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Case Study: Emma Thompson

Personal details
Degree:Maths Profile picture
School(s): School of Mathematics and Statistics
Year of Graduation:Jun-2012
National of: United Kingdom
Employment details
Organisation: St Andrews Baptist Church
Job title: Pastoral Apprentice
Occupational Sector: Religious Work
What has been your route to getting your current position?
I was a member of the Baptist Church during my time in St Andrews. Besides this, I was actively involved in youth work in St Andrews. It was a real privilege to be able to be involved in this work and I got to meet lots of townspeople. When this job opportunity came up, I felt it was the right step: Who wouldn't want an extra year in St Andrews?
What does your job involve ?
My job was just a for a year. I was involved in many different aspects of life at the church. I was partly responsible for setting up a sustainable youth and family ministry in the church. As well as this, I was provided with theological training each Monday. I was also involved in student work. I was also part of the team that ran the student ministry.
What are the best bits of your job ?
The best bit of my job was undoubtedly getting to spend time with so many different people from so many backgrounds. Their opinions and life experiences allowed me to reflect on the person that I was and how to best help others.
Why were you successful?
I always strived for a work-life balance. I I was always involved in lots of different activities outside of my university work which allowed me to pursue other interests. Besides this, taking this year out really allowed me the time to cement my desire to be a secondary school teacher. This job was a chance for me to spend time thinking about the future and earning a little money along the way. I also pursued this job opportunity - you can never underestimate how necessary it is to be keen for a job. Employers want to see that you have ideas and that you are a self-starter.
What skills/ knowledge from your degree have you found particularly helpful in this role?
My degree was in Mathematics. Whilst I didn't use equations or anything like that during my year with the Baptist Church, I can clearly see that the structure of the Maths degree stood me in good stead for that year. Maths is structured in such a way that you are in charge of your own learning. I know that this can be said of all subjects, but Maths lacks any coursework, so it is up to you to be proactive through the whole course and not just near examinations. I believe the skill of being able to start a project off and work little by little helped me when we (at the Baptist Church) set up youth work from scratch.
What advice would you give to students wishing to follow the same path?
I broadly advise that students show that they have interests outside of university work. If I had to offer one piece of advice, it would be to get your interview skills and CV up to a professional standard. No matter whether you want to do more people orientated work (like this job) or more academic work, a good CV will look good to any employer!