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Executive MBA Alumni Networking Event with Dr Brendan Mooney, OBE, former CEO of Kainos, in partnership with UU Connects and Ulster University Business School.

Professor Gillian Armstrong MBE, Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of UUBS, hosted the evening, discussing topics with Brendan around his illustrious career. Brendan joined Kainos from university in 1989 as a trainee software engineer before moving into several technical and commercial roles in Dublin, London and the US, returning to Belfast to become CEO of Kainos.

He served as CEO from 2001 until 2023, during which time Kainos grew from local start-up to a global organisation, employing 3,000 talented people across 22 countries. Since 2015, Kainos has been listed on the London Stock Exchange and with a market capitalisation of £1.5 billion, is a member of the FTSE250. Brendan shared his story with us and his insights into how his various post-graduate education had shaped his career trajectory.

In addition to his role at Kainos, Brendan has previously served as a Non-Executive Director on several private technology companies, at the Probation Board for Northern Ireland and as a Lay Magistrate.

Brendan was delighted be welcomed back to Ulster University to share his story.

Brendan Mooney OBE

“I am very proud to be a graduate of Ulster University and I have maintained close links over the years. I was delighted to share insights about Kainos and my career which may help others who are earlier in their own career journey. As someone who has benefited from professional development throughout my career, it was also wonderful to hear about the newly revamped Executive MBA programme from the UU Business School, a two-year programme designed for senior professionals keen to innovate, inspire and lead at the highest level.”

Dr Brendan Mooney OBE

Brendan's Top Tips and Leadership Insights:

  • Learning through doing things badly at first is okay. Making mistakes is part of the learning process and sets you on the path to expediting your own professional development.
  • Executive leadership education can help you excel to the next level in your leadership journey.
  • When approaching professional development with your employer, think about it from employers perspective and the value further investment in you will bring to to them and the business. Focus on: why it is good for you in your role or perspective role, why is it good for organisation, and what can the organisation can expect to see as a result of your upskilling.
  • Kainos's success in business is founded on a customer-centric approach to relationship building and taking a long-term view of partnerships.
  • Putting people first is vital. Hire exceptional talent and invest in them to grow and develop. Recognition and fair reward directly corresponds with high employee retention and job satisfaction.
  • Key to being a successful manager is surround yourself with others who have alternative perspectives and different specialist skills to you.
  • Be open minded and listen to your critics - do not be too committed to your own ideas.
  • Innovation is essential to sustained success in business. Change will happen. Therefore, constant reflection on what can be changed or improved is essential to staying ahead of the curve and ensure an alternative business plan can be put in place.

The event was also attended by members of Ulster University’s alumni network, many of whom are considering taking the next step in their own professional development by undertaking an Executive MBA course at Ulster University and elevating their career to new heights.

Keep reading to check out photos from the evening !

Graduate quote

“It was hugely valuable to listen to Brendan’s leadership journey. I’ve gained really useful insights into how to excel at the senior leadership level and am coming away from this evening’s event feeling inspired and motivated to focus on my own career growth. It was also a fantastic opportunity to strengthen my professional network with other Ulster graduates and experience the facilities at the new Belfast campus. I look forward to attending more UU Connects and Business School events in future.”

Davina Gordon, BA (Hons) Humanities, ACIM

Event photos

gillian armstrong interviewing brendan mooney
alumni networking at UU event
alumni networking at UU event
gillian armstrong interviewing brendan mooney
event audience
event audience
alumni networking at UU event
event audience
Katie Quinn and Brendan Mooney from Kainos