Interested in studying an M.B.A. abroad? Find out more about the one year Master’s of Business Administration (M.B.A) at Dublin Business School from Adetunji Paul, our Nigerian Ambassador…

If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering Ireland as a potential destination for the next stage in your education. You might be a Nigerian, you might be African, or you might be from any country in the world and you sort-of-maybe-kinda like marketing or the idea of marketing. To help with your decisions, I’m going to tell you a bit about my experience studying marketing in general in Ireland…

Let’s get some introductions out of the way, my name is Adetunji Paul, I am 24 years old and I am studying at the Dublin Business School in Ireland for my Master’s in Business Administration (M.B.A) with Marketing. I did what is called a January intake, which is when you start your first semester in January and your second semester in September. The course is one-year long, and that makes it more intense than two-year master’s programme. So, what’s involved?

The MBA course at DBS is divided up into modules or subjects. The first semester has six modules, most of them I had only once a week. My core module was called Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and it was the only module I had twice a week. The other modules covered writing, personal development, international management, finance and research methodology. I didn’t take an exam for IMC instead the final course mark was made up of two parts, which follows the semester structure which is also split into two. The first part was an academic paper and the second part was a group project to plan a marketing strategy for an Irish business of your choice to present at the end of semester. Weirdly enough the group project timeline started from the beginning of the semester.

There were more marketing modules in the second semester, I took Performance-Driven Marketing (PDM) and Marketing Innovations. In PDM there was an academic paper, a group project and no exams — as with IMC which is largely due to the fact that IMC and PDM were taught by the same professor. Marketing Innovations was structured around a business plan which included a detailed marketing strategy and this time the business had to be your own, something you wanted to start up. Marketing Innovations included a presentation preview, followed by a final presentation and the actual business/marketing plan, no exams in Marketing Innovations either. No exams for these marketing modules makes sense because unlike hard science subjects you cant provide answers to facts which would be based on marketing theory in this case. Instead it depends on the circumstance and the structure was an attempt to make sure that you understood the theory and you are able to apply the theory in the form of a realistic marketing plan, something you may create often in your marketing career.

Here’s an observation about Western education and specifically Irish education based on my experience. In Nigeria where I’m from we expect that a university will feed us all that we need to know about any particular topic, combined with our cultural quirks it means that many of us aren’t naturally curious enough to delve deeper than the surface information or seek out additional information surrounding a topic to get some larger context. In contrast, education in Ireland at a Master’s level requires you to seek out large amounts of information on your own. Most of the time there’ll be no direct instruction to “go to A and get B information”, instead it’s more like, “tell me about topic B, but show me that you’ve been studying from anywhere on your own by telling me where you’re getting your information from, also be unbiased but have an opinion”. A Master’s here is you paying to receive expert guidance to study something by yourself. I’ll write a post about studying tips for Irish Master education later but for now you should know; Question what you are told in class, Read the recommended material before class, start writing early you’ll be doing a lot of it and there is no right answer only well thought out answers.

I have had experience in marketing, I encountered many concepts I already knew but could not name. My Bachelor’s degree is also in Computer Engineering, which was more or less my choice so I was greatly interested in IT at some point. I wrote a lot about things I already knew and connected marketing to those things. I wrote about marketing software companies, I wrote about how digital marketing is data-based and that makes it very precise. Use your new knowledge to build upon your existing experience, marketing by itself is not as strong as marketing in the fashion industry if fashion is your thing. In the end I came out better off, I wrote a business plan for my future company which is real, and I learned how to structure and organise a marketing plan with more depth than before. That’s gist of it, watch this space to hear more from me. Till next time. AP.