Mathematics - Professional and Personal Development Seminars

Maja Lie, BSc Mathematics with Economics-

It’s been helpful to get advice on how to approach studying towards a Mathematics degree from the student perspective, the teaching perspective, and alumni perspective, especially since university mathematics is very different from high school. The quiz in the first seminar was a fun way to get to meet and work with people I might not have met in classes.


Zuzanna Palion, BSc Mathematics and Economics- 

In general, having attended all the seminars, I can honestly say that after every single one of them I felt incredibly motivated to get as much as possible out of my degree. It not only gives me the motivation to study but makes me feel more confident when it comes to approaching my teachers, asking them questions. It really encourages me to delve into my degree and explore the doors it opens.


Chittesh Patel, BSc Mathematics with Economics-

The Careers session was an interesting session where we learnt about the range of fields a mathematics degree can take you into. I learnt a lot of new information I didn’t know before about jobs in the industry, some of which I had not even heard of before.


Pearl Yuan, BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics-

One thing I like the most about this seminar series is that you can always get constructive advice from it, along with biscuits and tea!























Ioannis Kouletsis.




This case study is about the Professional and Personal Development Seminar Series the Department of Mathematics runs for its first-year students.

Target audience

First-year students following BSc Mathematics with/and Economics or BSc Financial Mathematics and Statistics.


At the initiative of our Head of Department and Deputy Head (Teaching), I coordinate a seminar series that aims to provide professional and personal development opportunities for our first-year undergraduate students and foster a sense of belonging among them. Planning started in the summer of 2017 and the series was launched in October 2017. The sessions are one hour long and take place in LSE LIFE four times in both Michaelmas and Lent terms.

The seminar series has been made possible through the support of LSE LIFE, LSE Careers and Timetables. Overall administrative responsibility lies with our UG Programmes Manager, supported by other Professional Service colleagues. Initial funding was from the TLC; it is now funded by the Department.

The seminar programme so far has included:

  • An “icebreaker” quiz session where students, class teachers and members of faculty work in teams
  • Sessions led by LSE Careers consultant Maddie Smith that include talks by alumni
  • A study skills session by our Head of Department Professor Martin Anthony
  • A talk by Dr Jessica Templeton and Dr Chris Blunt of LSE100
  • A talk by LSE LIFE Student Adviser Jack Winterton
  • A panel of senior mathematics students sharing their experiences
  • A talk by Dr Luitgard Veraart (Mathematics) about her research on systemic risk in financial networks

In line with the Department’s educational strategy, we wanted to take a proactive approach to alleviating the issues first-year students commonly face in their transition from school to university.  


Feedback from students indicates that the seminars have helped them feel part of the Department and the wider LSE community. Students feel that they have received valuable advice regarding their studies and that the seminars have widened their horizons when it comes to possible career paths.

You can read just some of the quotes from the students who took part to the left.

Next steps

We’re currently trialling a seminar series for our second-year students. It is important to have the support of a team of colleagues, both at the departmental level and across the School. It is also important to have patience when starting a new initiative as it may take some time to build momentum.