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Katrina Pugh

BSc Mathematics

Why did you choose to study Mathematics?

I chose to study Mathematics at University because I really enjoyed studying the subject during school and college and achieved really good grades. MY GCSE Mathematics result was really good, so I was encouraged to study mathematics and further mathematics at A-Level by my tutor.

What attracted you to the University of Leeds?

I had originally planned to go to the University of Glasgow to study astrophysics. However, I decided quite last minute that this wasn’t the right decision for me. Luckily, I managed to apply for Mathematics at the University of Leeds. I looked at all the universities in Yorkshire and decided that the University of Leeds was the best for me. It had so many choices within the course and had lots of opportunities available that I could see myself getting involved in. 

Are you involved in any clubs or societies?

Yes, I’m involved in a lot. Last year I was the president of ‘Action’ which is a student-led volunteering society and I was a member of Teach Drugs too. I was involved in training the volunteers for the Bedside Buddies society, which is a new society this year and I'm a part of the Maths Society. Societies have really helped me gain a wide variety of skills, including leadership and management, which I’ve been able to show on my teacher training application forms. 

What advice would you give someone thinking of applying to the School of Mathematics? 

My advice to prospective students would be to make sure that you have an interest and think you will enjoy the course you are choosing to study. You will be studying it for 3, 4 or maybe even 5 years! If you end up in an area of employment that’s related to your course you will get huge career enjoyment, which is really important. I would definitely recommend choosing the University of Leeds, when I compare my experience to my friends at other institutions experience, mine has been full of loads more opportunities and enjoyment. 

I would also recommend that whilst you are a student here, use the careers centre. It will really benefit you in the future to have had help with your CV, writing applications, practicing interviews or just finding out about career paths. 

I’d recommend for students to look into carrying out a study abroad year and/or an industrial placement scheme as part of their course. For personal reasons, I did not do one, but lots of my coursemates did. They found it a great experience, that broadened their horizons, and some of them have even got graduate employment secured as a result of this. 

What are your plans for the future?

Starting in September, I will become a secondary school mathematics teacher at Leeds West Academy, through the Schools Direct scheme. I’ve always known that a desk job isn’t for me and I studied the ‘Maths into Schools’ module, which enabled me to go into local schools and carry out a short project.