In early June of last year, Richard Hurley was eyeing a career change and within the space of a “whirlwind” few weeks had applied to the Trinity MBA, quit his job at Morgan Stanley in New York and moved to Ireland. Fast-forward almost a year and Richard is back in his childhood bedroom in Yonkers, NY, completing his full-time MBA online.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing him to navigate final papers, group projects, online classes and a change in time zone simultaneously, Richard is overwhelmingly positive.

“The transition hasn’t been terribly difficult, it is an adjustment, but circumstances change and you must adapt,” he says. “We’ve just started our Trinity Term and are acclimating to a fully online learning experience. Cross Cultural Management is an elective that was designed as an online class, so it flows more seamlessly and its coursework integrates the challenges of working with people of different backgrounds across several different locations.” His team is comprised of one Malaysian and two Indian students living in Dublin.

Alongside his study commitments, Richard is also dedicating his time to help aid the COVID-19 response in his hometown suburb of Westchester through ‘Fuel the Fight’, a not-for-profit grassroots campaign that aims to feed healthcare workers and support the hospitality industry. “Fuel the Fight was started in Philadelphia by college friends of a friend. It then expanded to Boston, New York City, Denver and D.C. We realised that Westchester, our suburban county just north of NYC, was just as hard hit and filled with individuals looking to join the pandemic response. Through donations, the goal is to help struggling restaurants and give front-line hospital workers a much-needed thank you in the form of a catered meal.”

Richard launched Fuel the Fight Westchester in early April and has helped raise over $16,000 in five weeks, with 1500 meals delivered to frontline workers at 10 different hospitals from 15 different restaurants across Westchester. The incredible initiative has reached more than half of its $30,000 target and has enjoyed well-deserved coverage on the suburb’s local news network.

Keen to inspire other students adjusting to the ‘new normal’, Richard offers the following advice: “Don’t limit yourselves. If an opportunity presents itself, take it; even if juggling the decision, commitments and deliverables may seem overwhelming. It seems I follow that mantra repeatedly, whether it is dropping everything and moving to Ireland for the Trinity MBA programme or starting Fuel the Fight Westchester in the middle of three final papers and a group project. Things always work out!”

Find out more about our MBA programme here.