J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics has partnered with local businesses to introduce a new module, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise, for their final-year Bachelor of Commerce students.
The course, developed by Michael Campion, Module Leader at NUI Galway, Pádraig Ó Céidigh, Chairman of Aer Arann and Adjunct Professor with NUI Galway’s JE Cairnes School of Business and Economics, and Páraic Breathnach, Managing Director with the Galway Arts Centre, involves students participating in innovative practice in all aspects of business and community enterprise.
The overall objective of the Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise course is to encourage self-confidence in students in their ability to be creative and innovative in whatever future business and/or community settings that they are working in.
With the support of 22 local business and community leaders who mentored the students, this module provides opportunities for over 330 students to engage in group-based projects requiring them to innovate with the community in a variety of interest areas.
The Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise module is part of a wider initiative within the J.E. Cairnes School of Business and Economics, supported by funding from the NUI Galway Students Projects Fund, to focus on student personal development planning, and employability skill development.
As part of the module, groups of students from the Bachelor of Commerce final-year class were required to present their innovation projects to various mentors through a number of stages of judging, resulting in the selection of four finalist groups.
On Friday, 26 March, these groups presented to the final judging panel consisting of Rory Coll, Coll & Co. Financial Consultants, Neil Johnson, Croí and Caroline O’Dea, Crospon.
The overall winners were Patrick Farrell from Claregalway, Co. Galway, Patrice Lacken from Ballina, Co. Mayo and Zhongyi Ren from China, for their group presentation entitled ‘Interactive Computerised Training Programme for a Service Sector Industry’. The winning group was mentored by Fiona Monaghan from Fáilte Ireland West.
John Concannon, Managing Director, JFC Manufacturing, commented: “This course is a great initiative. Businesses are made up of ideas and a good business is built around these; I find the ideas from our group very exciting and they are all the time playing around with these ideas. The way to have good ideas is to have a lot of ideas and some might be small steps just to get to where they want to go”.
Fiona Monaghan, General Manager, Fáilte Ireland West, said: “It is a big break-through in providing an opportunity for students to gain first hand experience of putting theory into practice with the support and resources of the mentoring panel from the business community, and at the same time having the backing of the teaching staff in the business school. The interesting phase is now to progress the ideas to see how realistic it is to bring them to market in a cost effective manner that will provide a return on investment”.