Day one started bright and early with the group meeting at 06.30 am at Edinburgh airport, coffees in hand to keep us awake. We arrived in Dublin and a gorgeously sunny day welcomed us. From the airport we went straight to Murex, where we were met by a UEBS alum who had been on the Dublin trek previously, and had secured a job at the company as a result. Murex provides technology as a catalyst for growth and innovation in capital markets. Several speakers kept us entertained and we were able to learn more about project management and sprint management.
We then headed across to the Bank of Ireland Workbench at Grand Canal Square. Here we learnt more about the innovative Workbench space that the bank provides to connect entrepreneurs, the bank branch, and the local community. The bank offers free tea, coffee and wifi plus an open space for co-working, seminars, clinics and events to encourage innovation and support start-ups.
Following this we listened to a fascinating and insightful talk by Brian Marrinan on the Irish economy, and a brilliant overview of the history of Ireland as a country, including its connections to the USA and its history of immigration. We also learnt how Dublin evolved to become a hub for financial services and tech companies from across the world. Brian delivered an excellent synopsis of the country.
That afternoon we had free time and were able to explore Dublin, and the area around the Mespil Hotel where we were staying. A group of us decided to find a traditional Irish pub for dinner and we discovered a homely pub off the tourist radar called The Den Bar at the Lansdowne Hotel. We were treated to a hearty cottage pie and true Irish hospitality.
After a scrumptious hotel breakfast we walked across the Docks to Accenture Dock where we were met by more UEBS alumni. We were asked to sign confidentiality agreements about what we saw at Accenture, but I can say it was fascinating and a privilege to see the work the company are doing.
We were given a tour of the impressive building and had a variety of project stops introducing us to the portfolio of projects the company engages in at the Dock. Following this, we had free time to walk around and explore the city centre a bit more. We enjoyed our walk along the canals and stopped at a quaint restaurant called “Lunch!” for a cosy Irish lunch. From there, we wondered across to Trinity College Dublin and took photos of the beautiful campus, before making our way back to the hotel via the busy Grafton Street, and through the peaceful St Stephen’s Green Park.
In the afternoon we visited the Guinness Storehouse, and took a fantastic audio tour of the process by which they make the world famous Guinness. We were also treated to some tastings and a pint at the Gravity Bar overlooking the city of Dublin.
After the tour we headed to Hanover Quay at the Docks for a networking event with UEBS alumni and company representatives. It was a lovely setting and the Trek members enjoyed getting to know each other and networking in a relaxed environment.
After checking out of the hotel, we walked across the canal to the offices of IDA Ireland and met another UEBS alum and her boss, for a talk about investments in Ireland. It was a really interesting talk about how the country attracts investment and the steps it takes to retain investment. It was also inspiring to hear how innovative the country is.
We then had free time to explore the National Museum of Archaeology to see some ancient gold jewelry and learn about the famous “bog men”. At the Little Museum of Dublin we were treated to a delightfully interactive tour of bits and bobs donated by the people of Dublin.
After a whirlwind tour of Dublin and meeting some fantastic people, we headed back to Edinburgh inspired by the possibilities and new connections we had made.