Congratulations to Cian O’Dowd, a Griffith Business and Law graduate who has been awarded a scholarship to study for an International MBA at Renmin University in Beijing, China!
Cian took some time out of his busy work schedule to tell us about the highlights of his student life at Griffith College.
Course: BA in Business & Law
Year: Graduating in 2014
Home Town / Country: Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
My Current Situation
My name is Cian O’Dowd. I’m 23 and I’ve just finished my BA in Business & Law degree. I currently work as an Online Sales Manager for mobile network Three Ireland.
While my degree focused on law, my true passion is business. Thanks to my achievements at Griffith, I have been offered a scholarship to study on the international MBA programme at Renmin University in Beijing from this September.
Why I Chose Griffith
I chose Griffith because at the time I was studying for a degree (and at a university) that I wasn’t happy with. I had always wanted to study Law and so I contacted Griffith College. The faculty staff welcomed me and the Law School exuded enthusiasm and professionalism. They invited me to sit in on lectures and within days I was sitting down with the Head of Law and the Director of Law to discuss my future and what I wanted to do. Since then I’ve never looked back!
What I Like Most About Griffith
What I like about Griffith is that you are more than a student number or a registration fee. Each of the faculties are extremely approachable; you can always knock on someone’s door if you have a question. Lecturers learn your name, your strengths and where you need more help, they notice when you miss a class, when you do well in an exam and are always pushing you to do better.
Recommendations for the BA in Business & Law, Griffith College and Dublin
Absolutely! My course gives students a fantastic grounding in two very diverse disciplines and it’s a degree that’s in high demand by employers. It’s a very focused degree - this year we had a lecturer/student ratio in our business subjects of just 4:1. This gave us a massive advantage over students in other colleges who have class sizes of 50+!
Recommendations for Griffith’s Law School
The Law School at Griffith is truly a special place. Its faculty staff are nothing short of astounding, with degrees from the likes of Harvard, Trinity and Cambridge while at the same time many are practising solicitors and barristers who have real-life experience of what it’s like being a lawyer today.
The core strength of Griffith Law School is that it’s people-focused; there are small class sizes so students get the individual support they need to excel, and the support staff – especially Jill and Karen in the Law Office - are miracle workers! The Law School also has some unique extras that aren’t available at other law schools, such as Book Clubs, Study Skills, CV Workshops, the Free Legal Advice Clinic, and of course the opportunity to work for the famous Irish Innocence Project that’s based in Griffith College.
Preparing for the BA in Business & Law
For Law Students especially, it’s all about attendance. If you attend the classes you’ll be well prepared for exams and you have access to one of the most talented Law Faculties in Europe so take full advantage of it! So keep the parties to the weekends, work hard during those weekdays, and come May exams you’ll really surprise yourself.
Secondly, I’d say get involved. Griffith Law School has brilliant societies from the Law Society to Mooting and Debating and these will give you the skills (and the CV) to progress once you graduate.
Highlights of the Course
Wow, just one? A major highlight was bringing the Chief justice of the Supreme Court of Ireland, Mrs Susan Denham, to Griffith as part of Griffith Law Society??.
My number one highlight though, was representing Griffith in its annual friendship visit to partner universities across China. We visited Changsha in the South and Baoding and Beijing in the North. We met some incredible people and got to see the ‘real’ China. It was an unforgettable experience. I would highly recommend it to future GCD students - it’s a great opportunity to get involved with Griffith’s global partners.
My Most Useful Experience
The most useful thing I’ve learnt from Griffith College is that with hard work and a bit of inspiration you really can achieve anything.
Best thing about Dublin ...
Although I’ve lived here all my life I frequently discover something new, whether it’s a Georgian building, a leafy park, a chic restaurant or a new store. While it’s got all the amenities it’s also small enough that people are welcoming and it’s not uncommon to strike-up a chat with a total stranger whilst on the Luas (tram). You’ll find Dubliners are amongst the most welcoming people in the world and you are certain to receive a céad mile fáilte, or a “hundred thousand welcomes”.
It’s also a great base if you want to travel around Europe (thank you Ryanair!) or closer to home (Ireland’s amazing countryside is less than an hour away).
Preparing for Life After Graduation
Griffith has equipped me with many skills for life after graduation. A legal education has helped me better understand the society around me and Griffith’s focus on extra-curricular activities and personal development has given me confidence in my own abilities.
My Plans for the Summer
This summer I’m working for Three. Currently I’m responsible for managing Three’s online sales team based in Dublin and a support team based in Mumbai, India. I’m also assisting in Three’s acquisition of O2 Ireland.
In September, I’ll be moving to Beijing to commence my International MBA Scholarship at the prestigious Renmin University of China.
My Plans for Studying in China
China is my passion. For years I’ve studied the language, culture and economy. I’ve studied Mandarin at DIT, Trinity College and the Confucius Institute at UCD and I’m also a student member of the Ireland China Business Association (ICBA). By 2020, China will be the largest economy on the planet and it is absolutely crucial for an export-reliant country like Ireland to have links with such a nation.
The MBA programme at Renmin University of China (also known as The People’s University of China) appealed to me as I will study at its famous Chinese Language School, gain a greater understanding of Global and Chinese trade, and also study at its world-famous partner institution, Yale School of Management for a semester.
There will also be opportunities to meet some of China’s top business leaders, participate in an internship with a major Chinese company and hopefully visit my friends at Griffith College’s nearby partner institution of Hebei Finance University.
My Plans for the Future
In the future I’d like to work as a consultant to Irish businesses that wish to export into the Chinese market or alternatively set up my own business in order to tap the massive growth potential in trade between Ireland and China. I hope to maintain close links with Griffith College in the future and look forward to seeing its continued success.
We wish Cian the very best of luck with his future study in China!
Find out more about the BA (Hons) in Business and Law at Griffith
Interview by Lydia Casey