Smurfit Senior Leadership Programme

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School


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Who should attend

  • Senior executives from large organisations who are one or two levels from CEO
  • Regional Functional Directors
  • Country Manager
  • Heads of Business Units
  • C-suite executives of mid-size organisations

About the course

In collaboration with University of Virginia DARDEN Executive Education

UCD Smurfit Executive Development, Ireland’s only top 50 FT-ranked provider of executive education is pleased to launch the Smurfit Senior Leadership Programme. This programme is the first of its kind in Ireland in collaboration with the world-renowned University of Virginia’s Darden Executive Education.

Entitled Building the Growth Enterprise, this programme is a dynamic, highly interactive and experiential opportunity for businesses to create tangible outcomes for participating senior executives, their teams and their wider organisations.

A two-week fully immersive residential experience, this programme is customised to meet the needs of international businesses with operations in Ireland, together with leading Irish-owned enterprises operating globally. The programme will be delivered by expert Smurfit faculty in conjunction with Darden’s world-class faculty team. Starting with the first week in the new Smurfit Executive Development Centre, the programme will then be followed by the second week at the new Darden School of Business facility in the Washington, D.C. area. This unique combination will deepen the intellectual connection and social network for the participating group.


The Programme is designed to:

Week 1

  • Build the learning group and share objectives
  • Understand the changing economic and technological environment of business
  • Study the implications for the businesses represented on the programme
  • Identify firm growth strategies
  • Enhance company valuation
  • Understand your personal contribution to developing strategy
  • Develop team and organisation effectiveness
  • Understand your personal contribution to developing culture
  • Understand your personality and your role as a leader
  • Create your personal development agenda
  • Focus on your health and wellbeing
  • Scope your company project challenge

Week 2

  • Refresh the learning group
  • Understand the changing role of the US in the world economy
  • Develop insight through market analytics
  • Understand how to utilise digital, analytics and big data to the company’s advantage
  • Understand design thinking in the context of developing strategy
  • Explore how to build new ventures within the established enterprise
  • Enhance strategy talent management
  • Prioritise your health and wellbeing
  • Build your personal change agenda
  • Grow your peer network
  • Complete your company project challenge

Key Benefits to the Executive's Team:

  • Embedding the learning within the executive’s team is a key programme focus.
  • Group coaching provides the basis for the executive to coach their respective teams.
  • Opportunity to include key team members in the company project challenge.

Key Benefits to the Organisation:

  • The programme is aimed at building future growth in the organisation in parallel with leadership capability.
  • The executive can proactively contribute to the organisation’s goals with the project challenge.
  • Addresses the organisation’s gaps in terms of capability, skills and expertise.
  • Where there is more than one executive per organisation, executives will be mixed within the group, affording a wider learning opportunity for the organisation.
  • Provides significant recognition and reward of the executive’s contribution to the organisation and future leadership potential.



Scott Snell

Education: B.A., Miami University; MBA, Ph.D., Michigan State University Scott Snell is a professor of business administration at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business. He teaches courses in Leadership, Developing Organizational Capability, and Human Capital Consulting....

Robert Carraway

Education: B.S., MBA, East Carolina University; Ph.D., Purdue University Robert Carraway teaches Quantitative Analysis courses in Darden's MBA program. Carraway has co-written a quantitative analysis case book as well as a number of papers and Darden cases on the topic. Carraway joined the Darde...

Damien McLoughlin

Damien McLoughlin is Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing and Marketing Subject Area Head at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland, specialising in agribusiness strategy and business-to-business marketing teaching and research. Damien has served in a number of senior lea...

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan is a senior lecturer in finance at the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. He is Director of the MSc in Finance programme. From August 2007 to July 2012 he was Dean of the Institute of Bankers School of Professional Finance. He has lectured extensively across a broad range o...

Bidhan Parmar

Education: B.A., University of Virginia; MBA, Ph.D., University of Virginia Assistant Professor Bidhan ("Bobby") Parmar teaches First Year Ethics and a Second Year elective on collaboration at the Darden School of Business. He was recently named one of the top 40 Business School professors under...

Doug Thomas

Doug Thomas is a Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School of Business. Prior to joining Darden Doug was a professor of Supply Chain Management in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State where he was the faculty director of the MBA program from 2011 to 2014. He is a co-founde...

Karan Sonpar

Professor Karan Sonpar joined University College Dublin in 2009. He earned his PhD from the University of Alberta, Canada. He has held prior academic appointments at IE Business School, Spain and University of Manitoba, Canada. He served as Captain in the Indian Army prior to his PhD. His work ha...

Eamonn Walsh

Eamonn is PwC Professor of Accounting at UCD. He has served as Dean of the Smurfit School of Business and Chairman of the Accounting Department. His primary research, teaching and consulting interests are in the areas of financial analysis, equity valuation and US securities markets. A co-author...

Patrick Gibbons

Patrick is Jefferson Smurfit Professor of Strategic Management at UCD School of Business and Academic Director, Smurfit Executive Development. Before entering academia, Patrick worked in a number of financial analysis, corporate strategy and senior HR roles with KPMG, Jefferson Smurfit Group, The...

Helen Brophy

Helen is Director of Smurfit Executive Development at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. She holds direct responsibility for the management and strategic development of Smurfit Executive Development and is a member of the Smurfit School’s Irish Advisory Board and the School’s Senior Ma...

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Smurfit Senior Leadership Programme at The UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School

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