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Posted: 27 April 2006

Deloitte - Managing Employee Relations Prizes 2006

2nd year students of Business (Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Commerce International) and 3rd year students of Business and Law (Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies) gathered together in the unfamiliar environs of a large lecture theatre yesterday evening for a lecture by leading international scholar, Dr. Guglielmo Meardi of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick Business School and to celebrate the award of the Deloitte-MER prizes for excellence in teamworking by Mr. Neil Jones, a Partner in the London office of the sponsoring firm, Deloitte Consulting.

Photo of Prize-winners – First Prize
Winners of the Deloitte-MER teamwork prizes, 2006

Neil Jones visited the Belfield campus yesterday to speak to UCD students about their prospects for careers in consultancy. Confessing frankly that he had visited Ireland to “raise the image of Deloitte” in the minds of the students, he told them that his company recruits about 1,000 graduates every year and that it is remarkably difficult to find and recruit high-quality talent. Unlike UCD, many universities do not prepare students for the complexities of teamworking, and graduates entering Deloitte must go through an intensive training process that challenges them to reflect on how their own individual talents can contribute to the work of their teams – before they are “let loose on our clients” in the words of Mr. Jones.

Neil Jones encourages UCD students to think about
careers in Deloitte

The MER course team consists of Dr. Roland Erne, Tom Gormley, John Hall and Ilona Hunek, based in the Industrial Relations and Human Resources Group of the UCD School of Business. The continuous assessment process for the MER course is based on inviting students to form their own teams and performing a series of challenging tasks requiring intelligence, critical engagement, teamworking skills and sheer hard work. A series of four short but theoretically rigorous essays, one of them accompanied by a live presentation to fellow-students, is completed and the Deloitte-MER prizes of 400 euro are awarded to the teams who produce the best overall result. Due to the very high standards, second prizes (€160) were also awarded this year. After the seminar Deloitte confirmed that the company will sponsor the prizes next year as well.

Photo of Prize-winners – Second Prize
Runners-up for the Deloitte-MER teamwork prizes, 2006

Deloitte’s generous sponsorship of the event also covered the cost of hosting a guest lecture by Dr. Guglielmo Meardi on the employee relations implications of EU enlargement. Dr. Meardi began his research career in Poland in 1989 when the first non-communist coalition came to power. In the intervening years, he has become a respected analyst of developments in the region.

Dr. Meardi
Dr. Guglielmo Meardi spoke to UCD students about
the myths and realities of EU enlargement

Dr. Meardi argued that the dire predictions of some commentators that EU enlargement would result in “social dumping” had not been borne out because of a complex range of regulatory, economic and social constraints. He noted, nevertheless, the tragic irony that, while leaders of the free world gathered to celebrate the opening of the “Roads to Freedom” museum outside the old Lenin shipyards in Gdansk – the birthplace of Solidarity, the union that effectively challenged the communist regime – last August, a team of slave workers from North Korea was operating inside the yards, working long hours and being marched under escort to and from their sleeping quarters.

Perhaps the road to freedom can never reach its end.

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