It was day 1 of Prof. Robert Verrecchia’s class at Wharton.
As I gingerly entered and took a seat at the back, I saw the intimidating crowd of my ex-banker classmates around me — this was an advanced accounting course and as an ex-cop, I could barely spell ‘accounting.’
And then Prof. Verrecchia took the intimidation to the next level — he warned us to drop the course unless we were really sure, promising to fail anyone who missed even one assignment.
Further, the course wasn’t even relevant for me – it was only for aspiring bankers. I was goaded into taking it by my buddy, who loves difficult challenges.
With the cut-throat relative grading, the class average in every quiz would be >90%. What chance did the two of us stand before these hardcore finance guys?
But we kept pushing and in the end, it turned out to be no different from any other course. We were intimidated for no reason.
Yes, past experience did give others a headstart but it was gone in no time.
Whichever area of life it may be, it doesn’t matter how far behind you are to start with — if you can keep learning, you will catch up much faster than you think.
Never overrate experience. And never underrate learning.