Martin Curran

From an Irish Countryside to International Success

November 2, 2023
Martin Curran, an exchange student from the University of Bath in England, is spending his semester studying at the University of Richmond.

Written by Sofiia Mikadze, '24

Martin Curran, an exchange student from the University of Bath in England, is spending his semester studying at the University of Richmond. A driven student whose journey started from a modest background in Northern Ireland, Curran grew up in a family of seven and understood the challenges his parents faced. Determined to make the most of his potential, Curran set out on a remarkable path.

At 17, the freshly graduated high school student had the unique experience of interning at HSBC in Belfast, working in retail banking and wealth management. He rubbed shoulders with business and mortgage consultants and experienced the finance industry.

In the same summer, Curran secured an internship scholarship through the Social Mobility Foundation, a reputable charity that works with high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds. The program allowed him to spend a few weeks at J.P. Morgan in London. He shadowed an economic analyst, learned to conduct analyses and write reports, and witnessed the inner workings of a trading floor. 

But his determination didn't stop there. Having just graduated from his high school in Northern Ireland, Curran decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in business at the University of Bath in England. In his freshman year, he was applying for professional opportunities and received an offer from Anheuser-Busch, where, during his summer internship, he managed a $1.6 billion deal. His analysis played a crucial role in the success of products like Budweiser Draft, Budlight Seltzers, and Mike’s Seltzers. “We ran trials, analyzed performance, and even prepared a pitch deck for the deal, which, in turn, won,” he said.  

Just before coming to Richmond, Curran was a marketing intern at Kraft-Heinz. He contributed to the launch of various sauces, drawing inspiration from flavors worldwide, including Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands. In a testament to his innovative thinking, he helped introduce new, healthier sauces based on existing products.

Throughout his years at Bath, he continued to gain professional experience, interning with leading companies, including a large retailer, where he detected fraud and saved substantial amounts of money, uncovering over 30 cases of online fraud schemes and preserving £100,000 in the process.

Now, Curran finds himself at Richmond on a semester-long exchange where he's been warmly welcomed by his peers. “The campus is beautiful, and I love the dining hall,” he shared. In his Marketing Analytics class, he's been able to work on an Anheuser-Busch case study and connect the work back to his prior internship experiences at the company, bringing a real-world perspective to his studies. He appreciates the interactive and hands-on approach to learning: “Participation, here, matters a lot. There are also more incremental assignments, which let you immerse yourself in the topic.” Through his classes here in Richmond, Curran was able to improve further the skills he had gained in his internships in the past. 

Looking ahead, Curran has discovered his passion lies in marketing and sales, as well as problem-solving through his fraud detection experiences. He's determined to have fun in his future career, being open to all opportunities that come his way. He firmly believes that one's background should not dictate the future and offers this advice to others: "Do not let yourself be a victim of your circumstances. Take every opportunity that comes your way, even if you think you won't get it."

Curran's story is a testament to the power of hard work, seizing opportunities, and the importance of a positive attitude. His journey from a low-income background to an accomplished business student is a source of inspiration for all students, both here and abroad.