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Frank Cussen

Current Position: Manager in Operational Effectiveness, PwC

Nationality: Irish/British

How does Trinity stand out from other business schools?

In an Irish context it provides an enviable campus environment, a stone's throw from the European home of many leading companies.

What’s the most important skill you’ve taken away from Trinity?

Self awareness - it's not something I lacked but it was certainly augmented during the course of the Trinity MBA.  I was aware of my idiosyncrasies but through the leadership development programme in particular I was able to understand them and set to work on evolving them.

How did the international residency weeks impact you?

The Brazil residency week was a great opportunity to quickly gain an insight into the political and economic forces at play in that country, and how those forces affect the business community.  The company visits provided access to frontline stakeholders through whom it was possible to assess a multiplicity of approaches to market entry and management in Brazil and, to some extent, emerging economies more generally. 

What were the value of the company projects for you?

The company projects provided not just an opportunity to practice delivery of theoretical learnings but to develop a capacity for stakeholder engagement that would bolster the participating companies' receptivity to new ideation.  In addition, the strategic company project provided a lesson in humility and diligence as students presented to the participating companies an analysis of the companies' own industries and inner workings, requiring both sensitivity to ensure that key messages were delivered effectively to stakeholders that had vested interests in the businesses and industries we were assigned to, and hard work to ensure that the message and its formulation were robust.

Any advice for future students?

Leave the cynicism at the door - you'll get maximum value from your MBA if you embrace every aspect of it.

Take every opportunity you can to present in front of the class, faculty and external stakeholders - you'll never have a safer environment to develop this vital skill.

Take every opportunity you can outside the classroom to apply what you have learned inside the classroom.

Build your network and start forging your next career during your MBA - don't wait until it is all over - take advantage of the MBA momentum.