By making the most of every opportunity, Chris got all the tools to secure a graduate job
Before university, I was studying BTEC Mechanical Engineering in London when I realised maths was my true passion. So, I decided to study a maths A-level by myself. I then moved onto the BSc (Hons) Mathematics degree at Portsmouth.
Studying an entire A-level felt overwhelming at times as I had no external help. Coming into university, I worried I wouldn’t be able to catch up with others in the class. But at Portsmouth, there are always people here to help.
The University provides many resources, such as free one-to-one tutoring and an open-door policy with lecturers. I found the wide range of support available very comforting.
Whether it’s academic help, mental health, accommodation or employability, staff were always eager to help.
Developing my understanding and knowledge of maths
The structure of the first year of BSc (Hons) Mathematics doesn’t presume everyone knows everything. It was the perfect time to revise content I hadn’t understood when doing my Maths A-level, and develop theories in greater detail.
My favourite part of the degree was writing my dissertation. It was a chance to use everything I learnt and apply it to a topic of my choice. I studied mathematic applications to linguistic skills, which I had never thought about before, so it was particularly interesting to study and research.
I was also able to discuss lecturers’ research with them in depth, to further develop my understanding of maths.
Improving my employability skills
In second year, we produced a series of mini projects. My favourite was analysing fire spread patterns and predicting where they would spread to.
These projects helped me improve my report writing, research and presentation skills.
I presented a professional mathematical report about one of these projects at a job interview for the defence industry. And I got the job!
I found the wide range of support available very comforting. Whether it’s academic help, mental health, accommodation or employability, staff were always eager to help.
The University’s Careers and Employability Service is amazing at helping students find jobs and preparing them for the world of work.
From mock interviews to CV writing or general career advice, they’re always there to help. I used the service extensively when looking for a job after I graduated.
They also help students look for placements, part-time jobs and volunteering roles. There are so many roles and opportunities, it's easy to find something for you. I took part in a volunteering scheme called Portsmouth Scholars, tutoring A level and GCSE students.
The University always tries to help students hone their graduate skills – for example, through presentations, employability sessions and report writing.
Having these skills was very helpful for me when I was looking for jobs. I’m looking forward to applying the skills I learnt in my new job.
The University always tries to help students hone their graduate skills – for example, through presentations, employability sessions and report writing. Having these skills was very helpful for me when I was looking for jobs.
University is an amazing experience
There are lots of fun activities inside and outside of university so enjoy every moment.
Step out of your comfort zone, everyone is in the same position you are in so don't be afraid to try new things. The University offers lots of opportunities for you to make friends, make use of them.
You should also know when to study and focus on work – that balance is important and will help you enjoy your university experience more.
University should be an amazing experience and you should try to take every opportunity you get. I loved being at Portsmouth and wouldn’t change a thing.