Mathematics student, University College London

And - Co-founder, UCL Women in STEM society

,,

If you want to do something, just go for it.

Rhea Alexander

What do you do?

As a maths student, I attend lectures and complete courseworks. Outside of my course, I do a lot of research into possible future careers where I can use my numerical skills, and so attend a lot of insight days and networking events to learn more about such careers and meet people in/looking to go into such careers.

Why did you choose this field?

My realization that this was my dream degree subject came when I went to a Imperial university open day, and, at a loss of what subject talk to go to, decided on a whim to go to the maths department talk: while listening to the talk of what the degree would involve, what a potential student would get out of it, and what it could lead to (anything!), something clicked within me and I have not regretted my decision once so far.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

In my first year at university, I ran to be elected as Treasurer of a university society I progressed beyond sending a cover letter, past the interview stage, and then gave a 5 minute speech to over 100 people in a lecture theatre. While I did not end up getting elected for that particular role, such an experience of public speaking is something I am incredibly proud of, and I know the younger, incredibly shy, very introverted me would not have ever dreamed possible for me to do.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM as a student because it uses my brain: I really have to think hard in lectures and to complete my coursework.

While I enjoy talking with and getting to know the incredibly different and varied people in my degree, I look forward to my moments sitting in a room full of people studying, listening to music, and working on my coursework alone – it is incredibly satisfying when I apply my knowledge to successfully complete a problem sheet.

Best advice for next generation?

I would tell them to pursue something that makes you think – that pushes you intellectually. Just go for something that you enjoy, are good at, and has good job prospects.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

Role models do not have to be famous people: many of my role models are my friends and family, whose demeanour/way of working inspires me.

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