When global supply chain adjunct professor and Dublin native John Connolly first came to visit Utah as a young adult, he had no idea that he would be teaching classes at the BYU Marriott School of Business only eight years later. Now, Connolly is thankful for his past education and experiences and feels privileged to be part of the aim to educate and influence students at BYU.
Connolly first came to the United States in 2002 as a college student from Ireland. “My summer trip to the United States was kind of nuts,” says Connolly. “While I was still in college in Ireland, I spontaneously visited the U.S. on an exchange visitor visa. I came to visit friends and stayed with them in Orem and had a fun summer.” Though Connolly considered the idea of studying at BYU, a school he knew well, he ultimately decided to return to Ireland to complete his studies because he thought it would impossible for him to be accepted into BYU.
Back in Ireland, Connolly received his undergraduate degree in human resource management with a minor in accounting from the National College of Ireland in 2004. He then went on to complete his master’s at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in 2005 in operations management, now known as global supply chain.
Receiving his master’s degree added real value to his life, says Connolly. “I’m lucky for the inspiration that came to me, as well as the direction, drive, and ambition, to get a master's degree,” he says. “Those traits have been huge blessings to me and have opened lots of doors for me and my family. I don’t think I would have received my current teaching position at BYU if I majored in anything else.”
Beginning in 2010, Connolly and his wife and children traveled back and forth between Ireland and the United States. He taught at universities in Ireland and at Ensign College, formerly known as LDS Business College, in Salt Lake City. He returned to Utah in 2018 and started working full-time at BYU Marriott as an adjunct professor teaching several introductory classes to global supply chain.
Connolly feels privileged to have the chance to be a faculty member at BYU and hopes his students can see the excellence of BYU as an institution. “We have fantastic educators here, and I consider it a privilege to be numbered among these kinds of leaders. I love the vision that people like Brigham Young and others held through the years, which is that education is important and that we can help make our school stand out from the rest,” says Connolly.
Connolly continues to work in global supply chain using the same concepts that he teaches his students in the classroom. In the past, Connolly helped auto industry companies with their supply chain management and worked as a consultant; now, he develops several small business ideas on the side. Some of his current projects include interactive software to teach business students, renewable energy solutions, and websites to help consumers save money. “My philosophy is that you have to have several good ideas in order for one or two of them to work well,” says Connolly.
His personal projects along with his past experience in global supply chain have allowed Connolly to receive his education, have a successful career, and spend time passing on his knowledge and passions to his students. “We're doing some great things here at BYU Marriott. We are preparing these students to go and make a difference in the world, and I am humbled by the fact that I get to be part of it.”
Writer: Emily Atwood