Writing a blog post on lifelong learning during the last week of preparation for CFA II seems to be the best showcase of my strong belief in continuous learning. Let us discuss why famous learning by doing might not be the elixir in today´s world as we are running a marathon. In the sprint, low-start is used as the centre of gravity of the runner is already far ahead of the fulcrum, this is how it was — our thoughts were in the future, while bodies at the school.
Frankfurt School granted us with the Master track all the tools we needed to start a career. For instance, during an interview for a capital markets internship upon graduation, a senior banker said I seemed to be a ready-made specialist in the field rather than an intern. Later, during another interview, I pitched a short on CDS of an emerging country and dazzled the interviewer as he had just pitched it earlier that day. We were indeed prepared!
Nevertheless, after a couple of years paddling like a madman and figuring out how the world of finance works, one comes to a conclusion that what one learned once is not enough: either one signs ups for a python course, looks up a Certified Financial Planner certification, or for the ones who want to develop their soft-skills — a business negotiation course. Yes, learning by doing is praised enough; however, it is deceptive to a certain extent. Until one is ready for the next step, no one would offer her a new responsibility.
Back at the graduation, we did not even know what else we might need one day. To my belief, the constant growth within profession along one’s personal development brings new problem settings and challenges. Once, a senior colleague told me how her manager suggested he prepares her for the next promotion and that would require a year! They laid down a plan of interim goals and knowledge as well as skill milestones she needs to achieve before she would be ready to apply for the next position.
For me, going back to Frankfurt School on occasion of Alumni events, one-off seminars or lectures, career fairs is first and foremost a networking event among peers or senior professionals in the same or nearby field of duties or, to be honest, an opportunity to meet some classmates who you do not see too often during the working week.
No surprise, there is no white Final Line in this marathon – I prefer to think of it as a Relay Race — we pass on knowledge, experience, chances. Adherence to the club of Alumni gives us unique access to a wide range of information and professional encounters. We develop outside while the School develops on its own, while interviewing the new Master applicants I looked at the program that has already changed: e.g. programming courses were introduced as opposed to solely VBA-integrated tasks back then. The constant loop of feedback: from practice requirements through integration into a new study offer — this keeps the flow in action. I am surprised to see the high pace of evolution at Frankfurt School and how quickly they adapt to the new world. And, while being too much occupied with the everyday routines, I appreciate that Frankfurt School finds ways to engage Alumni in new learning opportunities, initiatives, and conferences and has recently introduced an Alumni Special, giving us alumni significant discounts, coming back to the School for further studies.