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Maths degree adds up to a rewarding career for Gemma

Maths degree adds up to a rewarding career for Gemma

Former student Gemma Halliwell is celebrating completing her doctorate in mathematics from the University of Sheffield.

Gemma, 28, has studied maths for the past nine years and has gained her doctorate in pure maths, specifically in algebraic topology.

“Maths was my favourite subject from an early age,” said Gemma, “I particularly discovered this interest in pure maths during my time at college.

“Tutors Joe Roache and Phil Benson encouraged me to consider stying maths at university.

“I now work as a data analyst at Sheffield Students’ Union, handling large data sets and looking for changes in student population and engagement.”

Gemma is keen to point out the merits of studying maths at university and how it opens doors to lots of exciting careers.

“People always tell you that you can do anything with a maths degree and I never really understood what they meant because my degree was so abstract rather than training for any particular career, but I think it is the problem solving skills that you develop during a maths degree that makes you very employable.

“You will learn quickly and be able to apply your mathematical ability to all kinds of situations.

“My degree had nothing to do with data analysis, I specialised in algebra and pure maths, but I love my job because it uses problem solving skills and is always challening me in different ways. 

“In my current job I use maths to manipulate data, link together  data from other tables, calculate fields, such as a given date of birth and test statistical significance on results.”

Gemma is pictured on graduation day with her mum, Julie Halliwell, who is a study adviser at Blackpool Sixth’s Fyi Centre.