Meet our alumni – Joshua
Student experience 8th June 2020
In this alumni blog we catch up with previous Department of Mathematics student, Joshua Hawkhead.
What is your name, where are you from?
Joshua Hawkhead. Originally from Barnsley, now living in Wakefield.
When did you graduate from the University?
Can you tell us about what you studied at the University of Manchester?
BSc (hons) in mathematics (1st class)
What did you enjoy most about the course?
I enjoyed the comradery between students, and between staff and students. We were all felt to be accepted as mathematicians and therefore felt included as one of them (albeit at a much lower rank!) The structure and choice given throughout was exceptional and one would be hard pushed to find a topic not included on the undergraduate options list. Lectures were generally clear and concise, with (again, generally!) excellent materials.
And the wider University?
The University has a long and expansive history of excellence. It is not afraid to invest in its students and it’s staff. There are plentiful eating and drinking establishments situated along the main road on which it sits.
Can you tell us a little about your career post-university, and the role you’re in now?
After Graduation, I completed a PGCE in mathematics education at Sheffield Hallam university and secured a teaching post at a school in Leeds. After two years, I was promoted to a middle management position (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), involving local authorities, parents and children and staff from around the city. I moved schools in 2018 to a more senior position in a bigger school in Bradford which is where I am now. I also provide consultancy work for struggling schools and work as part of a bigger partnership as a Special Needs expert.
How did your time at The University of Manchester help with this?
Obviously, my degree was paramount to becoming a teacher! More widely, however, The University of Manchester has a lot of careers events, especially for those in their final year of study. One particular event which swayed me into teaching was the PASS program, where a final year student would mentor a first-year student and assist with their studies. This provided invaluable insight into teaching which I otherwise wouldn’t have got. Alongside this, I was accepted onto a two week school shadowing program in a secondary school which, again, wouldn’t have been possible without the careers expertise and guidance from both the mathematics faculty and the wider university staff.
What would you say to people considering coming to The University of Manchester to study?
Do it! The result of your time at Manchester will be an extremely prestigious degree from a world-leading university. They will work you really hard, but your personal and intellectual gain will be priceless. It is a world-leading university and in a modern, thriving city. I couldn’t recommend it more.