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The University of Southampton
Mathematical SciencesAlumni

Adam Swain BSc Mathematics, 2011

Operational Analyst and Modeller, Defence Science and technology Laboratory (Dstl)

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Hi, I'm Adam Swain and I studied BSc Mathematics within Mathematical Sciences at the University of Southampton.

The analytical, problem solving and time management skills I learned during my course definitely eased the transition from studying to work – I use them every day.

What was your degree when you studied at Southampton and when did you graduate?

I studied BSc Mathematics, and graduated in the summer of 2011.

Why did you choose to study at Southampton?

The University of Southampton had a good reputation in general, and specifically for Mathematics. As I am Southampton based it also allowed me to continue to train in Taekwon-do, which I was, and still am, competing at on an International level.

Where do you work and what is your job role?

I work at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in Portsdown West, near Portsmouth as an ‘Operational Analyst and Modeller’.

What aspects of your degree do you use in your day-to-day job?

I primarily use the analytical, problem solving skills I learned throughout my studies at Southampton. Although the insight into operational research techniques, some classical mechanics and geometry have also come in handy.

Did you enjoy your time at Southampton - what memories stand out from your time here?

Very much so. Stand out memories include: learning about the paradoxes of relativity from Prof Andersson, and learning basic cryptography from Prof Niblo. And, of course, many great nights out in Southampton.

How did the University help you prepare for employment?

My time at University has definitely improved my transferable skills - particularly time management and analytical thinking - which has eased the transition from studying into working. The University’s careers service was very helpful; the staff were able to identify different potential career paths from the areas of mathematics I was interested in - one which was working in the Defence industry as an operational analyst.

What advice would you give to current students in order to help them get one step ahead of the competition?

Seek out any opportunities for work based placements and internships, or any other way to enhance your non-academic skills.

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