Sunday, 8 June 2014

After the exam, again

Finish line on the second level crossed yesterday. Several months of preparations; run-up period spent at home poring over practice exams and revising and for the sake of peace of mind, being detached from work. Despite having decided to quit, I refused to let up and still attempted to save the Company from its own destructive forces. Sounds shitty, as it is. I had some time to think things over and examine the direction I am drifting. There are upsides and downsides. The crucial one is while I dive deeper into work, life begins to have one dimension. If I care too much about work-related stuff, all the other issues recede into the background. If the New Factory turns out to be n merciless time-occupier, the call for rethinking the priorities will be even more compelling…

Back to yesterday… Level I was a totally new experience. This time the challenge was not a novelty. Still, it is a men’s world (again, more than eighty percent of candidates were male), I did not feel quite old as in December 2012 (much fewer students) and I met some of my university classmates, most of who ended up in big four (the career path chosen by the biggest percentage of SGH graduates, the one I have shied away from). Besides the feeling is pretty similar. The (first and hopefully the last – I seem to have fared well) attempt to tackle Level II from purely technical point of view was no different than what I went through one and a half years ago. I approached the issue stolidly practically. At some stage of preparations, namely on Thursday, I reached a point of saturation. I could not take in nor digest any more knowledge. I had studied since September 2013 diligently and in the last moment odds to effectively catch up were marginal. I fully realised during the exam I would encounter at least one question that would bring me to my knees (and did not mistake), but on the other hand knew such questions would be few (also right). The practical approach is not to have ambitions to have one of the highest scores on Earth. The goal is to pass; as much and as little. The results are due on 12 August. Now the wisest strategy is to forget about the experience for a while and enjoy the summer while I can.

Back to my mindset. I have noticed as time goes by, it takes more to impress me. If there was something which really moved me in the last weeks, it was the confession by Justyna Kowalczyk who publicly admitted she was struggling depression. Some show her respect for courage to speak about the (shameful) disease publicly, some argue this is an example of washing dirty linen in public and she does not deserve any compassion. When I watched at her, read interviews with her, I realised she has no makings of a celebrity. Without any insight into her psyche, I could hazard a guess personal life (lack of partner, unreciprocated love) had the greatest impact on her problems. I suppose had there been somebody beside her, she could have had more strength to overcome symptoms of depression.

Celebrations of 25th anniversary of partly-free elections – fulsome. Reverent coverage of Mr Obama’s visit – fulsome. US president’s speech – insincere.

On Friday I went to cinema to watch Powstanie Warszawskie. Was not the best choice for putting mind to rest before the exam, but never mind. The film has taken its toll on me, but once I read most of the recovered scenes had been shot in the first days of the Uprising when there was supply of current water and people were not dropping like flies from spreading diseases, it turned out the picture of humanitarian disaster was quite mild compared to what Warsaw actually witnessed in the autumn of 1944. Two hundred thousand residents of Warsaw dead, almost the whole left side of the capital obliterated, survivors driven out of the City and the Stalin’s Army waiting on the east bank of Vistula, waiting for Warsaw to bleed its last. Gruelling…


Anonymous said...

I checked back to see if you posted a follow up re: your most excellent result?
Congratulations are in order, I trust?

student SGH said...

it was so long ago that I almost forgot I had taken the exam and passed it :)

Time to sign up for level III

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Well done...I was sure you passed, but required confirmation. One more level to go. Level 3 is not as difficult... I'm sure you will breeze through (with adequate preparation, of course).
Hope you're enjoying the summer and spending time on patios watching pretty girls go by.

student SGH said...

oddly enough, you are one of few persons to find Level 3 easier than Level 2. In Poland my colleagues and friends, both those who only took and those who have passed Level 3 in unison claim it is the most difficult. They argue level 2 checks your 'hard knowledge', while level 3 puts into test your grasp of abstract / vague concepts. For candidates who don't deal with asset management on a daily basis it's not a piece of cake.

Oddly enough, I suppose I wasn't much above the threshold (out of 10 topic areas in 4 I scored more than 70% points, in 4 between 50% and 70% and in 2 50% or less. Oddly enough, I thought I'd fared better. But never mind...

I enjoy the summer on weekends and whenever I can glance at pretty girls going by. Why I'm not making the most of the summer... Will catch up tomorrow... (Or go back to this post and bear in mind my notice period was 3 months :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting, I don't know of anyone who ever suggested that Level 3 was more difficult. Unheard of , really. I know a couple of people who underestimated the studying required in Level 3 and failed, but admitted it was mostly due to a lack of preparation on their part.
I perceive Level 3 as an integration of knowledge, rather than a recitation of facts/information. I suppose that's why it had more appeal for me. You characterize it as more abstract/vague, whereas I felt it was more akin to the problem solving and tasks I would encounter in my work. It felt real and useful. Perhaps, that's why the preparation felt "easier"... its relevance was attractive to me.

I was in PL this summer with the family. The boys really enjoyed the experience, particularly my youngest (11). We spent some time in your neck of the woods (in Kepa Okrzewska and a neighbouring stable).

Matilde Muñoz Bertran said...

Many have experienced similar situations. These experiences would sign the most of my friends. I encourage. Enjoy the summer. With new apps now when we can share everything that happens to us. Now we are never alone. With whatsapp have our friends by our side with one-click.