Luke Kelly - graduate profile

Commercial Analyst, Whitbread PLC

"Since graduating from Plymouth University I have been working as a Commercial Analyst for Whitbread PLC, a FTSE 100 company. Within this role I have led the financial and commercial pricing modelling to the restaurant brands ‘Table Table’ and ‘Whitbread Inns’ (UK wide) while supporting the drink managers on promotions for all Whitbread restaurant brands including ‘Beefeater’.

The experience from the undergraduate course I undertook at Plymouth University provided me with the core foundation skills to help me start my career which would have been difficult to achieve elsewhere. Mathematics is regarded as a well respected subject in the corporate environment and gave me a distinct advantage against other applicants. A mathematics degree provided me with skills such as solving complex problems within tight deadlines, improved attention to detail and the creativity to approach tasks differently. These were taught, for example, within modules such as ‘Partial Differential Equations’ and ‘Calculus’.

The lecturers within the mathematics department really invest their time in the students. The open door policy the department lecturers have at Plymouth University made me confident to ask for support on subject areas I found difficult. As a result I achieved a First Class Honours.

During my course, I undertook an undergraduate placement year at General Motors as a Finance Analyst. This gave me invaluable practical experience which carried a lot of weight in job applications post attaining my degree. Within this year, I received great support from the lecturers who helped advise me how to make the most of my opportunities during this job role.

I would highly recommend studying Mathematics at Plymouth University as it will provide you opportunities to help achieve your future ambitions. For myself, I have recently secured a new role as a Commercial Finance Support Manager at 24, which I am very excited to start."