Current Degree and University?

BSc (Hons) Statistical Science

What did you study at undergraduate level? 

BSc Mathematical and Statistical Science

Why did you choose this degree?

I chose the undergraduate degree because I simply enjoy Mathematics. I never had a clear mindset about what I would like to do in future when making the choice to study Mathematics full-time. I therefore chose passion over a goal that would eventually come over the years that I have studied as I have learnt a lot within those 4 years.

Did you change degree / discipline choices at any point during your undergraduate studies? If so, please elaborate.

At no point did I think that I would struggle but the cross-over from school straight into university is very challenging. I have had a few setbacks but this has never allowed me to lose patience. Keeping your eye on reaching what you are working towards usually helps.

At what point did you decide to pursue your Master’s or PHD?

I decided to pursue Honours closer to the closing application date for postgraduate studies in my final year.

What / who helped influence your decision?

I decided to wait before applying for Honours because I felt like I needed to see how my final year would go. I then applied for Honours a month or two before applications closed to see if I would have been eligible to make it that far but also because I never felt completely ready to apply what I have learnt in 4 years in a working environment.

That being said, I had acquired all knowledge needed but never fully grasped how application would work in the world of Data Analytics.

Hence, pursuing Honours has been one of the greatest decisions I have made because it has broadened my horizons in terms of more application on statistical programmes which plays a huge role in Data Analytics. Furthermore, the Research Project allowed for independency, that is, I was able to further my understanding on my own terms with the guidance of my supervisor. I would recommend pursuing Honours to anyone as there is more application involved and honestly help you prepare for the real world.

What therefore helped influence my decision was my own mindset on not being fully ready to apply what I have learnt into the working environment.

What benefits, in your opinion, have you gained from pursuing a Master’s or PHD qualification?

I have learnt that time management is very important, although I have had excellent time management throughout. It is very important to complete any work immediately as this allows for early studying before examinations. Deadline pressure is real and once you are lost, you are permanently lost. So, managing your time well with regards to assignments really helps take that pressure off.

Furthermore, I have also learnt that there will always be setbacks. Being a full time student is very difficult. I can say that I am on my way to completing my postgraduate studies through a completely difficult time given that the COVID-19 Pandemic has taken over our lives. This, however, has not stopped me from pushing because, as I said, keeping your eye on what you are working towards pushes one to work even harder. I know that it will all be worth it in the end.

Shannon Arendse - BSc (Hons) Statistical Science