Rather than just trying to summarise it all, I thought it best to just point you to his article. It is an in-depth review of our Compositing Course which touches on all sorts of subjects, including what he learned, what he found useful, how the interacted with his tutors and classmates, what he has gone on to do, and lots more. You should also take a look at Conrad's showreel - I have embedded a link to it at the top of this post, but you can also look at it here.
Thanks for taking to time to write this Conrad. I am sure that many of our new students will find it useful.