any role and are not restricted to jobs related to their field of study. This flexibility allows them to gain work experience and explore career opportunities.
It’s essential to note that immigration policies and visa regulations may change over time, so international students should regularly check the official website of the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) or consult their institution’s international student support services for the most up-to-date information and guidance on post-study work options and visa applications.