- Course: Economics and Mathematics BSc
Nathan Burudi is an Economics and Mathematics BSc student, currently doing a Year in Industry placement at the University of Leeds in the Educational Engagement Team.
Initially Nathan applied for Economics BSc, but after starting his degree, he decided to swap courses and study Economics and Mathematics BSc instead. Reflecting on his choice, he said, “I realised that I had never considered doing both Economics and Mathematics, so after hearing someone else mention it, I realised that that was what I would have loved to do.”
“They are both intertwining, yet contrasting subjects, particularly when it comes to examinations. Economics requires essay-based responses, whereas Mathematics has succinct answers, which in the majority of cases, only have one solution. This was a great quality of the course, as the variety of examination and teaching styles reduced the risk of me finding the programme boring.”
Applied mathematics and economics
Nathan studied a wide range of economics and mathematics modules. For example, “in Economics, I particularly enjoyed Health Economics, which I did in my second year. Asking questions such as ‘How do we value a life?’ really intrigued me, and opened my eyes to the difficult decisions that must be made when it comes to deciding what treatments should be put on the NHS, and which ones should not be.”
In Mathematics, Nathan’s favourite modules involved of a focus upon applied mathematics instead of pure mathematics. He said, “the first of those was Mathematics at Work, which educated me about roles that you can do after studying Mathematics, as well as reflecting upon how to improve my employability.”
“As part of that module, we had to create a CV, or test them in the event that we already had one. This was really helpful when looking into applying for placement years and post-education plans. Moreover, this module entailed a group project, within which we created three articles, each focusing on a different mathematical topic, including the Mathematics of Gambling.”
“Another notable topic was called Mathematics into Schools, within which I completed 20 hours of work, teaching Year 13 students A-Level Mathematics. This helped me acknowledge the pros and cons of teaching, ultimately leading me to the conclusion that I did want to work in education, but not as a teacher, thus making my placement year an ideal one.”
The first of those was Mathematics at Work, which educated me about roles that you can do after studying Mathematics, as well as reflecting upon how to improve my employability.
Year in Industry: Educational Engagement Intern
Nathan is currently doing his Year in Industry placement at the University of Leeds, working as an Educational Engagement Intern. He said: “my role involves working across a variety of projects which ultimately aim to encourage students to attend the university, more particularly those from underrepresented groups. For example, I work on a mentoring scheme intended for Year 12 black heritage students, as well as a project that aims to get more boys into healthcare.”
“This was one of the main reasons I chose to come to Leeds. They realise that knowledge can only take you so far, hence there are many opportunities for external placements, should it be a year in industry or the opportunity to study abroad. The fact that this is possible for the majority of courses attests to Leeds’s value of improving employability.”
Work experience at Cowgills
There are many opportunities for external placements, should it be a year in industry or the opportunity to study abroad.
Joining student societies and becoming an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador
During his time at university, Nathan has been a part of student societies and was elected as Treasurer of the Mathematics Society. He explained that he “joined a couple of academic societies, namely the Leeds University Business School Society and Mathematics Society, in an effort to find more people on my course.”
“They have allowed me to meet a great many people, while encouraging me to do things that I had never considered before. For example, I went to Amsterdam with the LUBS Society in 2022, and thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Nathan attending Buckingham Palace to celebrate achieving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award
He added, “Moreover, I have been lucky enough to become the Treasurer of the Mathematics Society, which has been a great opportunity for me to develop my skills in the form of financial planning; a great thing to add to my CV.”
Furthermore, Nathan has volunteered as an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador and a School Representative. Reflecting on his experiences, he said, “From an academic perspective, there are many opportunities on offer for development, which I think can be integral when looking at applications for jobs after university.”
“I have been both an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Ambassador, as well as a School Representative for the School of Mathematics, which have allowed me the opportunity to present feedback and chair meetings with academics, encouraging my personal development.”
Future career plans
Discovery modules and his Year in Industry placement have helped Nathan to decide what he wants to do after graduating. He said, “Alongside the Mathematics into Schools module, I did a discovery module, which is a module that is not directly related to your programme. I chose to study Educational Policy and Politics, as I already held an interest in education, and had not studied politics before.”
“This module explored different aspects of all key stages, from pre-school to university, leading me to write an essay on diversity in higher education, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to improve it.”
“This, alongside the experiences I have had throughout my placement year, have led me to aspire to obtain a job in education policy, whether it be for the Department for Education, the Sutton Trust, or the Office for Studies. Although it may seem unrelated, I believe that I could apply my knowledge of economic theory to carry out such a role to a high quality.”
This, alongside the experiences I have had throughout my placement year, have led me to aspire to obtain a job in education policy.