‘We couldn’t see through the bullsh*t’

Was snoozing through a postgrad info evening at the Hilton tonight, as previous stellar alumni were prattling on about how great the uni is, when one of the presenters [I haven’t included his name here, as I might follow it up] spoke about how he’d already had a great uni degree but when he hit his mid-30s, he was working for a big institution and a stream of quantitative finance graduates started giving presentations to the company based on the latest mathematical theories. “I started feeling like an old fogey. I didn’t know what these new theories were. We couldn’t see through the bullsh*t because we couldn’t understand what they were talking about.” He added that on a global scale, “that’s why the GFC happened”.

So several years ago he went back to uni, studied and caught up. ‘”When they came in and did a presentation, I knew what they were talking about. I could point out holes in their theories. They couldn’t bullsh*t me.”

On the study front, he said postgrads should expect to spend three hours out of class studying for every one hour of time spent in class.

‘Undergraduate life was all
about recreation, fornication,
inebriation and application’

he said, warning us “it’s different for postgrads” and we’d all have to work hard and get high marks. Every speaker urged us to do the postgrad courses part-time — classes are held on weeknights and intensives on weekends.

Last year, I bumped into a bloke I know vaguely at the train station and he said he used to teach at the London Business School and was employed here as a manager, doing “mathematical modelling”. The company he was with was hit badly by the GFC and a quarter of the company had been instantly retrenched. He lost his job shortly after. My job was outsourced to Brisbane about three months after he told me things were going to get worse, and I was redeployed in the same company. He got another job in the same field.

In other Sydney news, the Noodles Market in Hyde Park was going off tonight. Packed.

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