Open doors to new business connections

Our Experience in the Room series continues with Mark Ferrie from Bank Of Ireland and John Agnew from 3M Ireland. They both completed an IMI Mini MBA in Spring 2014. One year on, they recount their experinces and tell us how it has positively contributed towards their personal and professional growth. This piece was featured in the Sunday Business Post. 


The IMI’s mini MBA is aimed at senior and middle managers with little formal exposure to strategy, leadership, finance, marketing and strategy HR. The intensive five-day programme is designed to provide a supportive environment where participants can learn from content experts, practical application of case studies and from each other. For Mark Ferrie, HR operational efficiency manager at Bank of Ireland, the mini MBA provided a wide-ranging insight into business. Having started at branch level in Montrose in 1998, and worked his way up through the organisation, he had completed numerous banking exams, including a QFA. “I had a desire to do something with a broader context and had looked around at several courses. When I got the opportunity to do the mini MBA at the IMI through my employer last February, I jumped at it,” he said. “The lecturers picked out key pieces under each topic and brought a lot of real- world examples into the material. The content was also very strongly led by the class. That interactive format was one of the strengths of the course,” said Ferrie. “The connections forged in classes were valuable and the learning environment encouraged this.”

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Back in Bank of Ireland the following week, Ferrie presented a review of key learnings from the IMI course. “As well as gaining a greater understanding of key topics, I was empowered to have confidence in my own voice. An individual 360 review was completed in advance for the leadership module and that insight alone was worth the week.”So impressed with the course was Ferrie that he signed up for an IMI Diploma in Strategy and Innovation . “It really opened up the gateway to further business learning for me,” he said.

For John Agnew, marketing executive at 3M Ireland Electronics and Energy Business Group, participation in the mini MBA was in line with his employer’s focus on career development. “At the beginning of every year we agree a development plan with our managers. I was at the point where I thought it would be beneficial to expand on my areas of knowledge,” he said. “I had studied economics and politics and done a Master’s degree in politics. I made the transition to marketing on joining 3M and spent the first few years nailing down the role. As the role evolved, I then wanted to get some formal academic exposure into other areas such as finance, HR and leadership,” Agnew said. Doing the course last April gave him a broader outlook on a number of fronts such as finance, HR and the broader strategic elements of managing a business. “My role involves working with people in these functions and the mini MBA gave me a stronger awareness of their roles and the need for all business functions to work in harmony to drive growth.”

Find out more about the IMI Mini MBA running this Spring.

See the The Experience in the Room series.