School of Mathematical Sciences

Alumni Profiles

Students sat in the School of Mathematical Sciences

Alumni profiles


Mathematical Sciences students go into a wide variety of professions and below are a few examples of what our graduates have gone on to do.

Para Shah
Course: BSc Mathematics and Economics 
Graduated: 2012
Now: Associate at Price WaterhouseCooper 
Based: London


After graduating, I went into the area of Risk and Accounting and am now an associate at Price WaterhouseCooper, the world’s largest professional services firm, based in London. My work focuses on the systems and controls that support business processes. I also review new business processes and work to weigh up the risk of control failure, and how that may affect an audit strategy.

I work closely with clients to help them reduce their exposure to risk and am also involved in their financial audit – this gives me the chance to understand the client and their needs much better. After graduating, I sought advice from the Careers and Employability Service, who helped me to improve my CV and interview skills. I also got career advice from the school, in particular Dr Utev, our maths lecturer. He advised us that once you have a degree in maths, you can pursue a career in any possible field.

When looking for roles I did initially struggle to find suitable positions, as I wasn’t sure what career path to take. I then found and applied for my current position through the PwC website. I am able to apply many of the writing, presentation and management skills I learnt at university in my day-to-day work, and am now furthering my studies alongside my work.  

What does the future hold for me? I would eventually like to have my own business and that’s what I plan to do. My one piece of career advice is to always keep your options open, don’t restrict yourself by keeping a closed mind.

University experiences

The campus was beautiful, with loads of open space and fantastic facilities. The nightlife was great, and the school held regular socials which was a great chance to take some time out of studying and meet other students on the course. While I was at university, I made sure to keep in contact with my lecturers; as an international student, I especially appreciated their help and support. When applying for jobs, your tutor acts as your referee so it’s important to make a good impression!

My course went into great depth and I really enjoyed the integration of maths and economics, which is something I have been able to take with me into the workplace.


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Emily Brennan
Course: BSc Mathematics with Engineering 
Graduated: 2014
Now: Analytics and Business Consultant at Atos Consulting 
Based: London


Describing the role of a business consultant is challenging – the working environment changes week on week. My primary objective is to solve the problems of my clients; this can take me all over the world, and time spent with an individual client can be anything from one week, to two years. In my first six months I have worked with three different organisations on locations in Wales, Leeds and London. Every project is different, but in general I first have to investigate into what the problem is, then develop a solution, and finally implement this solution.

I chose this role, as an analytics business consultant, as it involved a lot of the mathematical skills I developed at university; so far I have been working with large data sets which span a variety of contexts. When looking for a role, it was important to me to find something that utilised the skills I had gained at university – I wanted something that was business focused, client facing, and would require mathematical skill. Once I knew what Iwas looking for it made finding a position easier. I found the company by attending a recruitment event organised by Target Jobs, where I met female graduates and senior managers who provided great detail into what it was like to work for the company.

I used the Careers and Employability Service to gain insight into my areas of strength and weakness, which helped me prepare for assessments and interviews. My degree definitely prepared me for the technical aspects of my job – it provided me with knowledge on subjects such as project management, lean methodology and mathematical modelling, all of which are beneficial in the variety of projects I face within my job.

University experiences

During my time at university, I was a member of MathSoc, a representative on the MathSoc ExecCommittee, and a Student Ambassador for the school, which gave me great experience to take into my career. I remember never being stuck for things to do on campus and around the school. There was always an event to go to, from a bar crawl around town to an informative session from a company or lecturer. My four years at The University of Nottingham were challenging, very busy and so much fun; I wouldn’t change any of it.

In the future I hope to complete my graduate scheme at my current company, and would plan to stay within consulting for another few years, before specialising in one specific area, within one company.


Peter Underdown
Course: Mathematics MMath
Graduated: 2013
Now: CIPFA Financial Management Trainee
Based: Nottingham



Sarah Abid
Course: Mathematics MMath
Graduated: 2012
Now: Trainee accountant with Deloitte


After graduating, I started as a trainee accountant at Deloitte. I work in audit, which involves checking and approving financial information provided by companies in order to determine whether or not it is a true and fair reflection of their financial position. During the summer before my final year, I did a 12-week internship in the finance division at Boots. It was there that I learned about accountancy as a profession and decided it was what I wanted to go into. The experience also helped to increase my employability in the competitive graduate jobs market.

Accountancy is a popular destination for maths graduates. It requires high levels of numeracy, data-handling skills and an appreciation of rigour, all of which feature heavily in a maths degree. The analytical thinking and close attention to detail that are encouraged when studying maths have proved to be incredibly useful in my audit work.

University experiences

During my time at Nottingham, I was a member of the Investment Society, and treasurer of the Ice Skating Society. Getting involved in societies, clubs or any other extracurricular activity is a great way to network and meet new people, and it will enrich your student experience as well as enhance your CV.

I made great use of the Careers and Employability Service while at Nottingham. I attended graduate fairs and employer-led workshops and presentations, which helped me to find out about the career opportunities available and gave me an insight into what employers look for. I also participated in the Nottingham Advantage Award – a scheme designed to equip students with work-based skills and prepare them for life after university.

My personal tutor, supervisor and other academic staff helped me to focus on specific areas of maths according to my interests and career aspirations. Overall, I had a fantastic four years at Nottingham, it’s an excellent place to be a student. It provides the perfect balance between campus life and the liveliness of a thriving city centre. I couldn’t have chosen a better place to spend my student years. I left with a good degree, some unforgettable memories, and a great set of friends from around the world.


Jennifer Carter
Course: Mathematics BSc
Graduated: 2011
Now: Teacher
Based: Nottingham


I am a maths teacher at Kirk Hallam Community Technology and Sports College. I hope to stay in the teaching profession, hopefully gaining more responsibilities.

University experiences

The knowledge from my degree has helped my understanding of where certain things in the A level course come from and where topics from in GCSE and where they could be used in the world around us. This helps my understanding and then allows me to break it down and help the children I teach.

I applied to nottingham because liked the feel of the campus when I visited, everyone was friendly and welcoming. The university was also a very good provider of my course. The course gave me a very firm grounding in mathematics and also allowed me to pick the topics I wanted to go further into during my third year.

I had about 18 lectures each week and then we had problem classes to attend so that we were able to ask questions about any of the work. I enjoyed the applied mathematics modules, like the Mathematical Biology and Iterative Methods. I also enjoyed the challenge of completing a project during my final year.

I would say the the best things about the nottingham is the campus and the city.

My top tip for any maths student at nottingham would be to make sure you ask for help as soon as possible if it is needed, to work through all of the problems class questions and enjoy your time."


Emma Downey
Course: Mathematics BSc
Graduated: 2011
Now: Library/Information Assistant for law firm Mills & Reeve
Based: Stafford


April 2013 - present.
Library/Information Assistant
I currently work for Mills & Reeve, a law firm. I work in the Birmingham office although they have 6 offices in total. My job title is Library/Information Assistant and I am one of 6 library staff spread across the offices. My main roles are to answer enquiries, find information for the solicitors, carry out research and maintain the library stock.

September 2011 - April 2013
Graduate Trainee Library Assistant at King Edward VI School, Lichfield.
This role involved running the school library along with the Library Manager, running a Book Club, helping out with research lessons and manning the enquiry/issue desk.

My job doesn't really involve using my Maths knowledge (except for some very basic stats!) but I do feel that my logical thinking, problem solving skills and organisation are really useful in my job and these were very much developed during my course.

Currently I hope to learn more about librarianship and specifically law librarianship and to progress in this field.

University experiences

I liked the sound of the course and the University as a whole from the prospectus and when I visited on a Open Day I just got a great feeling from the place. Everyone was really friendly, the campus was lovely and I had the impression that the course would be very well organised and run. Even though I hadn't taken Further Maths at A Level I didn't feel left behind and first year gave me an excellent grounding in the basic of each area.There was a great choice of modules in the second and third year and I particularly enjoyed the Coding and Cryptography module and finally getting the hang of MATLAB in the second year!

I also felt very supported by the staff in the school, particularly my tutor whom I got on very well with. I felt that all lecturers were very approachable.

There are an amazing amount of societies, something for everyone. I was a member of the Bellringing Society from January of first year.

The campus is great, there is so much to do in the city and people really are friendly and approachable. I would say to any new student here to really try hard to attend all your lectures and problems classes and do as many assignments as you can, even the unassessed ones. That sounds a bit geeky but it really does make life so much easier if you don't have to cram at exam time and if you actually understand the work, rather than just memorising proofs and formulas. And enjoy it!


Helena Nicol
Course: Mathematics BSc
Graduated: 2011
Now: Trainee Chartered Accountant
Based: Nottingham


After graduating, I started training to become a chartered accountant at Deloitte. I work mainly in audit, which involves visiting clients and assessing whether their annual accounts represent a true and fair view of their financial position.

While I’m not using Fermat’s last theorem on a daily basis, studying maths gave me a great foundation for life as an accountant. I spend a lot of time looking at and analysing data, producing statistical samples, as well as picking out anomalies and potential errors. Maths is all about being logical and solving problems, which are
fundamental skills in accountancy; being accurate and concise has proved to be very useful too, especially when faced with deadlines. I was also able to study modules such as Communicating Mathematics, Mathematical Finance and Mathematics for Engineering Management which all gave insights into the working and financial

I’m due to gain my ACA qualification in three years’ time at which point many doors will be open to me. At the moment I’m quite interested in working in the public sector, maybe within a hospital or local education authority.

University experiences

I found the social aspect of the campus and school really good – whether it’s a wild night out or a quaint afternoon tea, Nottingham has it covered. Living on campus was amazing too as nothing was far away and there was always something going on. My tutor was brilliant, always efficient and helpful, especially when asking for job references. I had a fantastic three years at Nottingham and left feeling well prepared for the real world!

The careers service was also useful. I went to multiple company presentations and key skills sessions on assessment days and interview techniques as well as having my application and CV looked through. Despite what the media say, there were plenty of vacancies to apply for and I was offered multiple jobs. I think if you are proactive and spend some time doing research, there will be something out there.


Stephanie Hind
Course: Mathematics and Management Studies BSc
Graduated: 2010
Now: ACA Chartered Accountant working in Audit at PKF Cooper Parry
Based: Derby


After graduating, I joined a graduate scheme as an audit trainee at Cooper Parry, an East Midlands-based accountancy firm. The graduate scheme lasted for three years and during that time I took exams to obtain the ACA accounting qualification. As an auditor I visit clients’ premises and check and approve financial information in order to determine that the companies’ results reflect a true and fair position.

I found out about the graduate scheme by attending career fairs and researching accountancy companies on the internet. I attended presentations put on by the school and workshops at the University’s Careers and Employability Service. During my final two years I took part in the Nottingham Advantage Award and completed mock interviews as part of this, so was able to prepare myself for the working world. I am able use the analytical, communication and project management skills I learnt at University in my day to day work. I took a joint honours degree which meant I always had to think about the two different subjects and manage my time effectively, a valuable skill to take into the working world.

To become ACA qualified you must join a 3 year graduate scheme and sit further exams. When attending college I was able to use some knowledge from my degree when completing some modules such as Financial Management.

In the maths half of my degree I learnt about NPV (net present value) and I use this in my day to day work. On the management side I completed some accountancy modules and have also been able to use this knowledge in my current position.

I hope to progress further by next becoming a manager in my field.

University experiences

When I came to visit Nottingham I liked the campus site and I was able to study for the joint honours degree that I wanted to - Mathematics and Management Studies.

I was able to learn real work skills whilst also furthering my knowledge on the specific subject areas. I had lots of lectures during the week which was often more than friends completing other courses. I was also able to attend problem classes and visit tutors during certain hours in the week so the support was on hand for when it was required. In my final year I completed a coding module which I enjoyed, however throughout my 3 years I lent towards completing more of the probability and statistics modules.

After your first year there are options of what modules you can take going forwards, I would encourage everyone to make sure they choose something that they enjoy to specialise in for the remaining years. In the final year there are also career option lectures put on for students to attend and this was something I attended and found really useful to ensure I had a job lined up for w hen I left University.

I was a Student Ambassador throughout my 3 years and this involved showing round prospective students on Open Days and getting involved with the Widening Participation Scheme. I took part in the Nottingham Advantage Award and achieved this in my final year enabling me to learn lots of transferable skills.

There is so much to get involved with, there are numerous societies and events taking place all the time so you are able to meet lots of new people. The campus setting is great as everything is one place, yet you are only 3 miles from a city centre which has all the shops and nightlife you could need.

At Nottingham I was part of the Maths Society, the Latin, Ballroom and Salsa Society and the Chocolate Society. Being involved with societies lets you meet other people and network which is a good skill to have once you start work. I really liked the campus at Nottingham and there were always events happening around the University, and within the school they had the Maths Society so you could integrate with peers outside of lectures and problems classes.

The University of Nottingham allowed me to learn and develop as an individual, get a good degree and make some friends for life.


Ciprian Duduiala 
Course: PhD Applied Mathematics
Graduated: 2009
Now: Team Leader Alten Romania
Based: France


After graduating I went back to Romania, and have decided to start working in the IT software area which is very developed here. I have started working for a small company named BelerSoft in September 2009. Then, I decided to accept in april 2010 an offer from Microsoft Romania where I had the chance to learn most of the things that a computer programmer needs to know.

Finally, in 2012 I have accepted to become a team lead for Alten Romania (a multinational engineering and IT company having the headquarters in France).

I hope to advance in my career and become a Project Manager in an IT company or in the IT department of a multinational company based in Romania.

University experiences

During my PhD studies I had to use parallel computing to generate the data needed to fit the parameters of the system that we were studying. This helped me to understand the complexity and the importance of parallel tasks and processes that I am currently using for the development of software applications.

Becoming a Marie Curie fellow at the University of Nottingham was a great opportunity for me to explore the academic research in a good organized environment and to decide weather I prefer the academic research or the industry. I had the chance to work with top researchers like Jonathan Wattis, Ian Dryden and Charles Laughton. They had answers to most of my questions and guided me in the right direction, allowing me to submit my thesis before the end of the 3 years period.

The most important input for my research was the introduction to parallel computing and into the DNA structure at atomic level, as well as the introduction to the stochastic. My favourite area of my course was learning the biology behind the DNA structure analysis.

I played for the Handball Club in the First English League for one year and I have also participed at the training sessions of the Volleyball Club. I also founded, together with some of my colleagues the Romanian Society and during its first year I was the president.

The University of Nottingham offers the chance to combine study with a complete social life: you can meet new people at the sports clubs or in a society. More than that, The University of Nottingham offers to students all the tools necessary to accomplish the tasks given.

My advice to new students is to join at least a society and a sport club. You will have the chance to meet new people and learn about other cultures.



Colin Bolton

Course: Mathematical Physics MSci / Applied Mathematics PhD
Graduated: 2003
Now: Product Line Manager Schlumberger
Based: Beijing, China


Currently my role is looking after a software framework program of 65 software developers and a large budget. For the near term this allows me to think strategically but still keep direct contact with the technical teams which is a good balance. In the long term I would like to run different software programs in other domains and circumstances.

Shlumberger 2006-Present
Schlumberger is the world's leading supplier of technology to customers working in the oil and gas industry providing products and services from exploration through to production. Here is an example of some of the projects I have been involved in.

  • Product line manager for the Maxwell Framework team. This company product although successful has acquired a backlog of technical debt and the project is aimed at tackling this. 
  • Managed the creation of the Petrel Petroleum Framework team. This consists of three asset teams which were tasked to serve the needs of the Petrel Reservoir Engineering and Petrel Production Engineering domins.
  • Software team leader on the Petrel RE results project working on the results analysis area. The focus of my team was to produce a next generation plotting canvas for summary results.
  • Software developer on the Petrel product. Completed a requirements analysis and implemented the first pass functionality for the Edradour release.

Tessella 2004 - 2006
An International analytics, technology and consultancy firm specialising in Research and Development.  

  • Software developer. Developed an academic article tracking system as part of a three man team.  The scope of the system was to handle all article submissions, interface with a number of Typesetters and Printers and assist in pushing data to the article web publishing department.
  • Requirements analyst, National Radiological Protection Board, NRPB - Harwell
    Created the first revision of requirements for a replacement database system.
  • Software developer, Climate Prediction Extended an existing visualisation tool for a global climate modelling program.

University experiences

I have managed to use a variety of skills from my degree. Firstly the presentation skills highlighted in the final year of the Msci course has been very helpful. The second area was the introduction to programming. From my Phd I built on this and expanded programming languages for numerical modelling. This significantly helped me secure my first role at Tessella. I would finally say that the more generic skills of study, quick learning, analysis and presenting work have been essential to my career.

The course was excellent and has sparked a life long interest in maths and physics developments in my spare time.

I was involved with the Explorers Society at university - in fact a large group of the Explorers when I was there formed a club when we left Uni called the FrayedNotts which is still very active today and retains many of the core members. The support the University gave in terms of equipment and mini-buses was critical in creating some life long memories for all of us.

The best things about being a student at The University of Nottingham for me was the proximity of the Peak District National Park allowing me to take part in outdoor activities. The city has a lively night life and the campus and halls give a very supportive environment for the student.

My advice to future students considering nottingham would be to go to lectures! Catching up is much harder than going to lectures on time. The education you will have on offer is the best in the world but it is only an offer, it is up to you to take advantage of this opportunity. Make the most of the time, join lots of clubs, get involved, learn a lot - don't sleep the time away!


School of Mathematical Sciences

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