Enactus World Cup: KPMG Bursary Winner's Experience - Katie Couhglan, UL

Katie Coughlin, a third year Business and Japanese student from UL and social media officer of Enactus UL shares with us her experience at this years Enactus World Cup in San Jose!


‘At this years National Competition I was fortunate enough to receive a bursary from KPMG, allowing me to travel to the 2018 Enactus World Cup, located in Silicon Valley. After months of preparation, October finally came around and I embarked on the long flight over to San Francisco, with six other students from UL, as well as one of our lecturers.

Upon arriving at the convention center in San José, I was met with large crowds of people and the sound of drums banging. I instantly knew the few days I would spend here would be so much more than I had imagined. On the first day of the World Cup, all 36 countries presented their projects to the judges. This was an excellent opportunity for me to gain an insight to the work that other students were doing and gain inspiration from their projects. The first day closed with Ireland being announced as 1 of 12 semi finalists, which was a fantastic accomplishment for DCU, and a testament to the hard work and dedication they have put into all their projects.

During the World Cup, students had the opportunity to attend a series of breakout sessions given by industry leaders, to gain an insight in to particular topics such as sustainability education and the future of mobility. We also had the opportunity to attend the World Cultural Experience, a showcase of the diverse nations within Enactus and a chance to meet students from around the world and learn about their culture.

Katie Coughlin mingling with other attendees at the World Cultural Experience

Undoubtedly, a highlight for many of us was the very inspiring speech given by the 66th United States Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, who spoke very eloquently and also allowed students to ask questions.

As a member of Team Ireland, I was invited to attend things such as a networking event, hosted by Enterprise Ireland. This was an excellent opportunity to talk to different people within the Enactus network such as Karina Howley, Head of Corporate Citizenship & Diversity of KPMG Ireland as well as other business people like the Consul General of Ireland to the Western United States.


By the final day of World Cup everybody was buzzing with excitement to find out who the winner would be. Watching the final four teams present was a fantastic opportunity to see the very best that Enactus has to offer. UL was also lucky enough to have been selected as one of two colleges in Ireland to present our project Gemini at the World Project Fair. This was an excellent opportunity for students to showcase their projects, gain feedback and also find out more about other projects from around the world. After Canada was announced as the 2018 Enactus World Cup champion, we were invited to attend an after party hosted by Unilever, to mark the end of the 3 days.

Overall, attending the Enactus World Cup has been such an incredible experience, and I am extremely grateful to KPMG for providing me with a bursary. I have learned so much from hearing about other countries’ projects and I have met so many wonderful people from across the world. Above all, attending the Enactus World Cup has shown me the phenomenal impact passionate students are making globally and how we can all make a positive change in the world.

As the saying goes; ‘when we compete to improve lives, #WeAllWin.’

If you missed out on being in San José for the World Cup, you can catch up on photos here and watch Ireland in the Opening & Semi-Final Round of Competition here!

Liam Redmond