About the
UCC Commerce Conference

Welcome to the 39th Annual UCC Commerce Conference. Since the conference was established in 1982, the event has evolved to become one of the most prestigious business conferences in Ireland. It is one of the events that the UCC Commerce Society is most proud of as it continuously bridges the gap between aspiring students and their business mentors, thus building relationships between both communities.

Featured Speakers
2020 Attendees
Hours of Content

Transitioning with
the Times

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘Transitioning with the Times’. As students, the year 2020 has been significantly challenging and has really allowed us all to take a step back, re-evaluate and learn how to transition into the future with such unprecedented times ahead. We chose this theme as Ireland is currently facing some of the most unprecedented challenges it has faced in the past number of years, such as dealing with the current Covid-19 Pandemic. Our theme also focuses on the many obstacles that businesses have faced in recent times, such as the Recession of 2008.

We also want to highlight the other hardships that businesses have to go through, such as entrepreneurs re-inventing themselves and their business in order to adapt to the new changes that this world is constantly facing, and the struggles of entrepreneurs setting up new business ventures. Businesses need to constantly adapt to change in order to Transition with the Times.

Testimonials of the
UCC Commerce Conference

UCC Commerce Society.


Who We Are

The UCC Commerce Society is Cork’s largest and most active business -orientated university society. This year, we are celebrating our 90th year as a society, and we continue to grow year upon year. The society endeavours to cater for the needs of students of the Business & Law Faculty and all other students in every way possible.

Our Mission

The UCC Commerce Society has evolved from having a single focus on certain business elements to becoming UCC’s most prestigious society that hosts some of the most highly anticipated events on the UCC calendar, most notably the annual UCC Commerce Conference, which brings together some of Ireland’s top business representatives.

Transitioning with
the Times

The Commerce Society heavily embraces the academic side of college and provides support and training to ensure you get the grades you aspire to achieve. We are committed to creating a strong communication link between faculties/departments, class representatives and the student body in order to ensure that the society is at the core of all matters pertaining to our members.

Previous Confs

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Meet the Team

Rebecca O'Mahony

Conference Director

Anna Butler

Conference Director

Eoin O' Reilly

Committee Member

Éadaoin Murphy

Committee Member

David Walsh

Committee Member

Isabelle Canning

Committee Member

Auditors Address
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 39th Annual Commerce Conference. Since the conference’s inception in 1982, it has grown to become the most prestigious student-led conference in Ireland. This year is certainly no exception, especially as we host our first ever virtual conference. Conference directors, Anna Butler and Rebecca O’Mahony, have shown incredible levels of innovation and dedication, alongside their team, Isabelle Canning, Eoin O’Reilly, Éadaoin Murphy and David Walsh, in producing such a high quality event. They have assembled a stellar line-up of industry professionals from across the globe to speak to the students of UCC. This year’s theme, “Transitioning with the Times”, seeks to inspire students to persevere in the face adversity and to utilize change as an opportunity for growth through these uncertain times.

2021 marks the Commerce Society’s 90th anniversary. We take great pride in how our society has embraced the educational, social and academic aspects of university life. Our events strive to enhance the overall student experience. The society is run entirely by students for students, with the aim of representing their interests within UCC and in the wider business community in Cork.

For the first semester ever, UCC went virtual. I am very proud of how well the committee has adapted to the online world. Our promotions team have worked tirelessly this year, optimising the use of our social platforms in order to fulfil our motto in “connecting students and business”. We saw the launch of our first IGTV Series “Fairytale of New Cork”. Our vice-PRO, Ben Roche, interviewed various business’ around Cork, encouraging people to support local in the festive season. In addition to this, we saw the launch of our first podcast series, “Comm Casts”, hosted by Vice-Chairperson Gavin Holland and Entertainments Officer, Colm Foley.

Education officer, Aoife Cudden, worked alongside Ify Nzewi and Lifa Mkhandawire, to organise Grad talks and workshops from leading industry professionals in Ireland. These included talks from KPMG,Dell Technologies, Bord Bia, Jameson, Enterprise Ireland and Philip Coffey – Career/Leadership coach. Aoife handled the transition to the online world seamlessly, leading to the highest number of attendees our education events have ever seen.

In November, we celebrated Commerce Week. While we missed our Annual Commerce Ball, we worked hard to ensure that the social aspect of university life was maintained virtually. Our Sports and Social Officer Sally Hickey and her Vice, Sean Wallace, organised a Beginners Yoga Class, which gave students a time to pause in the midst of a very busy semester.

With the hardship endured in the last year, we felt it was an important time to give back. We took part in the “Turn UCC Pink” campaign, alongside CancerSoc and the Students Union, which raised over €3,000 in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. The CommSoc boys took part in a Movember campaign which raised over €1,000. Most recently, we produced a 12 Days of Christmas Campaign and Christmas mask sale which raised over €1,000 for the Cork City Children’s Hospital Club.

Planning for semester two is well under way. Following our conference, we will be holding our Digital Marketing Summit at the end of February, as well as debuting our first Mind Your Mental Health campaign, and much more. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Vice Chairperson, Gavin Holland, Finance Officer, Amy Ryan, Ex-Officio, Eoin Collopy, and PRO, Rose Goggin, for their commitment to ensuring every event ran smoothly in semester one.

Jennifer O' Dowling

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of the Conference?

The benefits of attending the conference are unmatched by any other student-run event. Attendees will receive an invaluable insight into the work ethic of successful business people, learning about the required mindset that will lead to an admirable career. With an abundance of information provided on a variety of Graduate Programmes, attending the conference will undoubtedly improve a business student’s application approach in the future. These are just some of the many benefits awarded to attendees!

Can I watch a specific panel or do I have to watch all panels?

You do not have to listen to all 3 panels. There will be 3 separate links on the website which will direct you to the respective panel. You can tune in at any suitable time during the day. (You will not be interrupting the Conference and no one will see who is joining/leaving)

Do you have to be a BComm student to attend?

No, certainly lot. The UCC Commerce Conference is open to all students of University College Cork. However, due to the conference being online this year, it is open to absolutely anyone around the world that wishes to attend!

How do I register for the Commerce Conference?

Registration opens on Thursday the 28th of January at 7pm. You can register by clicking the 'Register' button on the top right-hand side of the website where you will be brought to the Eventbrite page. All you need to do is fill in your name and email address!

Do I have to have my camera and microphone on for the duration of the Conference?

No, cameras and microphones will not be on at any stage during the conference. Only the hosts and the speakers will have the option of enabling these features, to ensure that attendees can focus solely on the speakers. All questions can be asked through the Q&A section.

How can I ask the speakers a question?

During each panel, there will be a Q&A segment whereby the attendees of the conference can ask the speakers questions. The attendees can do so by typing their questions into the chatbox and the MC will read out the question to the specific speaker.