Sharon Alfred - BSc (Hons) Mathematics graduate
Year of graduation: 2016

Current employer: University of Southampton

Current job title: MSc student

Current location: Southampton

"I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do for a career when I started my studies but as the years went along I was able to discern my strengths and weaknesses. These helped me in making my decision to go on to study a masters degree."

Tell us what you have been doing since completing your studies.

I started my master’s degree in Operation Research and Finance in September 2016. It will be completed in September 2017. During the course of my MSc, I applied and got a job working for Capgemini as an SAP Consultant (software consultant) starting as soon as I complete my postgraduate degree.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

I’m looking forward to applying the skills I have gained from my studies to the job as well as learning new things in the process.

What would you do differently since graduating?

I wouldn’t change a thing.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

Enjoy the experience more, don’t be too hard on yourself, and always ask questions.

What was your main reason for choosing to study your course at Plymouth? With hindsight how significant was this for you?

It was mainly to move far away from home but still be by the sea. And when I visited it was the place I most felt at ease. Feeling at ease helped with my acclimatisation to the University lifestyle and the city. Also they offered a foundation degree as an option for when my A level grades turned out to be lower than expected. That gave me the drive I needed to work hard as I saw it as a second chance.

How did we support you in your studies? If you used any support services whilst at the University how did they enable you to get to where you are today?

PALS was introduced from the onset of my studies at Plymouth. Getting help from students who have been through it before helped a lot. Getting their perspective on how lectures run, lecturer secrets, and general knowledge on university life.

How did studying at Plymouth change your career aspirations and plans?

I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do for a career when I started my studies but as the years went along I was able to discern my strengths and weaknesses. These helped me in making my decision to go on to study a masters degree in Operation Research and Finance.

What is your favourite memory of studying for your degree at Plymouth? 

I loved being a part of the University student body. Participating in the University’s basketball team and committee is definitely a highlight. In terms of my studies, discovering new aspects of mathematics was amazing.

How well did Plymouth prepare you for the challenges that you have faced, or will face, in your career?

The preparation for a career started with the option for a year in placement. Although I didn’t get a placement opportunity, I was able to apply what I learnt from employability services to further job applications. Modules on coding will definitely come in handy.

Why would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University?

It’s a university that gives you the opportunity to reach your potential as long as you use most/all opportunities given to you.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying mathematics, please visit our BSc (Hons) Mathematics course page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Computing, Electronics and Mathematics, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the Faculty of Science and Engineering are currently doing, please visit the computing and mathematical sciences interest area.