Since January of 2015 Corks University Business School at University College Cork has been one of Ireland’s largest business schools. Already home to the largest number of full time undergraduate students in any business school in Ireland, and with the second highest number of postgrads, it also boasts the highest level of research income. The school, however, is set to undergo an expansion, with the transformation of the iconic former Cork Savings Bank building on Lapp’s Quay into a state-of-the-art education facility, located within an area of the city that is rapidly becoming Cork City’s primary hub for business activity.
The day-long event, titled ‘Shaping Ireland’s Future’ was Ireland’s largest student-led and student-focused conference. Organised by students in UCC’s Accounting and Finance, Business Information Systems, Commerce and Entrepreneurial & Social (E&S) societies, the conference was attended by almost 900 delegates, which also featured leading international experts from the spheres of finance, business, technology and politics in Cork’s Opera house on Monday March 6th.
The conference was opened by recently appointed President of UCC, Professor Patrick O’Shea, who opened by saying “What really appeals to me about this conference is the level of ambition that has been displayed by the student organisers and the focus that has been put on competing internationally and entrepreneurship. The ambition the students of CUBS have is matched by the university, and I’m delighted to announce publicly that over the next few years UCC will build a state of the art Business School building in the city which will be one of the largest academic buildings in the country.
“CUBS is an engine for growth for the region and is committed to enhancing the knowledge and practice of business and today’s announcement should convince you of UCC’s commitment to business education and to our support for the ambitions of CUBS to increase the numbers of undergraduate, and in particular the number of postgraduate, business students.”
Echoing Professor O’Shea’s opening remarks, Professor Ciaran Murphy, Dean of Cork University Business School said: “We are privileged that so many outstanding and talented individuals have chosen CUBS as their place of study and education. This conference is another example of the abilities and professionalism of our student body. At CUBS we want to produce graduates who will be thinkers, shapers, designers and developers of the future – individuals who have a bearing on shaping Ireland’s future.”
The event saw keynote speeches from Graham Healy, managing director of Accenture’s Health & Public Service practice (EALA), Eugene O’Callaghan, Director of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, and award-winning creator of Cocoa Brown, Marissa Carter. It also held panel discussions on issues such as impacts on the global financial markets, working in finance & how to make it to the top, entrepreneurship & developing products while satisfying customers & stakeholders; and shaping & creating the economic environment. These speeches featured: Willie Slattery, CEO, International, DST Financial Services at DST International Holdings Ltd. and Chairman of International Financial Data Services; Jim Norris, Managing Director of Vanguard International; Joe Guinan, Founder of Advantage Futures, Chicago; Brian Phelan, CEO, Glanbia Nutritionals; Colm Lyon, Founder and CEO of Realex Payments and Fire Financial Services; and Chris Kennedy, CTO and founder of Trustev.
Others who also featured in these panel discussions were young entrepreneurs who were making waves in their respective fields, such as Richard Barrett and Ross O’Dwyer, Co-founders of sports media platform Pundit Arena, 18 year old Leaving Cert student Harry McCann, Founder of Kid Tech/ Digital Youth Council, and 18 year old Conor O’Flaherty, Founder and CEO of Pursue, an influencer management agency that works with video platforms in delivering bespoke experiences and opportunities for influencers and brands alike.
The inaugural CUBS conference was sponsored by the Irish Examiner, the Local Enterprise Office, and the Bank of Ireland. For more information on Cork University Business School visit www.cubsucc.com