You learn a way of thinking which you can apply not only to numerical problems, but to life in general.
How did you decide on your degree choice? What appealed about Manchester?
I enjoyed maths at school and didn’t know what I wanted to do after university. It’s a solid degree which leaves lots of options open so it seemed like a logical choice. The School itself is a very impressive building and Manchester is one of the largest university campuses in the country. I wanted to study somewhere with a lot of choice and Manchester ticked all the boxes.
What were your first impressions of the University and the city?
I fell in love with the city the first time I visited. It’s a bustling hub for all things cultural and absolutely fantastic for students. It seems vast when you first arrive but you quickly adjust and get used to the size. The great thing about doing a maths degree is that you have lectures all over campus, so aren’t pigeon-holed to one place.
What did you most enjoy about your course?
The best thing for me about the course was the freedom I had to choose what I wanted to study. Initially modules are fixed to give everyone a broad basic education but from the second half of the second year you are able to select the courses you are really interested in and specialise if you like. There’s also scope to select modules external to maths; I studied courses in quantum mechanics and quantum computing, which was fascinating.
What skills and attributes do you think you have gained from your course and co-curricular activities?
Time management is the best skill I’ve learnt. I was very active with the music society throughout my time in Manchester and juggling a degree and commitments to the various University ensembles was a challenge. From the course specifically I’d say that the stereotypical thing you’d associate with maths is the ability to problem solve, but it really is the case – you learn a way of thinking which you can apply not only to numerical problems, but to life in general.
How do you think you benefitted from studying at Manchester?
I think the best thing I gained was the experience of living away from home. I am from a place near London and to live away for three years really developed me as a person. Manchester is such a student friendly city, it was the perfect place to study.
What advice would you give to students considering applying for the same course that you took?
The best advice I could give is to just keep on top of the work. Especially with a subject like maths, missing one lecture could mean that you don’t understand the rest of the module, and then of course later modules follow on from that so in effect you’re scuppering your own progress. By all means take full advantage of all the social opportunities, but at the end of the day you’re there to get a degree.