Asia Trade Forum and UCD Smurfit Business School Team Up For Mentoring Partnership

The Asia Trade Forum of the Irish Exporters Association and Smurfit Business School has entered into a mentoring partnership where students will work on a group project with a member company to complete a new market entry strategy.  In response to the rapidly growing markets in Asia, a country from that region will be chosen. Other international markets may also be considered.

The key focus of each project will be on entry strategies for a particular product / service into a particular international market.

The key outcomes of this ‘live project’ for the students are:

  • To learn successful strategies for entering new markets with a real life Irish company
  • They will receive mentoring from successful business people
  • To enhance their CV and become more employable
  • To hone their presentation skills
  • They will learn how to deliver and present a professional report
The key outcomes for the IEA member company are:
  • To have the opportunity to develop an international market opportunity for their company
  • Give something back to the community.
  • Operating in a mentoring capacity, they will provide students with a live project to enhance their international market entry strategy skills which, not least, will make them eminently more employable in the currently difficult economic environment.
  • They will facilitate creativity and initiative taking by group members.
  • They will work more closely with Smurfit Business School, deepening the relationship over time, potentially provide internships for strong students, and potentially source Smurfit graduates as prospective employees over time.


Hugh C. Kelly, Managing Director, Associated Marketing Ltd. Director, Irish Exporters Association. Mr Joe Tynan, Tax Partner, PwC. Director, Irish Exporters Association.

Feedback from Last Year’s Projects

[quote]The project for us has certainly added value. The market research on the various regions is excellent. In short, they covered all aspects of the project we asked them to. Everything from the perception of Irish beef to possible markets and route to market.[/quote]

[quote](the group) delivered a very good and well established project and I must say all of the team acted in a very professional and courteous manner throughout & I have given each of them a letter of reference following my time working with them over the last 3 months.[/quote]

[quote]The whole team at SIA are very impressed with the quality and depth of your analysis and recommendations.  The report has been completed to an excellent standard with a real understanding of the industry and our position in the global market. To prove the point we have been in initial discussions with DC Logistics last week to become our partner in Brazil and they were first on your list.[/quote]

[quote]I just wanted to drop you a note, to thank you and the group for the work done on the project. We believe it will be very useful. I would also like to let you know that we were very impressed with Killian’s work as leader on the project.[/quote]

Project Schedule

Duration of Project: Monday 27 January – Thursday 24 April 2014.

What are Companies expected to do? Company participants should take ownership of this project. Critically the intellectual property of this project resides with the company. Companies are expected to guide and mentor their groups toward the realisation of a high quality project, keeping in mind the grading criteria. Clarity with regard to brief is a starting point. Sometimes companies may be rigid in terms of their brief. Please provide space for the students to demonstrate creativity and to use their initiative. They may ‘talk theory’ initially, not least as academically they are expected to have a theoretical underpinning to their project. Please empathise, as I’m sure you appreciate that all business transactions have a theoretical underpinning. The presentation and physical copy of the final report has to be to the highest standards, a report and presentation that you yourselves would stand over.

Communication between Company and Students It is the expectation that companies will communicate with students face –to-face, by phone, Skype, or email for the duration of the project, and be proactive in this regard. This is to avoid a situation where students get lost in their project and would gain from immediate communication and mentoring rather than losing time going down blind allies in their market research.


The contacts details for interested and eligible parties are as follows:

Dr John (Sean) Cassidy, Module Coordinator, UCD Smurfit Business School Contact Details: Tel: 01-7164831; Mobile: 086 812 0654; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Ashley Beston, Manager, Asia Trade Forum, Irish Exporters Association Contact Details: Tel: +353 1 6424178; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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