If you didn’t know, I’m a bit of a nerd. Yup a real shocker. During my undergraduate days, especially in my final years, I would get excited about going to class and doing my tutorials. So you can imagine my excitement now that I’m embarking on my Masters next week! To think 10 years has passed since my freshmen orientation camp… god I feel so old.
Yesterday was orientation day so here’s a quick recap, some excited rambling and discussions on the implications on this blog.
The Postgraduate Orientation programme was crammed into a single day with breakfast, lunch and dinner all fully catered for. Breakfast started at 8.15 am, so naturally I was late 😛 Registration was quick and everyone got a bunch of free stuff in the goodie bag.
As I applied for this Masters alone, I did not know any of my course mates beforehand. As such, I spent breakfast wandering around hoping to find someone I knew.
I immediately noticed a distinctly Chinese orientation to the crowd, with females greatly outnumbering males. Also, I felt too old for the crowd, even though I’m still in my early 30s.
This was quickly confirmed during the mind-numbing barrage of talks given by faculty and support staff. Here are some statistics for my course off the top of my head:
- Gender – 1:3 Males to Females
- Age – About 65% students in the 20s
- International students – 60% of cohort
- Full time vs Part time – About 2/3 students are doing full time studies
- Part time student backgrounds – 25% from professional services
From library services, to IT help desk, to academic matters, I will need to slowly wade in and learn about it.
The talks took up a large part of the morning. After that was a quick tour of the swanky campus buildings – the Main Library, the Law Library and the SMU Labs. The SMU Labs was particularly
obnoxious cool. It seemed like a student lounge, but modeled after a WeWork.
There are all sorts of tech start up furniture and areas.
Bean bags? Check. Cube table tennis? Check. 20 man foosball table? Check.
And that’s only the first floor. There’s 4 floors of this stuff. Will need to go back to check it out on my own time.
Dinner and drinks
I’ll skip the afternoon portion as it was essentially a psychometric profile workshop. The evening portion of the programme was the dinner buffet and networking over drinks. After the mandatory speech by the dean and class presidents of the senior batches, dinner and drinks was served.
My batch mates generally were great and approachable, with varied backgrounds. It was cool to speak to some of the seniors, especially the part time students and how they juggle studies, work and family. They essentially say that part time students have to be prepared to burn their weekends. It will be a tough but rewarding journey. There was even a Financial Controller with 3 kids and got straight As! I guess there is no excuse for me not to do well in this course.
Here are more photos posted by SMU on Orientation day:
I started the day feeling rather low energy but ended the day feeling pumped and ready for school. I find myself checking the learning management system every so often to see if there are any notes posted for next week’s classes (There are ridiculously no notes and readings at the moment for 2 of my modules #@$@&#~!). I’ve never been more excited about going to school and learning new things.
I guess school is something that you learn to cherish when you leave it.
If you have noticed, over the past few weeks, the depth of my articles has been dropping as I try to search for a less time consuming format to give opinions on investing and personal finance. This is in preparation for my return to being a student.
I’ve settled on a weekly headlines format which I will debut next week. I’ll briefly cover the financial news headlines for the past week, give my quick thoughts on each topic and maybe drop in some financial words of wisdom at the end. At the same time, I’ve committed myself to writing 1 REIT related article each month for DrWealth, so do check it out as and when it is released.
In essence, you will still hear from me but at a lesser pace and depth. Thank you for your support over the years and hope you will appreciate this new format.