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DkIT Business Students Receive an Overhaul

28 July 2023

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) are proud of their strong links with industry which supports their focus on students’ employability. Recently the Institute announced that 97% of their students are in full-time employment or further education within 6 months of graduating and they would attest this to their close understanding of industries needs.

The School of Business run a Business in New and Emerging Markets, an innovative industry-focused module for final year students designed to bring the boardroom into the classroom. The module is open to students across several degree programmes and involves teams working on a real-life industry project where they have to produce a commercially relevant report which they then present to the clients' senior management team.

For the past four years, the students have been working with Overhaul.  Set up in 2008, Overhaul is a cutting-edge supply chain risk management solution enterprise. It creates true situational awareness by providing the real-time analysis needed to pre-empt issues and seize opportunities, with offices in the US, UK and Ireland.  

In 2023 working with Mary Kelledy (Chief of Staff) and Joe Ryan (VP Intelligence, Response and Fusion Hub) from Overhaul’s Dundalk offices, the company provided students with a research brief in which they had to assess the potential for the company in terms of a number of international markets, including Malaysia, Mexico and Thailand.  Over the course of 10 weeks, students worked on undertaking an in-depth country review, industry analysis, along with a specific research brief, designed by Overhaul.  

Throughout the module, students worked in groups and in addition to presenting interim results to the company, student teams were given the opportunity to present their final research findings and final report.  From an original cohort of ten teams, four were then selected to present to the senior management team in June, where they had to present and defend their research.

This year, the winning team, consisted of Kathryn Collins, Aoife Lynch and Simonas Bastys all of whom are part-time students on the Bachelor of Business Studies degree at DkIT. The runners-up team consisted of Haiyan Zhang, Meng Hua, Pranith Kakkerla & Abdellah Redouane who are undergraduate Business Students. The overall outstanding presenter award was given to Kathryn Collins.

The DkIT creators of this programme, Dr. Kate Johnston and John Sisk, know that this module takes participating students out of the infamous zone of comfort, placing them in a position where they face real life challenges. Dr Johnson said, “The outcome is a body of work and an experience which better reflects the reality of the workplace, preparing students in a much more pragmatic and focused manner for ever-changing dynamic industries”.

According to Kathryn Collins, one of the students who took part in the module and was on the winning team, the module was certainly challenging but very rewarding. 

“I was initially daunted at the amount of work that was involved in completing this module.... and I would be lying if I said that I found the module easy. I was well outside of my comfort zone for the majority of the semester. I firmly believe that there is a gap to be bridged between academia and work, and that this module is the missing link. As a professional person, working in a high-pressure role, I can confirm that this is what a real-world working environment is like: high-pressure, fast-paced, often challenging, but ultimately rewarding when a good job has been done”. 

Find out more about the part-time Business Studies degree

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