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Sophia dryden

Mathematics student, University College London

 

And - Co-founder, UCL Women in STEM society

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

What do you do?

Being a Maths student at UCL is challenging yet rewarding, where I regularly attend lectures and work on problem sheets solving different kinds of questions.

Why did you choose this field?

"My Dad's success has continuously inspired me to aim high."

I chose Mathematics as I realised around the age of 16, when I did my further mathematics GCSE exam, that the challenge of harder maths problems particularly interested me.

 

My Dad is a professor of Statistics at the University of Nottingham so I have always been surrounded by a mathematical environment and his success has continuously inspired me to aim high.

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

When I finished my A Levels I was invited back to the school to accept the Governor’s award for the highest achievement in A levels at the school. When I was younger, in secondary school, I never believed I had the capability of performing so high in my academics as I wasn’t the top of my class in maths or my other subjects. I believe that anything is possible as long as you work hard and are dedicated.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love the challenge of tackling problems that can’t easily be solved and the rewarding feeling that you get when you do crack them.

 

I also love that I can inspire women and others through the UCL Women in STEM Society that I founded with several friends. I look forward to this every day, watching the society grow and reach more people. The society hosts networking events, career and general interest talks from a multitude of prominent women from STEM backgrounds.

Best advice for the next generation

The biggest barrier is often yourself telling you that you aren’t good enough. If you want to do something or have an interest, believe in yourself and just go for it!

Role model 

Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell who won the Breakthrough science prize and has donated the £2.3 million prize to fund PhD studentships for female, black and minority ethnic and refugee researchers.