Ulster University students meet with Joe Kennedy III during Boston College stay

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Participants from Ulster University’s pioneering 25@25 Leaders Programme landed in Boston last week for a residential at the renowned Babson College, the programme’s only portion that takes place in the United States.

The purpose of the residential is to develop the participants’ entrepreneurial skills, learning how to apply them effectively in any organisational setting.

While there, participants, who included among their number Nuala McAdams, manager at EY NI and Derry resident, engaged in a series of practice-based workshops and sessions led by innovative and celebrated speakers and experts in the field of entrepreneurship with the aim of assessing and developing their own entrepreneurial skills and learning how to apply them in any organisational setting.

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The group attended an exclusive UU Connects: Leadership event in Downtown Boston. Addressed by Joe Kennedy III, United States Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, participants had the opportunity to network and connect with Ulster University alumni based in the Boston area. He said: “25@25 is an absolutely extraordinary programme. It's extraordinary because of the opportunity it provides, but what sets it apart is the calibre of the participants. These are extraordinary leaders from Northern Ireland but they’d be extraordinary leaders anywhere in the world. The opportunity, the optimism, the vision, the dedication and the potential that they represent is really inspiring. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do in the future. My hopes for this group of leaders is sky high.”

Participants from Ulster University including Magee Provost Malachy Ó Néill and Gemma-Louise, who took to the stage in a hand-made gold linen coat, designed and crafted by a fellow 25@25 leader, Amy, who founded and runs Kindred of Ireland, with Joe Kennedy III in Boston.Participants from Ulster University including Magee Provost Malachy Ó Néill and Gemma-Louise, who took to the stage in a hand-made gold linen coat, designed and crafted by a fellow 25@25 leader, Amy, who founded and runs Kindred of Ireland, with Joe Kennedy III in Boston.
Participants from Ulster University including Magee Provost Malachy Ó Néill and Gemma-Louise, who took to the stage in a hand-made gold linen coat, designed and crafted by a fellow 25@25 leader, Amy, who founded and runs Kindred of Ireland, with Joe Kennedy III in Boston.

They also enjoyed a visit to Massachusetts State House - the seat of government for the state which is one of the oldest state capitals in use in the US.

There, they met with the Governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey and heard about her journey from a career in law to Governor.

But what did the participants think of their trip? James McCarthy, a journalist and 25@25 participant had this to say about his week: “This week has been absolutely transformational – we arrived here on Sunday and we really got into the details of the programme. I have to say that through personal reflection and through different aspects of the entrepreneurial programme that we’ve done, I am leaving Boston a completely different person. “The highlight for me was visiting the Massachusetts Statehouse and meeting the Governor. It was so interesting to hear her story of how she progressed from Attorney General. Also speaking to US Special Envoy to NI, Joe Kennedy III and hearing from Alumni and understanding their stories – I made a lot of connections and look forward to building on them in the future!”

University Provost, Professor Cathy Gormley-Heenan said: “We have enjoyed a wonderful week in Boston with our friends and colleagues from Babson College, who have made us feel very welcome. Over the course of the week participants were encouraged to uncover, develop, and put into practice Babson’s proven methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action. It is our hope that each participant will take home a new skill set which will accelerate their mission, whether that is to revitalise an existing organisation, start a new one, drive social change or re-energise a social good within the creative arts, health care, sustainability or some other sector critical to the future of Northern Ireland.”

Over the past 15 years, over 100 students from Ulster have completed courses at Babson College as the two universities have enjoyed a two–decade-long partnership.

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