Fast Company – Between 2008 and 2012, Guillaume Dumas took courses at some of the best colleges in North America—Stanford, Yale, Brown, University of California Berkeley, McGill, and University of British Columbia, among others—without being enrolled as a student. He then went on to start a successful online dating business in Montreal.
For four years, the 28-year-old from Quebec lived the life of a wandering scholar, moving from one university town to the next, attending lectures and seminars, getting into heated debates with professors. Sometimes he was open about his unregistered status, but most of the time, fearing reprisal, he kept it quiet. To pay for his everyday expenses, he worked at cafes and occasionally earned money by writing papers for other students. He lived at co-ops or other cheap student housing, but at Brown, when funds got particularly low, a kind soul let him set up his sleeping bag and tent on the roof. At the end of all this, he never received a degree.
It was a wild adventure, but to Dumas, it was also a political statement, meant to send a message. “I think of it as an act of political protest,” he tells me, in his French Canadian accent. “I was angry at how university education excludes people who cannot afford it. What happened to the belief that sharing knowledge and great ideas should be free?” Attending these universities without actually graduating from any of them was also a kind of experiment to figure out what, exactly, a university degree can get you in life. Do Ivy League graduates get top jobs because of the piece of paper they leave with, or because of their connections? And if a college degree is just an expensive ticket to a job at McKinsey or J.P. Morgan, do students really even care what they are learning in the classroom?
Dumas does not regret any of it: he has learned a lot and his lack of degree has not hurt his career in any way, since he has gone on to become an entrepreneur.
[Full article at Fast Company]
First of all I’ll give this story 24 hours before it gets completely debunked. That’s what always happens with these wild internet stories, it goes viral, people dig into it and it turns out the dude snuck into like 2 colleges for 13 days and embellished the rest of it as some sort of marketing campaign for his new product. But, as of post time it’s still supposedly true so might as well roll with it for now.
Listen as much as I hate this French-Canadian freeloading sissy he obviously has some valid points. The college system is increasingly becoming a bigger and bigger mess, student loans are becoming more and more crippling, degrees and diplomas aren’t holding as much weight as they have in years past. That’s just Facts Only. The cost of attending college has hit such an extreme that it’s tough to justify.
But these aren’t like breaking revelations for anyone, certainly not something you had to spend 4 years “investigating.” Face it, you scammed your way into a free 4 year education, something us common folk spend $50K a year on, and you did it at prestigious universities, something you wouldn’t have been able to do if those places didn’t exist in the first place from other people paying for them.
Also got a kick out of the end of the story after an entire interview from the top of his soapbox.
He’s launched a successful business in Montreal called Datective, in which he helps wealthy clients navigate the worlds of online dating by creating online profiles for them and then actually impersonating those clients in early interactions with prospective partners
The dude who just preached about how exclusive and expensive the American college system is…developed an app for wealthy clients to trick women into sleeping with them. Love Mr. Social Warrior really putting all those keen observations he made and lessons he learned to try and change the system for the better and make a real difference. Ahh screw it, too much work, let’s help rich people fuck.