Ballybofey student Tracey Dobbs receives her award as Best Student on the MSc International Business course at the Magee campus of the University of Ulster from (l-r) lecturer Trevor Morrow and, on behalf of the award sponsors, Barney McCann, Sales manager N-W Diageo NI and Joe Crowe, Head of Branches-West, Bank of Ireland (UK) plc.
A NEW University of Ulster award was launched today when Tracey Dobbs from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, picked up a £1,000 cheque and certificate as a top business student.
Tracey, who received an MSc International Business at the Winter Graduation ceremony at the Millennium Forum, also collected the inaugural Bank of Ireland (UK) Plc/Bushmills Prize for Best Student on the degree programme which is taught at the Magee campus.
Representatives of Bank of Ireland (UK) Plc, Diageo Northern Ireland, staff from the Department of International Business, Tracey’s husband, Brendan and their 11-year-old daughter, Jorden, attended at the presentation. The prize, which is the centrepiece of Ulster’s International Business Studies Scholarship Scheme, was instituted following the 2008 launch of new bank notes by Bank of Ireland which bear the image of the famous County Antrim distillery.
Tracey, who works in the Registrar’s Office at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, said: “I decided to take the Masters course to enhance my career prospects and I’m thinking of doing a PhD, maybe sometime in the future. The course structure was very flexible. If it hadn’t been offered as a part-time course, I don’t think I would have been able to undertake it.”
For her dissertation, she researched the benefits of foreign study programmes such as the internationally famous Erasmus Programme. Her survey of almost 50 students who had taken part in study programmes abroad showed that experience of studying abroad and language skills can tip the balance when job hunting.
“I discovered that studying abroad enhanced students’ language skills, which is particularly important in international business, as well as their communication skills in everyday life. Employers value someone who has international experience, and if you can demonstrate that you’ve been able to work and study abroad and have a language, in addition to English, that makes you more attractive in the jobs’ market.”
Mr Joe Crowe, Head of Bank of Ireland Branches West (NI), said: "We are proud to present this award. Bank of Ireland, in conjunction with Diageo, is delighted to jointly fund the International Business Studies Scholarship Scheme and build a stronger partnership with University of Ulster. The objective of this scholarship is to help to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and development of future NI business leaders along with encouraging export marketing skills and contributing to the development of a more global competitive private sector in Northern Ireland.”
Clare Strawson, Corporate Relations Manager, Diageo Northern Ireland, said: “We are delighted to present this award in conjunction with Bank of Ireland. Bushmills Distillery is one of the province’s leading exporters and, naturally, we hope the scholarship scheme will contribute to the growth of export marketing skills and add to the vibrancy of Northern Ireland marketing on a world stage.”