Irish Rail and CIT Masters students collaborate

Irish Rail and CIT Masters students collaborate

Published on: Tuesday, 08 May 2012

Irish Rail was the focus of extensive research by students of the Taught Masters of Business at the Department of Continuing Education, School of Business, CIT recently, under the direction of Dr Angela Wright, Research Supervisor. The culmination of this work was reached this week when a number of the senior commercial management team from Irish Rail, Gerry Culligan, Commercial Director,  Paul O’Kelly, Marketing Manager, and Andrew Roche, Business Development Manager, came to CIT to hear a presentation of the findings from four teams of participating Masters Students. The research was wide ranging, not only including first-hand examination of the customer experience and extensive interviews with the travelling public on the rail network, but also extended to in-depth interviews with relevant industry experts from other European Countries including Reto Meissner, Head of Marketing and Communications – Swiss Federal Railway SBB, and Hans de Jong, NS Railways, The Netherlands. 

Dr Wright commented "that, in keeping with the ethos of CIT, an intrinsic element of the Taught Masters Programme, from the outset, has been to interact with the real marketplace, experience the problems of real business practitioners and allow the students of this very successful programme to come face to face with Ireland's actual business environment. Therefore, it was extremely valuable to be allowed access this year to the work of one of our major national business operators, Irish Rail."

Don Crowley, Head of Department, said "all concerned were delighted with the courtesy, help and encouragement extended by the management and staff at Irish Rail for a very fruitful and productive collaboration which had delivered excellent experience for the Masters students, and valuable research for the company. He welcomes interest from other companies who would like to be involved with the Masters Programme, in the coming years in what has been an extremely successful concept for participating companies and student alike."

Gerry Culligan, Commercial Director of Irish Rail commented, "the research presentations and business recommendations from the four teams of participating Masters students were highly professional and provided valuable customer insight which will have a very practical application in future improvements in customer experience of our services. I am delighted that our involvement has resulted in a positive experience for CIT and it’s students as well as addressing a number of business challenges that are relevant in today’s trading environment."

Each year, there is a competitive element to this particular module of the Masters programme, and the four groups of students competed for the perpetual trophy sponsored by Seamus Heaney of the Cork Marketing Partnership. This year’s winning team consisted of, Lorraine O’Sullivan, Declan Roche, Tim O’Donovan, Ian Hurley, Gillian O’Driscoll.

If you would like more information on this collaborative module with industry contact Dr. Angela Wright at

(L - R) Andrew Roche, Business Development Manager; Paul O’Kelly, Marketing Manager; Gerry Culligan, Commercial Director Irish Rai; Dr Angela Wright, Research Supervisor;  with Lorraine O’Sullivan, Gillian O’Driscoll, Ian Hurley, Tim Donovan and Declan Roche, part-time students on the Master of Business programme.

Gerry Culligan, Commercial Director Irish Rail, Dr Angela Wright, Lecturer, CIT, and Paul O'Kelly Marketing Manager, Irish Rail.

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