Preparation for my MSc Journey
Student experience 22nd July 2019
This blog post was written by School of Mathematics MSc student Kimberly Hanson in May 2019.
Most institutions, especially those outside the UK, offer Masters programmes that span over 2-3 years. Making the decision to start a one year course was not an easy one, especially when I knew I would have less time to cover more material. Thankfully, once I was confirmed for the MSc Mathematical Finance programme, the School of Mathematics sent me suggested readings and other resources. Use them! This not only helped in easing my mind since I had little background with finance, but it helped me know what I was getting myself into. Don’t go into your programme blind. Do your research and pull up resources to give you a taste of what you’re in for.
In addition to the intense material, I had to mentally prepare for the environment. As an island girl from Jamaica, who would have to take a 13 – 16 hours flight and bus ride to get home (minus the potential 18 hours of layover), I had to accept that this was now my life. The best thing I did, given my circumstances, was to surround myself with positivity and embrace the UK culture. I even involved myself in various volunteering activities.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. How did I find the time?? Honestly, I made the time.. and I’m glad I did! Volunteering not only allowed me to give back to the community but also provided me with an escape from the demands of my programme.
Still feeling a bit drained? UoM offers a variety of services regarding mental health. More information can be obtained from this website: http://www.counsellingservice.manchester.ac.uk/mentalhealth/ and physical health through their Sporticipate programs http://www.sport.manchester.ac.uk/sport/sporticipate/.
I was blessed to be awarded the Chevening Scholarship from the Commonwealth Office back home but the opportunities to study here are limitless! The University offers a whole range of MSc Funding opportunities that can aid in diminishing your financial burden. One such example is the Manchester Master’s Bursary which offers 100 bursaries each year for master’s students, worth £3,000 in funding.
More information can be obtained from the website below:
In addition to that, UoM graduates with a First Class Honours receive a 10% discount on the MSc programmes and are automatically eligible for a £2000 loyalty bursary for the following MSc programmes:
- Actuarial Science
- Pure Mathematics
- Applied Mathematics
Though it’s possible to entertain a Masters that is completely unrelated to your bachelors, but peaks your interest, my Bachelors in Actuarial Science really honed the analytical skills I’d need for this course. With that said, definitely engage with a Master’s programme that either embodies what you’ve learned in your past degree or sparks your interest.
Finally, my top tips
- Procrastination is not your friend. Start assignments and revision ASAP.
- Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it!
- TAKE BREAKS! The moment I stopped burying myself in books and visited places other than the library, my mind felt more and more refreshed
- Get involved. Give back to your community (Loads of opportunities are listed on the Volunteer Hub website: https://www.find-volunteering.manchester.ac.uk/
- Try dog walking with the Dogs Unleashed Society. You’ll thank me later!
- Mentor through ReachOut UK (you can check out this blog post on my mentoring journey here: https://www.reachoutuk.org/kimberly-mentor
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your lecturers are more than willing to help you. Make use of their office hours.
By Kimberly Hanson