Over these last twenty years, during which – when still in the banking profession and then after retirement – I have been teaching at our University, the Good Lord up there deemed it fit that not only should I develop many students into my former profession, but also get to know much better many excellent academics who really love their work and take it very, very, seriously.
There are still far too many people out there in life who haven’t got the foggiest idea not only of what is academic life, but who also think and reason that persons of an academic bent are superfluous, and/or, non-productive in our society. When still in my working life in banking countless was the number of general managers and assistant general managers (most of them then with not one degree to their name, it must be added!) with whom I ended up in arguments to try to show and explain to them how important it is that those of the banks’ employees who showed inclinations towards using academic approaches in the analysis of workplace problems, these should not be pushed aside or ridiculed, but rather encouraged and developed.
Has the situation changed since then? It has, but not as much as I would like. Far too often I still meet ex-students, indeed some of great calibre, who complain with me that when they moved into working life they found themselves under senior officials who even at times ridiculed the three or four years that the student would have spent in our lecture rooms at University.
This should not be. And my appeal to these officials is to welcome and treasure these little jewels which, with hard work and maximum dedication, we give them. I’ll even go further and tell them that if they listen to and love their new young graduate employees, it is certain that over time they will become aware of how much, yes, they too stand to learn from them. Because, you tell me, “Who, in this world, knows it all?”
Dr. John A. Consiglio was a professional banker for upwards of 42 years, and is now a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Banking & Finance of the University of Malta.