NCI Blog

NCI Business Students Go The Extra Mile for GOAL

Posted by Andrea Leyden on 17 December 2019

GOAL Mile Business Project

Students in NCI’s School of Business are progressively challenged throughout their time studying with us to enhance their learning experience.

Incorporating collaborative projects with international companies is one way of growing experience and knowledge of various business disciplines as well as building confidence for a future working in a professional environment at management level. An excellent example of our undergraduate business students directly connecting with industry is how our BA (Hons) in Marketing Practice students developed individual brands utilising the Shopify ecommerce platform as part of their final-year business project.

The GOAL Mile

This semester, MSc in International Business and MSc in Management postgraduate students had the opportunity to bring their cutting edge knowledge to a ‘real-world’ project: GOAL Miles.

The GOAL Mile is the international humanitarian aid agency’s longest-running fundraiser. Since 1982, thousands of people all over Ireland leave the comfort of their cosy Christmas homes on December 25th and run, jog or walk a mile to raise funds for some of the world’s most vulnerable people all around the world. Money collected at GOAL Mile events may bring food, water and shelter to a community that has been hit by disaster. The donation might be directed to longer-term health and nutrition projects or it could enable someone to escape poverty through training and financial assistance.

“We have a lot of local organisations across Ireland that host a GOAL Mile every year,” says David Burns, Community Fundraising and Events Manager at GOAL.

“There were 130 separate events last year. It’s hard to express how appreciative we are for this loyal support. Those events enable thousands of people to participate, who don’t even need to register in advance, they can just turn up at their local Mile on Christmas Day, donate what they can, and do their mile at a pace that suits them – for some, it’s become their annual family race! ”

The Challenge

The challenge for our postgraduate students is to come up with a marketing strategy that is inclusive of and builds on the current level of support provided. David shares the importance of NCI students’ participation in the campaign this year in letting more people know about the Mile and encourage them to take part.

David Hurley lectures in marketing at National College of Ireland and brought the GOAL Mile project to the attention of the MSc in Management and MSc in International Business students.

David comments that “students on these courses are studying part-time in the evening along with working, so they bring a wealth of their own experience into the classroom which makes for a richer learning environment.” These students want a recognisable gain from their studies and by applying their knowledge to a charity and using it do some good, “well, there’s nothing better than that.”

Picture 5 goal
Project Proposals

Students have come up with 5 proposals that focus on different campaign objectives. For example, two groups helped position the GOAL Mile to various corporations around Ireland to increase participation among office workers.

Other groups were tasked with attracting a younger audience, which presented quite a challenge in the digitally-connected world we now live in, but yielded brand new insights and marketing ideas on how to connect with Generation Z.

“The pitches we’ve heard from NCI students have real value to us,” says Eamon Sharkey, Global Head of Fundraising & Marketing at GOAL.

“We are getting fresh viewpoints from Masters’ level students, who came into this with no preconceptions about GOAL Miles, no sense of limitation, nothing off the table. To be able to access this resource of knowledge, time and effort will have a lasting impact on GOAL Miles, as what we learn – even the ideas not applied this year – will inform and enrich our strategy going forward. In particular, we have some really great insights about how to engage younger audiences, and we will put that into practice right away.”

Well done to all of our students who got involved in this project to support such a vital organisation who works tirelessly to aid humanitarian efforts. 

You can find your local Mile or register to organise a GOAL Mile event at

If you’re in studying masters level, find out more about our postgraduate courses in business which are delivered both part-time and full-time at our IFSC campus. Applications are now open for the MSc in International Business and the MSc in Management courses starting in January 2020 along with a range of other courses. Get in touch with our Admissions Team if you have any questions about applying!

Topics: Part-time Courses, Postgraduate Courses, School of Business