I have always loved mathematics and for me numbers were easier to work with than words. When I went to university I originally wanted to be an accountant and use my number skills in that profession. I soon realised however that I preferred to use my skills in helping others and teaching. I therefore applied for a PhD in Mathematics Education in 2010 and completed my thesis entitled Improving Proof Comprehension in Undergraduate Mathematics in 2014.
Whilst I was completing my corrections in 2013-14 I undertook a PGCE in Secondary Mathematics to gain some teaching experience. Although the paperwork was tedious, the teaching side of the course was wonderful and I loved every minute of it. I knew however that I did not want to teach in a school and aimed to become a university lecturer.
Luckily for me, a post at Coventry University arose, initially for maternity cover as a Mathematics Support Lecturer – it was my dream job. From day one I have loved every second and every day is a challenging but highly rewarding experience. I now get to lecture students from all faculties in the university, including nurses, mathematicians, engineers, physicists and business students by providing outreach support as well as the day-to-day support in our mathematics support centre. I am also able to continue my research into proof comprehension and supporting the understanding of mathematics for both mathematicians and non-mathematicians. I have also taken on a role on the national sigma network to ensure the incredible work on improving mathematics education and mathematics support in higher education continues to be a success.
My job also allows me the freedom to continue with my external activities, such as ten-pin bowling where I have represented GB on several occasions. For me this is an important aspect as being able to relax and enjoy external activities provides a platform to enjoy the internal activities more. To get where I am today I have needed to be patient, willing and determined. It is possible to get there though, so long as you have the drive to succeed. A mathematics degree can open so many doors for you, it is just a case of walking through the one that works for you.