TCD MBA


brianna

Hi, I came across an experience shared online by a former TCD MBA student while conducting research on the MBA programme there. I've included the entire account below; it would be wonderful if someone could verify it. I got in touch with some TCD alumni on LinkedIn, and they seemed unsatisfied with their jobs after graduation and also shared negative experiences at TCD. To be bullied in a class with people in their late twenties and thirties is shocking.

"I came at the top of my class at the TCD MBA, who really knows if that’s true though because some of the papers were just graded randomly, as you will see below.

here are my thoughts;

I did the MBA at TCD and am convinced it can be constituted as a scam and want my money back.

They advertised that you would need a 2.1 Degree, some people in my class did not have a primary degree.
They advertised a certain GMAT score that many in my class did not reach.
They advertised it was entrepreneurial focused and it was not.
They advertised we would learn more but it had less information than my B.Comm degree from UCD so an MBA at trinity should be ranked lower than having a B.Comm from UCD.
They advertised that they would help us get a good job, I’m still relying on my father after spending €32,000 of my own hard saved money on the MBA.
They said the exam papers would be correctly graded. I know for a fact I should have gotten 100% on many of them, which should all be stored, and they were not graded as such on many subjects, suggesting there is a big problem with grading.
I was also told when applying I needed to accept very quickly because places were nearly gone, I found out later they were letting anyone in at the end just to fill places.

One of the finance lecturers was in his 20s the economics professor just turned up and Google’s stuff. We did learn the 6 circles model and we’re forced to use it, you’ll never hear about it though because it’s not peer reviewed and the lecturer just made it up. Very useful stiff

I was bullied from even before day one in a group chat and they had the audacity to use some of my LinkedIn posts about investing (which they don’t teach) in their classes the next year. They can teach about you but will ignore your emails if you need help or complain about the program.

Absolutely a Scam. Don’t just avoid them if you are a current or past student fight this fight with me."

Hi, I came across an experience shared online by a former TCD MBA student while conducting research on the MBA programme there. I've included the entire account below; it would be wonderful if someone could verify it. I got in touch with some TCD alumni on LinkedIn, and they seemed unsatisfied with their jobs after graduation and also shared negative experiences at TCD. To be bullied in a class with people in their late twenties and thirties is shocking.

"I came at the top of my class at the TCD MBA, who really knows if that’s true though because some of the papers were just graded randomly, as you will see below.

here are my thoughts;

I did the MBA at TCD and am convinced it can be constituted as a scam and want my money back.

They advertised that you would need a 2.1 Degree, some people in my class did not have a primary degree.
They advertised a certain GMAT score that many in my class did not reach.
They advertised it was entrepreneurial focused and it was not.
They advertised we would learn more but it had less information than my B.Comm degree from UCD so an MBA at trinity should be ranked lower than having a B.Comm from UCD.
They advertised that they would help us get a good job, I’m still relying on my father after spending €32,000 of my own hard saved money on the MBA.
They said the exam papers would be correctly graded. I know for a fact I should have gotten 100% on many of them, which should all be stored, and they were not graded as such on many subjects, suggesting there is a big problem with grading.
I was also told when applying I needed to accept very quickly because places were nearly gone, I found out later they were letting anyone in at the end just to fill places.

One of the finance lecturers was in his 20s the economics professor just turned up and Google’s stuff. We did learn the 6 circles model and we’re forced to use it, you’ll never hear about it though because it’s not peer reviewed and the lecturer just made it up. Very useful stiff

I was bullied from even before day one in a group chat and they had the audacity to use some of my LinkedIn posts about investing (which they don’t teach) in their classes the next year. They can teach about you but will ignore your emails if you need help or complain about the program.

Absolutely a Scam. Don’t just avoid them if you are a current or past student fight this fight with me."
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Duncan

I don't think you can one person's account very seriously, especially if they say that they should have had 100% on an exam. Average marks in the UK and Ireland are 60 to 65%: the pass mark is 40%. I would guess that most years there will be no-one who gets 100% in an exam.   

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 19, 2023]

I don't think you can one person's account very seriously, especially if they say that they should have had 100% on an exam. Average marks in the UK and Ireland are 60 to 65%: the pass mark is 40%. I would guess that most years there will be no-one who gets 100% in an exam.   
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Duncan

TCD doesn't have any economics professors in their 20s: https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/people/

Wheatley's six-circle model is widely mentioned in research but there are no mentions of in the TCD website. It can't see anything wrong with teaching it but I'm sure that's not more than one lecture. 

I do not see TCD advertising the claims that the alumnus raises. For example, the MBA is essentially a conversion degree that compresses the academic core of an undergraduate degree in management and then adds to it managerial skills development and projects to build team working skills. It's not really at a much more advanced academic level than the final year undergraduate study. 



PS In your second semester at the UCD MBA, you will not be expected to know more economics than someone in the sixth semester of their BSc in economics. If you expected that, you would be an idiot who had misunderstood what you had been told.  

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 19, 2023]

TCD doesn't have any economics professors in their 20s: https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/people/<br><br>Wheatley's six-circle model is widely mentioned in research but there are no mentions of in the TCD website. It can't see anything wrong with teaching it but I'm sure that's not more than one lecture.&nbsp;<br><br>I do not see TCD advertising the claims that the alumnus raises. For example, the MBA is essentially a conversion degree that compresses the academic core of an undergraduate degree in management and then adds to it managerial skills development and projects to build team working skills. It's not really at a much more advanced academic level than the final year undergraduate study.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br>PS In your second semester at the UCD MBA, you will not be expected to know more economics than someone in the sixth semester of their BSc in economics. If you expected that, you would be an idiot who had misunderstood what you had been told.&nbsp;&nbsp;
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brianna

Its the professional discontent that caught my attention. TCD is ranked by FT this year, and so poor career growth is the last thing anyone would anticipate from a school on that list. And it wasn't just that one person; even the few graduates I got in touch with didn't seem to think well of their MBA programme. There doesn't appear to be any information about employment numbers on the school's website either. The fact that the curriculum includes live-action project activities is what initially piqued my interest. But now I'm confused. I thought this person must be exaggerating because I've generally only heard good things about the school.  


<div>Its the professional discontent that caught my attention. TCD is ranked by FT this year, and so poor career growth is the last thing anyone would anticipate from a school on that list. And it wasn't just that one person; even the few graduates I got in touch with didn't seem to think well of their MBA programme. There doesn't appear to be any information about employment numbers on the school's website either. The fact that the curriculum includes live-action project activities is what initially piqued my interest. But now I'm confused. I thought this person must be exaggerating because I've generally only heard good things about the school.&nbsp;&nbsp;<br></div><div><br></div><div>
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Duncan

It's worth comparing the TCD TBS and UCD Smurfit MBAs: (click the boxes and select compare at the bottom on the FT ranking). In terms of percentage in employment, TBS does much better than Smurfit. But for overall satisfaction with the programme, it is one of just four schools scoring under 8/10. So, it's not a great experience but it works out well.   

Obviously, these are schools with very different scales and heritage. TCD Smurfit is the older, market leader with a huge and beautiful campus. Trinity Business School is new, now in its own building on the edge of TCD. What the FT data show is that 96% were employed within three months, with 100% of the cohort responding to the survey at Trinity. That's better than UCD. However, the aims achieved score is lower, and the overall satisfaction score is much lower: one of the two lowest scores in the FT top 100. 

Perhaps one factor is that UCD might be better at helping international students to assimilate. The percentage of Irish students in the class is almost twice as high at UCD. And the share of Irish faculty is higher at UCD (57% to 40% at TBS). I would also imagine that the housing situation is pretty miserable for city-centre TBS, while Smurfit is outside the city centre in a prosperous suburb.

Considering that, I can imagine why students are unhappy. But outcomes matter. TCD is doing well in that the salary and percentage increase is almost as good at TCD. 

Taken as a whole, I think it would be strange to pick TBS over TCD. The outcomes are good at TBS, but it looks like the customer experience needs working on there and, in particular, career services look weak: obviously, the school is both new and much smaller than Smurfit. It will take a lot of time to build employer relationships. 

So, I don't think you need to worry about outcomes from TBS but you do need to moderate your expectations of a smooth learning experience. The first students there basically experienced the soft launch of what is essentially a brand new school staffed with a lot of new colleagues. You can imagine the challenges. As we say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. 

When the experience is bad, you can start to get a bit paranoid and persecuted. I've used Google. You've used Google. In itself it's not a bad thing for a professor to use Google. If you are a professor at TCD or UCD, you are clearly a world-class scholar. I know people who teach at both, and they are stunning scholars: great researchers, good teachers (obviously teaching is less important than research in top European research universities like these). But these are still state universities with slim budgets and modest resources in a city with high costs. Look at the other schools with low satisfaction, like Rotterdam, AGSM and McGill: it's a bit similar. The top schools for satisfaction are super-elite, massively wealthy in the context of their countries (e.g. the IIMs), and are generally private or public in name only (e.g LBS, Oxbridge are totally unlike other state universities in the UK). UCD Smurift's satisfaction score, around 9/10, is pretty good considering its scale and public status. It will take a decade ir more, I would guess, for TBS to catch up. 

PS But the claim of poor career progress isn't backed up by the data. The students make good career progress and have high salary growth. The person whom you cited: how does he sound to you? To me they sound a bit whiney, disagreeable and ass-holish. I wonder if their classmates would hire them? Certainly Dublin has a super hot labour market right now. If he had done a degree in management at TCD already, why can't he find a job in Ireland? Maybe no business school is right for this person? 

[Edited by Duncan on Feb 19, 2023]

It's worth comparing the TCD TBS and UCD Smurfit MBAs: (click the boxes and select compare at the bottom on the FT ranking). In terms of percentage in employment, TBS does much better than Smurfit. But for overall satisfaction with the programme, it is one of just four schools scoring under 8/10. So, it's not a great experience but it works out well.&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>Obviously, these are schools with very different scales and heritage. TCD Smurfit is the older, market leader with a huge and beautiful campus. Trinity Business School is new, now in its own building on the edge of TCD. What the FT data show is that 96% were employed within three months, with 100% of the cohort responding to the survey at Trinity. That's better than UCD. However, the aims achieved score is lower, and the overall satisfaction score is much lower: one of the two lowest scores in the FT top 100.&nbsp;<br><br>Perhaps one factor is that UCD might be better at helping international students to assimilate. The percentage of Irish students in the class is almost twice as high at UCD. And the share of Irish faculty is higher at UCD (57% to 40% at TBS). I would also imagine that the housing situation is pretty miserable for city-centre TBS, while Smurfit is outside the city centre in a prosperous suburb.<br><br>Considering that, I can imagine why students are unhappy. But outcomes matter. TCD is doing well in that the salary and percentage increase is almost as good at TCD.&nbsp;<br><br>Taken as a whole, I think it would be strange to pick TBS over TCD. The outcomes are good at TBS, but it looks like the customer experience needs working on there and, in particular, career services look weak: obviously, the school is both new and much smaller than Smurfit. It will take a lot of time to build employer relationships.&nbsp;<br><br>So, I don't think you need to worry about outcomes from TBS but you do need to moderate your expectations of a smooth learning experience. The first students there basically experienced the soft launch of what is essentially a brand new school staffed with a lot of new colleagues. You can imagine the challenges. As we say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.&nbsp;<br><br>When the experience is bad, you can start to get a bit paranoid and persecuted. I've used Google. You've used Google. In itself it's not a bad thing for a professor to use Google. If you are a professor at TCD or UCD, you are clearly a world-class scholar. I know people who teach at both, and they are stunning scholars: great researchers, good teachers (obviously teaching is less important than research in top European research universities like these). But these are still state universities with slim budgets and modest resources in a city with high costs. Look at the other schools with low satisfaction, like Rotterdam, AGSM and McGill: it's a bit similar. The top schools for satisfaction are super-elite, massively wealthy in the context of their countries (e.g. the IIMs), and are generally private or public in name only (e.g LBS, Oxbridge are totally unlike other state universities in the UK). UCD Smurift's satisfaction score, around 9/10, is pretty good considering its scale and public status. It will take a decade ir more, I would guess, for TBS to catch up.&nbsp;<br><br>PS But the claim of poor career progress isn't backed up by the data. The students make good career progress and have high salary growth. The person whom you cited: how does he sound to you? To me they sound a bit whiney, disagreeable and ass-holish. I wonder if their classmates would hire them? Certainly Dublin has a super hot labour market right now. If he had done a degree in management at TCD already, why can't he find a job in Ireland? Maybe no business school is right for this person?&nbsp;
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brianna

Wow, this is excellent information. I appreciate your time and your input very much. I'm sure you've heard this a million times already, but sir, you are truly fantastic!
I agree that the graduate comes across as unreliable. Your depiction of the man made me laugh out loud. I was going to pick TCD over UCD mostly due to the project-related activities. Although I'm not entirely sure, I think a curriculum incorporating real-world project activities would greatly enhance the learning experience. Also, I assumed the Trinity MBA was an old one because I read that it started in the 1960s. I may be mistaken, though. 

I'm starting to get how things other than career and academics affect satisfaction levels. It makes perfect sense what you mentioned about the top schools for satisfaction being extremely wealthy given where they are. To be completely honest though, I had always thought RSM and AGSM were elite institutions in their countries. 

While not related to our current subject, what would you advise an applicant who has a subpar GMAT score and a dismal employment history to do? I'm aware that an application consists of more than just these two components, but even with the other components, there is really only so much refining that can be done. There is a straightforward answer; you won't be good enough, and thus you'll most likely only get into a school that is below average. Is there, however, a better choice? I know this is a really general issue, but I've always been curious about what the less intelligent and skilled crowd should do. They can improve themselves, for sure, but not everyone is going to be the smartest, so what then? Do we merely accept less? 

Wow, this is excellent information. I appreciate your time and your input very much. I'm sure you've heard this a million times already, but sir, you are truly fantastic!<div><br></div><div>I agree that the graduate comes across as unreliable. Your depiction of the man made me laugh out loud. I was going to pick TCD over UCD mostly due to the project-related activities. Although I'm not entirely sure, I think a curriculum incorporating real-world project activities would greatly enhance the learning experience. Also, I assumed the Trinity MBA was an old one because I read that it started in the 1960s. I may be mistaken, though.&nbsp;<br></div><br>I'm starting to get how things other than career and academics affect satisfaction levels. It makes perfect sense what you mentioned about the top schools for satisfaction being extremely wealthy given where they are. To be completely honest though, I had always thought RSM and AGSM were elite institutions in their countries.&nbsp;<br><br>While not related to our current subject, what would you advise an applicant who has a subpar GMAT score and a dismal employment history to do? I'm aware that an application consists of more than just these two components, but even with the other components, there is really only so much refining that can be done. There is a straightforward answer; you won't be good enough, and thus you'll most likely only get into a school that is below average. Is there, however, a better choice? I know this is a really general issue, but I've always been curious about what the less intelligent and skilled crowd should do. They can improve themselves, for sure, but not everyone is going to be the smartest, so what then? Do we merely accept less?&nbsp;
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Duncan

RSM is a leading school, but it's meritocratic, not elite. It's got a really utilitarian building and good but practical facilities. It doesn't have the old-world exclusivity of an elite school. It's open. AGSM used to be the joint school of business of two leading universities, UNSW and Sydney. It's decelerated a bit since the divorce and lost the leadership position to Melbourne more than ten years ago, I feel. 

TCD claims that its business school goes back to 1925, rather as Edinburgh and Birmingham also claim to go back a century. But these schools are unrecognizable from what they were 20 years ago, and they all have new organizational forms too. They all had MBAs back then, but they were small affairs somewhat disconnected from the rest of management education and in modest premises. The Trinity MBA is old: dating back to 1964, but it generally had just 25 to 35 students. Most were Irish, or people of Irish descent, and many of the other were foreigners living in Ireland. For context, take a look at: https://web.archive.org/web/20030418024834/http://www.tcd.ie/Business_Studies/Mba/meet_the_class.html The PhD was also mostly for Irish people and and same is true of its MSc teaching: it offered part-time degrees to experienced professionals: https://web.archive.org/web/20030418022319/http://www.tcd.ie/Business_Studies/MSc/index.html

What TCD has done in the last few years is create something called "Trinity Business School" from a bit of what was then called the Faculty of Business, Economic and Social Studies. This school is very different from what went before, especially because it serves primarily international graduate students. A great test of this is to look through the people who lecture on the MBA and see when they joined the school. 
On another thread I have been writing about arbitrage. Information asymmetry produces conflicting valuations of schools. One example is between the LSE and schools like Bayes and Imperial, less famous colleges with business schools that are stronger for the MBA and MSc than is the LSE. This is a broad phenomenon, which I also discuss as having an efficient frontier: https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/is-the re-an-efficient-frontier-in-mba-selection-45894
If you have a weak GMAT you have a few levers to play with:
- Retake the GMAT, focussing on the weaker half of the score
- Change job
- Get leadership experience outside work
- Look for schools with that are ranked a little lower than their salary would suggest, especially ones where your diversity can help them. For example, many German, Indian and Spanish MBAs have fewer than one in three female students. If you are female, they should give a female application a second look. If they find two equally qualified candidates, they should pick the female one.  

RSM is a leading school, but it's meritocratic, not elite. It's got a really utilitarian building and good but practical facilities. It doesn't have the old-world exclusivity of an elite school. It's open. AGSM used to be the joint school of business of two leading universities, UNSW and Sydney. It's decelerated a bit since the divorce and lost the leadership position to Melbourne more than ten years ago, I feel.&nbsp;<br><br>TCD claims that its business school goes back to 1925, rather as Edinburgh and Birmingham also claim to go back a century. But these schools are unrecognizable from what they were 20 years ago, and they all have new organizational forms too. They all had MBAs back then, but they were small affairs somewhat disconnected from the rest of management education and in modest premises. The Trinity MBA is old: dating back to 1964, but it generally had just 25 to 35 students. Most were Irish, or people of Irish descent, and many of the other were foreigners living in Ireland. For context, take a look at: https://web.archive.org/web/20030418024834/http://www.tcd.ie/Business_Studies/Mba/meet_the_class.html The PhD was also mostly for Irish people and and same is true of its MSc teaching: it offered part-time degrees to experienced professionals: https://web.archive.org/web/20030418022319/http://www.tcd.ie/Business_Studies/MSc/index.html<br><br>What TCD has done in the last few years is create something called "Trinity Business School" from a bit of what was then called the Faculty of Business, Economic and Social Studies. This school is very different from what went before, especially because it serves primarily international graduate students. A great test of this is to look through the people who lecture on the MBA and see when they joined the school.&nbsp;<div><br>On another thread I have been writing about arbitrage. Information asymmetry produces conflicting valuations of schools. One example is between the LSE and schools like Bayes and Imperial, less famous colleges with business schools that are stronger for the MBA and MSc than is the LSE. This is a broad phenomenon, which I also discuss as having an efficient frontier: https://find-mba.com/board/general-forum/is-the re-an-efficient-frontier-in-mba-selection-45894</div><br>If you have a weak GMAT you have a few levers to play with:<br>- Retake the GMAT, focussing on the weaker half of the score<br>- Change job<br>- Get leadership experience outside work<br>- Look for schools with that are ranked a little lower than their salary would suggest, especially ones where your diversity can help them. For example, many German, Indian and Spanish MBAs have fewer than one in three female students. If you are female, they should give a female application a second look. If they find two equally qualified candidates, they should pick the female one.&nbsp;&nbsp;<div>
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