Local firms sign up for NUI Galway business programme


12 Apr 2010126 Views

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A new third-level module at NUI Galway, which has the support of 22 Galway businesses, is aiming to give Bachelor of Commerce students a first-hand experience of the business world in their final year at university.

The NUI Galway JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics has partnered with local businesses to introduce a new module, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise, for their final-year Bachelor of Commerce students. 

The course was developed by Michael Campion, module leader at NUI Galway, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, chairman of Aer Arann and adjunct professor with NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Páraic Breathnach, managing director with the Galway Arts Centre and involves students participating in innovative practice in all aspects of business and community enterprise. 

The overall objective of the course is to encourage self-confidence in students in their ability to be creative and innovative in whatever future business and/or community settings that they are working in.

Student mentors

With the support of 22 local business and community leaders who mentored the students, the module provides opportunities for more than 330 students to engage in group-based projects requiring them to innovate with the community in a variety of interest areas.

The Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise module is part of a wider initiative within the JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, supported by funding from the NUI Galway Students Projects Fund, to focus on student personal development planning and employability skill development.

As part of the module, groups of students from the Bachelor of Commerce final-year class were required to present their innovation projects to various mentors through a number of stages of judging, resulting in the selection of four finalist groups.  

On Friday 26 March, these groups presented to the final judging panel consisting of Rory Coll, Coll & Co. Financial Consultants, Neil Johnson, Croí and Caroline O’Dea, Crospon.

The overall winners were Patrick Farrell from Claregalway, Co Galway, Patrice Lacken from Ballina, Co Mayo and Zhongyi Ren from China for their group presentation entitled ‘Interactive Computerised Training Programme for a Service Sector Industry’. The winning group was mentored by Fiona Monaghan from Fáilte Ireland West.

Ideas needed to make businesses

“This course is a great initiative. Businesses are made up of ideas and a good business is built around these. I find the ideas from our group very exciting and they are all the time playing around with these ideas. The way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas and some might be small steps just to get to where they want to go,” said John Concannon, managing director, JFC Manufacturing.

Fiona Monaghan, general manager, Fáilte Ireland West, said: “It is a big breakthrough in providing an opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience of putting theory into practice with the support and resources of the mentoring panel from the business community and at the same time having the backing of the teaching staff in the business school. The interesting phase is now to progress the ideas to see how realistic it is to bring them to market in a cost-effective manner that will provide a return on investment.”

Business leaders who mentored on the Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise project include: 

 Pat McDonagh, Supermacs

John O’Dea and Caroline O’Dea, Crospon

John Concannon, JFC Manufacturing

Pat Burke, OpenJaw Technologies

John Flaherty, C&F Group

Liam Bluett, Ballybane Enterprise Centre

Neil Johnson, Croí

Terry Fahy, Yeats College

Jack Harty, Bank of Ireland

Prionsias Kitt and Mark Gibbs, DHKN

Rory Coll, Coll & Co. Financial Consultants

Fiona Monaghan and John Concannon, Fáilte Ireland

Maeve Joyce, Udaras na Gaeltachta

Bernadette Mullarkey, Bane Mullarkey

Joe Barrett, Barrett Human Resource and Coaching Services

David Morris, Medtronic Vascular

Sean Silke, Sean Silke and Associates

Paula Clarke, Motivational Consultant

Michael Corless, Galway Airport

Photo: (From left): Rory Coll, Coll & Co, Chartered Accountants; winners Zhongyi Ellen Ren from China; Patrick Farrell from Claregalway, Co Galway; Patrice Lacken from Ballina, Co Mayo; Neil Johnson, Croí; and Caroline O’Dea, Crospon Ltd

Article courtesy of Businessandleadership.com