As a student at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School, I’m ready to enjoy and make the most of the next eleven months of the Marketing Development Program (MDP, also known as Marketing Practice). In UCD, everything is an exciting opportunity, there is always something going on around the beautiful Blackrock campus. Every day is different but this is a rough guideline of what I get up to as a graduate student at UCD Smurfit.

Getting ready for the daily grind

By the time I finally muster the motivation to remove myself from the warmth of my bed, the time is 7.15am. I stumble down to my kitchen and fill my KeepCup with some freshly brewed coffee from my coffee machine.

UCD Smurfit Marketing Practice studentsThe Marketing Development Program is a course that is structured like a genuine working day, with defined business hours from 9am-5pm. After hopping in the shower, I ensure to abide by the professional dress-code, popping on some light makeup and often incorporating a shirt and a blazer into my outfit of the day. I’m usually under pressure for time as I love my lie-ins so I grab whatever yoghurt or smoothies are in the fridge to eat during my commute on the DART,  where I enjoy the lovely sunrise view of Killiney beach from the window seat. I make it into Blackrock dart station for 8.40am and enjoy a light walk-through Blackrock village, making it to the Smurfit campus within 15 minutes.

UCD Smurfit Marketing Practice – class time

The MDP is unlike any other course in Smurfit. The students are referred to as ‘Marketing Advisors’ and are given genuine commercial projects for external corporate clients. These projects can range from running social media for a company to conducting market research and helping to run events. We work in a real office set-up at UCD Smurfit to replicate real-life work conditions. I make my way into the office for 8.55am, allowing time to hang up my coat, drop my bits into my locker and take five to chat to my colleagues before setting up my laptop, writing my to-do list and getting down to the work for the day.

Finally, time for lunch

Usually, I bring a packed lunch that I can heat up in one of the microwaves, but on days where I don’t have time to pack a lunch, I get my food from the canteen. As the cold weather hasn’t yet set in, I opt for a selection of salads from the salad bar as opposed to the soups and hot meals options. If I have the time, my friends and I like to get down to Blackrock village and eat in one of the restaurants there or grab our recent favourite Shaka Poke; a raw fish salad bowl, recently becoming a trend in Dublin. We take our bowls down to a wall overlooking the Blackrock beach and chill out before heading back to campus.

Hump in the day

I find myself most productive in the morning, therefore this part of the day requires a little extra concentration. It is then I take myself into the library, where I become energised by the natural light coming in through the stained glass windows.

I need a break

I generally tend to organise my day so that I have enough time during my break to make it down to the best spot for coffee in Blackrock, and in my opinion, Dublin. The Bear Market Cafe has fantastic coffee and an assortment of healthy treats. I order my usual – cappuccino with nut milk and a pistachio and cacao energy ball, for a little extra boost to get me through to the end of the day.

End of the day

Once I’ve finished my classes for the day, I like to take a little time to decompress. At around 5.30pm, when my work is done, I’ll go for a run, walk along the Blackrock beach with one of my friends in my course or I’ll take advantage of the fitness classes on offer on the Smurfit campus. If I’m feeling lethargic, I’ll take myself down to the pool on Belfield campus to use the sauna or the jacuzzi.

By then, I’ll still have a good few hours left of my day and this is when I pop back on the DART home to bed, grab a hearty dinner and recharge for the evening.

Jennifer Roberts – Marketing Development Program

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