Saturday, 5 February 2011


Hard to put it into words what I feel in one of turning points of my life. I suppose I would even have problems defining my emotions, and, disturbingly, they are rather sparse, though they should not.

On Wednesdat I took my last exam at SGH, to be precise this was the penultimate exam, since I still have to take my Master's exam, due... probably in late spring, bereaucracy permitting. My last two exams taken this week were both rough rides, however I hope for the best and contend that I will have gone through my studies without a single re-sit.

On Monday I start my first permanent job (formally I will have a three-month probationary period and then, if both parties agree, will it be a permanent job). This does not actually mean delving into a totally different world. I have had two encounters with the corporate world before and I cannot confess to feel anything like a "stage-fright", but I do feel a bit self-concious though.

The transition might be the right moment for some summaries. To put it possibly briefly, I have drawn up two lists of things I will miss and I will not miss after parting with SGH.


1. Day-to-day contact with peers. Truth be told my colleagues will be a bit or much older than me. From my past experience I know I can get along with older colleagues very well, but they are a sort of a different breed, they have different problems, pastime activities, interests, priorities in life, usually they have a different point of view because they have their own families and obligations it entails.

2. Clever, awe-inspiring lecturers, just to name a few:
dr Bogusław Czarny, who taught me basic micro- and macroeconomics, inspired to think independently, form my own opinions and who stressed the importance of the overriding rule in economics, that an assertion is true when it cannot be disproved, not when it can be proved,
prof. Marek Garbicz, for his breathtaking lectures, sense of humour and open mind,
prof. Maria Podgórska, for her patience, consistency and the fact she did not confine just to teach econometrics and mathematics in finance and insurance, but also wanted to instil in us integrity and made us aware how important in life it was,
mgr Sławomira Rajkowska, my best German teacher ever, unfortunately she stood in for our lecturer just for one term, but the progress I made (without much effort) was unbelievable. Had my Deutsch been that good today...
mgr Aneta Piwko, my best English teacher ever. If all teachers had such excellent command of English, passion and drive to teach, Germans would not stack up against Poles in terms of English skills.
prof. Sławiński... Here words are very unnecessary. Who experienced the pleasure of attending his lectures knows what I mean. The rest may only regret.
dr Piotr Mielus, the supervisor of my MA thesis and an outstanding practitioner.

3. Casual clothes. From next week will fit for weekends, holidays and cult dress-down Fridays. I actually like formal outfits so this one should be taken with a pinch of salt.

4. Commuting in non-peak hours. Lovely it was to get from or to Warsaw within fifty minutes in the middle of the day or in the evening when streets were already unclogged. My new recipe for avoiding traffic jams will be trains, so the journey between home and the office should take around an hour.

5. Job fairs, event, meeting famous people who visited SGH and other events. First two and a half years abounded in such events. Later the crisis came, companies cut their promotion budgets and I ran out of disposable pens.

6. Privileges. Not that soon. I will pick up my diploma some three months after the final MA exam, so I until then will I make the most of my ticket concession and other measurable benefits of being a student. The new world will compensate me for this by giving perks.

7. Unfettered speculation on stock exchange. From now I will not be able to do a real-time trading plus I will have several trading restrictions. This does not mean I will pull back from the stock market at all; the speculator will become a mid-term investor.


1. The overwhelming mess, bad communication between authorities and students and general disinformation.

2. Ignorance and laziness of lecturers. I do not even wish to comment. The list of admired lecturers was short. The list of big let-downs from the whole course of my studies would be much longer...

3. Workings of the student office (dziekanat), its surly personnel, quiant decisions (deleting completed courses from track record of studies, informing me about my Bachelor's exam the day before in the evening)...

4. To boot bad organisation, doing everything at eleventh hour...

5. Appaling use of English, which was ridiculed on this blog repeatedly.

6. Broken down central heating when outside it was -15C or unopenable windows and lack of curtains or blinds when outside temperature hit +30C

7. Lectures at 19:00 for day-time students (prevalent, alas).

Immersing in the corporate world will not only mean I will be self-supporting, but also will bring new challenges and real learning opportunities. In the coming months I expect to work harder and learn more than within four and a half years of my studies.

Hitherto I have not observed any sympthoms of depresja magisterska, (graduates afflicted with this malady are down in the dumps because the carefree period of studies is drawing to a close and they are in for forty years of work), but the worst might be still to come.

The last thing I can mention is the higher education system reform passed yesterday by the lower house of the Polish parliament. The new law is intended to curb two pathologies that plague Polish universities. Firstly, it imposes limits on number of jobs scholars can take. Secondly, it introduces tuition fees for students who take their second studies. From what I have observed, both steps will do Polish universities only good. At least in this respect the current government can be credited with a good job.


Paulina Wawrzyńczyk said...

After 2 year of leaving the UW I must say I miss hardly anything which is a surprise for me. The most painful is of course bilet normalny;) But I feel better without Polish elite lecturers as you wrote - very often lazy and ignorant.

adthelad said...

If you ever miss lectures here's one I heartily recommend for all economy students, young and old :)


adthelad said...

and there I was thinking I would get a response :(

student SGH said...

Big apologies Adam.

In truth I have watched the first part and was bewitched by the subtle blend of complexity and simplicity. Polish lecturers definitely lack that knack for claryfying. An outstanding day.

After all I had heard about most stuff this man talked about, but of course my lecturers to not match up to him!

adthelad said...

He's very good it has to be said. Plus the subject goes very much to the heart of popular misconceptions on growth and prosperity. And his conclusions, although rather dark, are well worth noting as well :)

Sorry for my little dig. It is a long lecture. I also posted this to Michał once and still wait to hear if he ever bothered to watch it (though I know he is a very busy man - and I know you've been up to your eye's with work as well).