Monday, 23 March 2015

Final year options

Hello everyone it’s been about a month since my last blog and to be honest not a great deal has happened; now it’s all about juggling coursework and exam revision. Well I haven’t started revision but I will soon!!  As I will be doing a placement year I haven’t thought a great deal about my third year options, but I have an important decision to make, these are the following options I can take:

Research Methods and Mathematics Project OR UAS: Mathematics Education and Communication OR Mathematics Work Placement (30 credits)

Six 15-credit options from:

Actuarial Mathematics and Risk Modelling,  Advanced Statistical Models,  Coding and Cryptography; Dynamical Systems and Chaos, Financial Time Series, Graph Theory and Combinatorics,  Industrial Applied Mathematics, Mathematics and Society, Mathematics of Decision Making, Mathematics for the Life Sciences,  Methods for Non-linear Mathematics,  Modelling and Analysis of Financial Instruments, Models and Algorithms for Scheduling, Numerical Solutions of PDEs, Optimisation Techniques, Real Analysis Statistical Models (90 credits)

I’m unsure what to pick for the 30 credit course as it can be a teaching placement (UAS), Mathematical work placement or a project (dissertation). As I’m going on a yearlong placement I won’t be choosing the mathematics placement. I am now torn with whether I want to do a master’s programme as it will be ideal to have done a project or whether I want to become a teacher so the experience will be needed to get onto a PGCE programme. I think it’s really important when making final year decisions to look at everything and take everything into account from what lecturer is teaching the course, when the exams are and whether or not there is coursework. 

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Second dose of coursework

Hiii I hope you are well! We are now well into February so that means the second round of coursework is out then before we know it exams will start. I’m now going to share some useful tips on coursework that might help you especially if you’re doing a degree that might consist of mathematics:
1) READ then RE READ - it’s important that you know what the question is asking of you so you don’t waste your time answering the question in the wrong way. Then you can write some notes (The key points to the question) so you’re absolute clear to what is asked of you.
2) If it’s possible to answer the question in different ways do so because you will know if your answer is correct and then work on the questions you are unsure about.
3) Check that you have given the appropriate additional requirements for example if you have been asked to write a computer programme make sure you provide the evidence, this might be the script file, also you might need to also run the programme and show the output so make sure you have provided the correct evidence to ensure you achieve the maximum amount of marks.
4) If you don’t understand the wording of the question or you’re not sure how to approach the question then CONTACT the lecturer. You can spend ages on a question then a few helpful words from the lecturer can help a great deal.

I hope these tips help you when it comes to completing your coursework :) 

Friday, 30 January 2015

Placement Sorted

When I first applied to the University of Greenwich I knew that I wanted to do a sandwich year, which is a year working before you start your 3rd and final year. I really hate filling out application forms and would rather talk face to face so I found it really difficult when I started applying but I knew it had to be done. I secured my placement for the civil service as an operational assistant. I will now walk you through how I secured the placement:

Application form - Competency based

Q1 Describe examples of where you have applied mathematical, statistical or other analytical techniques (including computer programming, spreadsheets, databases or other specialist software) to solve a complex problem.

Q2 Provide details of when you have been able to draw effective conclusions and/or advise others using your analysis, including how you presented your results.

Q3 COLLABORATING AND PARTNERING  This means working collaboratively, sharing information and building supportive, responsive relationships with colleagues and stakeholders, whilst having the confidence to challenge assumptions.

Q4 MANAGING A QUALITY SERVICE  People who are effective in this area plan, organise and manage their time and activities to deliver a high quality and efficient service, applying programme and project management approaches to support service delivery.

I filled in the application form the best I could as it is competency based and you have to show you have skills and you are passionate for the job and show them that you are the better candidate. Make sure you don't have any spelling mistakes and you have provided everything they have asked for because if you miss something they can just throw out your application form and not even bother to finish reading the application. 

2) Journey- I had to attend an interview at the Westminster office normally before I go anywhere important like an interview I like to check I know how to get there and go for a trial journey (a bit extra I know!) but because I didn’t have much time I thought I’d not do that this time but because I like to be on time and extra early for everything especially if it’s important, I arrived 3 hours early (you never know with public transport)  and to my luck there was a Pret a manager a 2 minute walk away where I killed some time.

3) Interview- When I arrived for my interview I was met by a current student that is taking the placement, and they assured me that the interview will be fine as there will be 3 staff members that will conduct the interview. I asked as many questions as possible about what they do at the moment and how they found it. I then got called into the interview I think it lasted for 30 minutes the sort of questions they asked me were:

When have you worked in a team and come across a difficult situation, what did you do and what was the outcome?

A manager had said he has had complaints of there being discrimination in his company when it comes to promotions what data would you ask for and how would you check if this is the case?
When have you had to work towards a deadline? (I can remember the exact wording of the question)
They also had my answers from the application printed and asked to go into more detail and asked me questions about the situation.  So don’t lie on your application form as they do ask at your interview!

I wasn’t that confident when I came out of the interview because I felt the technical question let me down and didn’t really answer the question to the best of my ability, but I got an email after Christmas to say I had got the placement.

Best tip I’ve ever been given is don’t be shy, keep calm and just keep smiling, don’t get too upset if you can’t answer a question and if you pause and telling a joke or two helps, well it’s helped me not sure if it will help everyone.

I hope this helps you if you’re applying for a placement or when you will be applying.. J

Friday, 16 January 2015

New Year

I'd now like to highlight that even if you’re studying at university and with it being quite stressful at times there is always time to have fun! This is a great time to meet new people, do things that you normally wouldn’t do and try things which you wouldn’t able to do if you weren’t attending university. Here a few pictures of fun events I’ve gone to over the past year. I think it’s true what people say that university is the best time of your life. 

Barcelona – This was a 5 day holiday after my exams had finished in May 2014. One of the things I wanted to do when I went on holiday was to learn how to swim. I went swimming a few times but I was too scared of drowning to learn properly but I bought a float and swam a few times! J  

Harry potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour - Watford, Hertfordshire. This was my birthday celebration with friends from working at River Island. It was a nice day out and I think all together we took around 800 pictures!

Clearing time in August- I worked as an Enquiry Assistant for the university from which I made some good friends September 2014:

Winter wonderland- During the Christmas holiday break I went to winter wonderland! It was my first time going, it was really fun and the rides were quite good J

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Cold winter and coursework

Hi everyone!! Well this time just flew on by; it has been 2 months since the start of the academic year. It’s safe to say that everyone one is busy with coursework or placements or combination of both.  I’ve been pretty busy with coursework (I know what you’re thinking I have heard it so many times how can a maths student have coursework) it’s basically solving equations and some computer programming.

The time is nearly here where snow is going to hit and it is extremely cold and before you know it London will stand still when the snow hits because you know we don’t handle the snow very well. When it comes to travelling and trying to get to university during this period it can be extremely difficult and sometimes nearly impossible so that’s why students normally decide to stay at home and do their work which is sometimes the smarter idea so make sure you be safe during this time and study hard.
These two months are very important to a student at university and if you get ahead of your work now you will find it a lot easier when January comes along and the material becomes more intense. It is also a good chance to get really good coursework grades to relieve the pressure of exams and it is 50% which always helps!!

I will leave you with two things that have made me laugh as laughter helps everything:

These are my 2 videos of month J

Daniel Radcliffe Raps Blackalicious' "Alphabet Aerobics"

YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2014

Monday, 13 October 2014

Starting 2nd year

Hi guys!! I’m no longer a first year, now I am going into me second year and lots of things have changed since last year. I’ve changed part time jobs I worked at River Island for a year having that extra money helped a lot and made first year a lot more social and exciting! I now work for the Enquiry Unit for the university which is a big difference from doing laps around the shop floor to sitting down for most of my shift.

The second year is very different to first year, I spent most of my first year sitting in lecture’s playing candy crush checking Facebook, eating and having a quick nap and didn’t really fall behind because the content was a lot easier for me to get my head round it but now if I bend down to get a drink out of my bag I have no idea what’s going on or even when I’m trying to listen and paying my full attention I still end up getting lost. I have come up with a solution which I didn’t really do for my first year is to go over the lecture before you come in! It helps a lot so you know what you don’t understand and can ask questions.

The one thing I was very excited about starting 2nd year was the new Stockwell Street library J It is open for use and it’s amazing! It’s a real home away from home. They even have a Starbucks - this doesn’t really excite me because I hate tea and coffee but I like the flapjacks they do.

These first few weeks were pretty much getting used to lectures and tutorials and just getting back into the routine after having 4-ish months off now it’s time to get stuck in!! Until next time peeps J J