Why did you choose to study mathematics?
I would secretly get excited about doing maths at school. Maths is also an extremely broad field, so choosing to study it prevented me from having to definitively lock down a career path.
What was the best thing about your course?
I would say the crazy math student social life. The ability to understand any problem from a mathematical viewpoint has really aided my career development, and I wouldn’t have this without my degree.
What was the worst thing about your course?
Morning lectures and mid-semester assignments (I am an exams kind of guy). Also, in my five years at the university I had next to no personal interaction with the faculty or teaching staff. The university, particularly the commerce component of my degree, felt like a degree factory.
What did your course involve?
Generally, we had about 16 contact hours a week made up of lectures and tutorials. I was also able to do some physics subjects, which involved an additional three-hour lab class in first year. Beyond classes, the degree offered no practical work experience or placement, and most classes seemed to be gearing you up for further study.
Have you found work in your field?
Yes. I work in property economics and I can safely say that the maths side of my degree is far more utilised than the commerce side.
What advice would you give to students considering studying mathematics?
Coping is simple if you just do the work. In terms of getting a job, mathematics is such a broad field, from high-rolling investment banking to hardcore quantum mechanics, so the world will forever demand mathematicians. The university offered a great careers centre, which was aimed at placing students into graduate programs that required you to be available for interviews within the first half of your final year. I was overseas at the beginning of my final year and, as such, was left on my own to find work. You really need to stay on top of the graduate placement opportunities early in your final year or even earlier when the summer internships are offered.
Have you completed further study?
I am in the process of completing a master of economics, a course completely grounded in maths.