To start off today, the Woodcock Global Honors Fellowship visited the Garden of Remembrance in the northern part of Dublin. The Garden of Remembrance commemorates the lives of those lost in the five wars that led to Ireland’s freedom. It was a humbling, beautiful location and a solemn start to our otherwise frantic day.
We then walked to Croke Park, the third largest sports Arena in Europe. Croke Park is owned by the Gaelic Athletic Association, a community based, volunteer organization centered around preserving the Gaelic games, Irish culture and establishing a lifelong community. The two largest sports played at Croke Park are hurling and Gaelic football. Hurling is a stick-based game dating back two millennia, while Gaelic football is a mix between rugby and handball dating back four centuries. The most impressive feature of Croke Park was the sheer size of the field, which is 144 meters by 86 meters. Behind the scenes, Croke Park is a carbon-neutral stadium, with additional sustainability efforts that aid in the management of the arena. Zero percent of waste goes to landfills. A filtration system is built under the pitch where rainwater is collected and used for sanitation after being cleaned. The grass clippings are shipped off to Dublin woods to be used for compost. Outside of the sustainability efforts, the staff that gave us the tour of Croke Park explained how they use funds from ticket sales and advertising deals to continue to manage the operations at Croke Park. With a non-for-profit model the GAA is able to be a socially responsible organization and run one of the largest athletic organizations in the world, spanning over a million members globally.
To conclude our day, our group visited the Davy Group office in Dublin and met with Niall Fenton, Managing Director, Marah Curtin, Head of Client Engagement, and Susan Hayes Culleton, Managing Director for Hayes Culleton Group. Davy Group is the largest stockbroker, wealth and asset manager, and financial advising group in Ireland with offices spanning throughout Ireland and in London. Mr. Felton discussed the history of Davy, and the issues the company faced in 2008 with the housing market crisis, and how the lessons he learned during that complex time have bettered his mindset for the next market decline. Ms. Curtin described how she combines the Davy Group values with her own personal values in supporting women in an industry dominated by men, by being a mentor with women who want to work in banking, and providing economic advice for women to understand the market in itself. The most interesting speaker, Mrs. Hayes Culleton, discussed the importance of personal branding, supplied advice on building a personal brand, supplied an understandable form to analyze intra-preneurship, and how failure is a building block in the process of innovation. The wisdom and information given to us by Mr. Fenton, Ms. Curtin and Mrs. Hayes Culleton alongside the company atmosphere and personalities of each individual made our visit to Davy Group my favorite company visit so far during this program. I plan to build on these details with the importance of personal branding, and how easy it is to create the light you want others to see you in for the business world, and the simplicity of keeping the connections you make. I’m thankful for the opportunity given to us in this program to visit such an interesting company, and look forward to the next adventure.