Old Boys Profile - Dmitri Potishko
Dmitri Potishko attended High only for 1 year as a 15 year old, however his time at the school had a huge impact on his life and set him on his course for a highly successful career.
Dmitri, one of four children, arrived in Australia in April 1992, having fled the Ukraine as many had, whilst the USSR fell apart, to start a new life. His father was a theoretical physicist and met with the Australian embassy to migrate here. It took them a while to settle and find work themselves, even though they were highly educated, finally working within the technology industry, his father with Ericsson, his mother as an IT consultant, largely focused on telecoms with the NSW Police.
Dmitri was a highly talented physicist, winning various Olympiads in the Ukraine. When the family arrived, they initially were provided housing in Auburn for 3 months, where someone mentioned to his parents that he should apply to the selective Sydney High School. They went to the school having been advised by Grammar that there was no spot for him, and was offered a place within 2 weeks.
Mr Bigelow, a teacher at the time, recalls Dmitri’s father commencing the meeting along the lines of “ I am a PhD ... I am nothing compared to my son ... he represented Russia in International Science Olympiad... he speaks many languages. He had an article on elliptical pendulums published in an American science journal.” Needless to say, he was placed in Year 11 even though he was only 15, and his English was basic at best.
Sport was a mystery to him, though he played some football at High. Dmitri enjoyed the trips in via Central station until they moved to the East. Wearing a school uniform was a unique experience, as it wasn’t required in the Ukraine, though he did not have a blazer at the time.
During his early time, it became obvious he was way ahead of everyone so Mr Bigelow called UNSW through a friend, who gave him some University exams, which he breezed through. Dmitri undertook the UNSW Physics Olympiad and attended the National Olympiad camp where the camp manager then push Dmitri’s capability to the University. By the end of his first year, the University looked at offering him an early entry place, which he took in early 1993, entering at 16 years old, and by passing the HSC. Dmitri still jokes that despite his degrees and success, he never passed High School.
He studied Physics at University and took a side interest in the Law. He transferred into Law a year later, and also won that University medal for Maths in which he studied 4 years of pure maths, focusing with a lecturer on a new model for interest rates.
Finishing University in rapid time, he went to work at UNSW in the Maths and Statistics department and then at Bankers Trust whilst he finished off his law degree. Moving to work with Morgan Stanley in Investment Banking, with a dream to work in New York. He moved there in 2000 joining Goldman Sachs, making Partner in 2012 and moving to Hong Kong in 2013, which he leads the Asia Pacific Equities team.
Dmitri has been a passionate supporter of the Old Boys Bursary program, supporting students from families with financial hardship