Marcus Denton is currently studying BSc Mathematics with a Placement Year, and joined the University of Reading through Clearing.
What made you interested in the University of Reading for mathematics? Was mathematics your intended subject?
When I was initially applying to universities on UCAS, I had the intention of studying accounting and finance. Prior to this I had intended to study mathematics but didn't think I would be able to manage it at degree level.
Over the course of Year 13, I grew in confidence with mathematics and decided to change my firm and insurance choices to mathematics options in May. I had chosen mathematics at the University of Reading due to Reading being a great campus with strong standings in the league tables.
How did you make the decision to attend the University of Reading?
Prior to results day, I had said to myself that I would opt to go into clearing if I didn't get into my firm choice, as I had a change of heart about my insurance choice. Due to this, I had shortlisted a few universities to apply to through clearing, and Reading was one of them.
On the morning of results day I had logged onto UCAS to see that I was accepted by my insurance choice. I then travelled to sixth form to collect my grades and didn't do as well as I had liked. Whilst speaking to one of my friends, he had mentioned that he was looking to apply to Reading as it had a really nice green campus and was a good university.
Based on that conversation and my own research prior to the day, I picked up the phone to contact clearing and applied for Reading. A few hours later I had received an offer for the course I had chosen.
What was your experience when you first started your studies?
When I first started my studies, I had a little difficulty settling in as I was trying to get accommodation in halls. Shortly after term started, I was able to settle in after receiving a halls offer and things were great from there on.
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics were very helpful in regards to beginning maths at university as I was very nervous that I would be disadvantaged in comparison to those who had studied further maths previously.
The lecturers were really reassuring as they covered the topics that the further mathematicians knew prior to starting university, putting everyone on an equal footing to proceed with the rest of the year.
Is there a particular module, topic, academic, or social experience that has really inspired you during your time here? Why?
There have been many experiences that have inspired me whilst studying at the University of Reading. I was astounded by the number of opportunities offered and decided to take up some of them, including being an open day helper, a maths representative and a school mentor.
I was really inspired by a young deaf student who attended the outreach programme residential last year as that was the most interaction I had ever had with a deaf individual.
Following this, I was inspired by deaf people for the challenges they face and decided to study British Sign Language (BSL) as one of my modules for second year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the course and definitely plan to take up Level 2 BSL when I return from my placement.
What's next for you?
I've taken the four-year sandwich course which includes an industrial placement year during the third year of my programme.
I have a 12-month placement with Illumina, which is a Biotechnology company with a lot of research into genomes and chromosomes.
My role at Illumina will be an Accounting and Finance Intern where I will be able to work on various elements of the Finance department including Tax and Financial Planning.
I am looking forward to the placement year which will be based in Cambridge, so I will be experiencing a new area and the working world at the same time.