The PGDA 2017 First Lecture – #WE(CA)N

Throwing weakness.  30-day burpee challenge.  Photos of puppies and baseball.  The PGDA launch lecture had it all.  Here is a breakdown of what happened when, just in case you missed it, are curious, or you need to be inspired again later on in the year:

Head of College, Goolam Modack, congratulated everyone on meeting the PGDA entrance requirements.  He spoke of the respect that many people (including those he met in New York) have for those that are completing PGDA.  His challenge?  Make excellent decisions every day and these will add up!

After a quality video, that included a mannequin challenge, the Academic Trainees danced into the venue (this was definitely the first time anyone has ever danced into a PGDA lecture).  Students were asked to stand, ball up their weakness, and throw it into their greatness (you had to be there).  The trainees will all be involved in tutorial groups this year and will conduct mapping sessions this week in tutorials.

The PGDA head, Riley Carpenter, then broke all the admin down into the nitty gritty details.  Tests, tut groups, timetable structure – it was all covered.  His preferred analogy?  PGDA puppies were going to turn into Top Dogs by the end of the year!

Financial Reporting lecturer, Tumi Qheya, then compared PGDA to one of those 30-day fitness challenges.  To complete the challenge successfully you need three things.

  1. Technique – you need to do things properly, quality rather than quantity.
  2. Consistency – you need to keep moving, rather do today what you want to postpone until tomorrow.
  3. Progression – you need to keep increasing your workload, by the end of 30 days you are fitter than you ever imagined!

I then had the privilege of sharing my “The obstacle is the way” message.  PGDA is not something that you HAVE to do, it is something that you GET to do.  Many did not meet the entrance requirements and would love to also be seated in the packed Chris Hani lecture theatre.  There are no shortcuts to success, only grit and hard work will get you there.  Every day you need to #rockup.

Finally, Head of PGDA Vibe, Richard Mellon, spoke about the importance of mindset.  Optimistic Owen fails to count the cost of PGDA, Negative Nigel fails to see the opportunity that PGDA presents, and Calculating Cathy has found her zone!  Taking it to the next level though is Excellent Esethu who has learnt to do their best and push themselves to the max.  The class average doesn’t matter, they are on a mission to always do their best!

#ICAN is too individualistic.

#WECAN sounds too generic.

#WE(CA)N is our rallying cry for PGDA 2017 – Go Fast, Go Alone – Go FAR, Go TOGETHER!

Did I miss anything?  Any comments from those who were there?

Paul Maughan

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