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School of Mathematical Sciences

Meet the Undergraduate – Anna Veldman

In this blog post, we spoke to Anna Veldman, BSc Mathematics student at Queen Mary University of London. She discussed her passion for maths and physics, her international background as well as the things she enjoys the most about her degree.

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Why did you choose to pursue Maths with Year Abroad? Have you thought about which country you would like to study in?

For quite a long time throughout high school, I was convinced that I would study physics or Aerospace Engineering. I have been fortunate enough to have many passions while also knowing I wanted to get into Space Science. I have realised over time how interdisciplinary specific career paths can be. As I only really enjoyed the relativity module of physics in my last two years, I realised I would have to go through many classical physics modules if I chose to study it at university level. I decided to study maths instead because I have always loved the creativity that is hidden within the subject. I naturally chose to add a year abroad as I am quite international at heart and have already lived in different countries in my life and intend to continue doing so. It's certainly an advantage to be able to study at one of the world-class universities that Queen Mary has as its partners for only a small fraction of the standard tuition. I am looking to study in the US, Singapore or Australia. 

What do you enjoy about your degree?

The first semester was quite easy in my opinion, which was nice because it gave me a chance to breathe again after the stress of IB (International Baccalaureate) and to focus on settling into university life. In the second semester, I have enjoyed Calculus II as this was a little more challenging and introduced some content that I hadn't seen at school. I also think that overall the professors are very engaging and there are many choices in second and third-year modules allowing you to focus on what you enjoy. Lastly, I have enjoyed taking more technology-based modules such as Probability and Statistics as well as Computing and Data Analysis with Excel.

What's your overall experience as a maths ambassador so far?

I have enjoyed working as a student ambassador and I love talking to prospective students. Seeing their excitement and hearing about their concerns reminds me of what it was like for me starting university which is just a really fun time because there is so much going on and it's a completely new start.

If you were to advise other students who are thinking of applying for this programme, what would you say?

Before even choosing your degree or university, it's important to do your research and find more than one place or programme that makes you feel genuinely excited. In terms of personal statements, I am not an admissions officer but I have read quite a few. People often talk about their achievements in a way in which the paragraphs don't connect and there is no flow. It can be difficult to make all your interests and achievements fit together but there are similarities and it's important to make sure that your essay is a good piece of writing. Your passions come across much more vividly if they seem connected so that the admissions officer can figure out your personality instead of reading an abstract list.

What are your career interests and aspirations?

As I previously mentioned, I am interested in many different areas: environmental problems, international humanitarian collaboration, how our brain influences who we are and the possibility of becoming an interplanetary species, just to list a few. My arguably biggest dream is to work at Space X, NASA or some other big space company, whether that is calculating flight paths or helping regulate peaceful international cooperation in space. As such, I am looking to hopefully do a masters in space science. As cheesy as it might sound, though, as long as I am doing something impactful, I will be happy.

Interested in studying BSc Mathematics at the School of Maths? Learn more about our degrees.