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Posts tagged ‘project’

156. SET Awards

I thought I was done with my project; in fact I took great joy in destroying anything mildly related to it after I got my results. But then quite out of the blue, my supervisor suggested I enter it in the SET (Science, Engineering and Technology) competition. The fact that she even thought it was worth entering is a huge compliment for me. However it’s a European wide competition and getting to the next round is a complete long-shot.

For my entry I had to write a 2000 word synopsis of my project and really sell it. I’m not sure I’ve ever given the details of what I did here on my blog, but to summarise I analysed multiple choice questions and compared differences in performance between the males and females. I liked that it was about education and psychology and not just Mathematics. However condensing 60 pages of work into 2000 words in a coherent way whilst including all the main points was a real challenge. I thought I’d be able to copy and paste huge chunks but I ended up re-writing a lot of it to make it flow better.

It took me HOURS. And it took even longer to convince myself to get my head down and actually do it. I’m getting too used to lazing around.

My supervisor also has to write a supporting reference explaining how fantastic I am and how dedicated I was to my project and what a fabulous ambassador I am for my subject. lol, just lol.

  Over and Out!

152. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

GUYS Guys guys! I got a FIRST! I GOT A FRIGGIN’ FIRST!

During these holidays I employed an avoidance tactic when it came to results. Of course that didn’t stop it popping into my head and making my stomach drop, but each time it did I made a quiet a prayer and pushed it out my mind. I refused to be that person sitting by their computer hitting refresh a hundred times. 

So where was I when I got my results? Tesco. My phone started blowing up. People were posting their results on Facebook and I was just standing in the vegetables aisle gripped by anxiety. I was with my parents at the time but I made a decision not to tell them in case they crashed the car on the way home in their haste. So I played it cool and wandered around the store for the next twenty minutes looking at toothpaste and pasta sauce. 

When I eventually made it home, I trudged up the stairs, turned on my computer and found my hands shaking. Why was I so nervous? Well last year, I was kinda disappointed by my results. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to so I worked my butt off this year to compensate for it. I just wasn’t sure whether I’d done enough. 

I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT when I saw that it said ‘First Class Honours’ next to the degree classification. I think I blinked several times just to check I wasn’t imagining it. I even asked Shakira if that meant a First because I seemed to have lost my handle on the English language.  

Even better I saw that I got a First in every module except one which was off by two marks. On top of that I got a First in my project/ dissertation which blew my mind. Hands down the best set of marks I have ever obtained at university. 

So basically I was standing in my room kinda overwhelmed and on the verge of tears (but I managed to hold it it together). The fun part was telling my parents. I crept downstairs and calmly announced my results. The next thing I know I’m being squished to a within an inch of my life by my mum and we were jumping up and down like crazy people. My dad was much more subdued though I’d say equally pleased. 

So yeh I am pretty darn happy right now and this grin I’m wearing ain’t going nowhere for a while. 

Over and Out!

149. Done and Dusted.

I am officially exam free- can I get a HELL YEAH?! Do I have my life back yet though? HELL NO.

Basicallyy I still have my fourth year project to finish off which is kinda like a dissertation but with maths instead of words. This project (and an accompanying presentation on said project) is worth quarter of the year which is A LOT. Additionally if you’re borderline between degree classes like I am, they look at your project marks to help decide which side of the boundary you should be on.

Now I’ve been working on this project on and off from November so I’ve done a fair bit. However I’m not sure if it’s utter bollocks or actually relevant. Mine’s not the most ‘mathematical’ of projects either; it’s more statistical analysis focused. Before you start thinking oooh analysis, let me clarify that it’s more like ‘errrm this mean is higher…oh look low variance’ and other mindless insights rather than meaningful inference.  I kinda feel sorry for my supervisor who has to read this drivel.

As for the exams… I did six of them which is two less than what I did in 1st and 2nd year but it still felt overwhelming. Must be the insane content. How did they go?

The Mastery Paper

This bastard of a paper is reserved for us lucky fourth years to try and distinguish us from the third years. They made us sit an exam where we were given one question from each of the modules we took. Note that even though I study maths which is ‘one subject’, individual modules are vastly different. It was like a five in one exam or more accurately THE MOTHER OF ALL EXAMS. Even worse it was the very first exam. I had zero hope that it would go well- I just wanted to not fail. In the end I had one very good question, two average questions and one piss poor one so I’d say it all averages out to meh.

Algebraic Combinatorics

This is a pure Maths module and by definition, that makes it HARD. You’ve actually got to think in the exam *shock* *horror*. I was terrified going into it because the past papers from the last few years were foul and there were bits of the course that I just didn’t get. However it turned out better than expected. That’s not to say I smacked it. I just had low expectations and it exceeded those.

Time Series

Preparing for this exam felt like preparing for an A-Level Mathematics exam ie. you hit the past papers and you do as many practice questions as possible rather than examine the lecture notes. I had a terrible journey getting into uni that day and although I wasn’t late, it messed up my mental preparation. I was all over the place at the beginning of the exam but luckily I managed to pull myself together and I hope I salvaged it. I *hope*.

Applied Probability

I really liked this course mainly because I really like the lecturer but my god was this module a bitch to revise for. You have to know the lecture notes INSIDE OUT. Every minute detail is examinable and there are so many proofs and methods which you’re expected to know. I felt like I understood the content but I wasn’t sure I could convert that into a good exam mark. Before the exam I did a quick revision session with a dude from my course and I explained some stuff to him and he explained some stuff to me. Both things came up. I could have hugged him.

Statistical Theory

The name of this course is Statistical theory but we knew the exam was all about applying the theory. Due to my timetable I sort of only had 6 days to revise for it properly. The lecture notes were waffle so I just did the papers and hoped for the best. I even learnt definitions on the train on the exam day. It was all very last minute dot com. The exam itself was HARD but I honestly tried so I’m not disappointed. I did everything I could.

Stochastic Simulation

We all got royally screwed over. It was nothing like the past papers. I can’t say it was ‘unfair’ but it was just weird and I didn’t feel like the questions were direct. I could see everyone’s faces in the hall as they flicked through the questions all unanimously thinking ‘what the hell is this?’. It was a pretty bad exam to end on. My only consolation is that I think everyone found it bad so hopefully they’ll sort out the boundaries…

But yeah. That’s that. All done and dusted. I thought I’d have some closure after this or feel like a great burden had been lifted off my shoulders. Instead I felt..nothing and my attention immediately switched to my project. Maybe I’ll feel like celebrating when that’s done?

At least I hope so.

Over and Out!

 

129. A day of coding…

…goes pretty much like this…

I’m going to be really productive today. I am refreshed and ready to tackle these questions. Bring it on!

im1

Just look at that positive attitude.

Let me just copy and paste the code that worked perfectly at home. Done. I think I’ll just run it to check everything is working…

It’s not working. Why isn’t it working?

im2

My computer hates me

Oh I forgot to install the packages at the start. Silly me. It should work now.

It’s still not working. I don’t understand why this is happening.

im4

EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Crap now I’m going to have to run everything line by line to identify the problem.

Oh FFS I left out a bracket. Now everything is working.

FINALLY I can start. Oh crap is that the time?! I’m going to be late for my lecture.

im3

When will this be over?!

*sigh* another day of unproductive coding.

And that guys, is basically my life right now!

Over and Out!

P.S New background- good, bad or ugly?

126. So did I actually do anything on my To-Do List?

So I made a list of things I wanted to do over Summer and I thought it might be a good idea to check if I actually did any of them. I know it’s October but better late than never. Here goes:

  • Buy clothes for my internship (so that I look good while I succeed! )
    I had a very successful shopping trip with my dad. I managed to buy five shirts/blouses for under £60 so I was well chuffed! Shame I didn’t give two hoots about what I was wearing about a week into the internship.
  • Visit all my friends who I haven’t seen in a while
    I visited a few close friends but nowhere near everyone I hoped to see. GUILTY!

    akjk

    Me and JK

  • Buy clothes for my cousin’s wedding
    Ah ha ha the last minute panic that was my Paris trip. I really liked the green asian style maxi dress I bought- made me feel a million dollars!
  • Be nice to my cousin who doesn’t like me when she comes to visit
    This went surprisingly well actually. I think we both made a conscious effort to be warmer towards each other even though we don’t see eye to eye. I’m pleased we parted on good terms.
  • Think seriously about fourth year modules and start collecting past papers/ problem sheet solutions
    I dedicated quite a lot of time thinking about my final year and how I needed to boost my marks. I find it amusing that the modules I decided to do this term are exactly what I originally planned to do before all the scrutiny and over analysis of past papers. Sometimes it really is best not to overthink. I’m very happy with my choices.
  • Bake lasagna for my parents again
    Shockingly I got around to doing this. It was a real pain getting my parents out the kitchen but I succeeded in baking something edible. It was good but there is definitely room for improvement (more white sauce!)

    lasagna

    Om nom nom

  • Start writing down Mum’s recipes (step one of wife training)
    This didn’t happen… I’m clearly putting off wife training. I should just start apologising to my husband now. If he exists.
  • Organise a holiday somewhere in Europe for September
    I must have spent hours looking at potential destinations but did I go anywhere? NOPE. In part, I blame my parents because they were so reluctant. My mum’s preference is always to go to Pakistan to see family but that means never getting a chance to actually explore the country. My dad’s preference is to minimise spending and if he had it his way we’d be in a tiny self catering hostel and seeing lots of places but not actually ‘doing’ anything. Either way, not the holiday I was looking for.
  • Start reading A Game of Thrones
    Alas this didn’t happen either. HOWEVER I did manage to read quite a few books during my jury service because there was so much waiting around. I just love reading sessions- I really miss it during term time. Technically speaking I could read a few pages everyday but I find that very unsatisfying. I prefer to totally immerse myself into a new world not just dip in and out of it.
  • Spend a day baking
    I had a lovely day baking fairy cakes with my beautiful cousin Mele. They came out so soft and fluffy! I also whipped the cream by hand which required some serious elbow grease but it came out well. We decorated the cakes with flakes and sprinkles and gosh they were scrummy!

    fairycakes

    Who doesn’t love a bit of rainbow sprinkles?!

  • Go to Thorpe Park
    Hmmm I went to Alton Towers instead which was a real trek so I think it should count. NEXTTT
  • Watch: Hangover 3, The King’s Speech, Season 7 and 8 of House, the last series of Doctor Who…and all the other stuff saved on our Sky Box
    This was my proudest achievement. I watched it all! I’ve officially seen every episode of House. Totally cried when it ended.
  • Sort out all the papers and folders scattered across my room
    I dedicated an entire day sifting through the crap in my room. I don’t know how I amass so much paper. By the end I had a pile up to my knees that went straight into recycling. Now there’s more room for me to collect new crap. Huzzah!
  • Back up my files and wipe my laptop(asaurus) because it’s so damn slow!
    I actually wiped my laptop TWICE but I still haven’t bothered to copy my files over. Turns out all I really need is the internet!
  • Do some reading for my fourth year project- maybe even form an outline of how I want to structure it
    I was quite annoyed that I couldn’t do much for my project over the Summer but I wasn’t the only one so I don’t feel so bad. I have a truckload to do for it now though. Le sigh.
  • Finish furnishing my Neohome
    Neopets took a back seat this Summer. Am I growing up? NOOOOOOOO. (I still play the stock market. I will never give it up.)
  • Finish decorating the Disney Princesses wall in my room (I’m a grown up, honest)
    I did the colouring….but I still need to cut them out and stick them on my wall. It was surprisingly therapeutic just sitting there deciding which shade of pink was right for Aurora’s dress. #lifedecisions

    aurora

    See how well I kept in the lines. Such a pro.

  • Lose a few pounds or worse comes to worst, don’t put ON any more weight!
    I didn’t lose weight. On the plus side, I didn’t really gain anything either. In my books, that’s a win!
  • KEEP BLOGGING!
    I think I did just enough though I got super busy during my internship…

Overall I think I did quite well. Did most of the important things on the list!

Over and Out!

114. I’m getting moneyyyy

Well actually I got a job offer. Same thing. I thought I would hear back from Towers Watson in early September so this came as a real shock. The first time they rang, I was in the shower. When I phoned back, they were busy. By the time they replied, I had lots of family around so I had to literally scream EVERYONE SHUT UP… please.

But yeah I got my first job offer on the back of my first internship which I got from my first assessment centre. That’s quite a statistic. I feel very lucky but at the same time I worry I have like no interview experience which might pose a problem in the future. But this isn’t the time to fret about that.

I should add I haven’t accepted yet. Thought I’d keep them waiting for once 😛 Nahhh I wanted to discuss it with my parents first and really process it so now I have until the end of the week to respond.

The pay is decent but not as high as I aspired. However there are quite a few perks with the job, the most important being that they’ll pay for my study package (I gotto take exams to become an actuary…) and I’ll get approximately one day a week off to revise. They’d also get me into their pension scheme, give me a free phone, private medical insurance..useful stuff.

So yeah. A job offer waiting for me after I graduate…a nice position to be in. I can do my best during my final year of uni and not worry about what’s coming next.

All the interns at my office. I hope they all come back!

All the interns at my office. I hope they all come back!

I was gonna talk about the fact that my project group won the prize for ‘Most Innovative Team’ for the videos we made and how awesome we were as a group (see post 111. Go Beyond!) but this news kinda trumps that. Oh well.

team fast forward

Team Fast Forward!

There you have it. The end of my internship but the start of my career at Towers Watson.

Over and Out!

[Note: The title and gif come from the song ‘Turn my swag on’ by Soulja Boy. Lol. ]

111. Go beyond!

Go beyond… your expectations. Go beyond… your imagination. No I’m not trying to inspire you. Nor am I channeling Buzz Lightyear. These are some of the phrases I spoke into a camera as part of my intern project.

What kind of project was it I hear you exclaim?

Well I worked with 7 other interns across 3 offices to put together a video for graduate recruitment about what being an intern at Towers Watson is like. We worked on it for the whole internship and started from scratch; research, scripts, story boards. I don’t know if any of you guys have seen videos like this before but they’re usually just interviews. We wanted ours to be a little different ie. more fast paced, short snippets of conversation overlayed with supporting shots.

Towers Watson actually hired a professional cameraman called Marx to do the filming and we naively thought he’d lead the directing. Instead he strolled in and was like where do you want me? Tell me what to do, this is your film… so we very much dictated how it went.

In the morning we did all the serious stuff about how wonderful Towers Watson is and how much support and guidance we’d been given. To be fair, this is all true but there is always an element of cheesiness when you’re trying to advertise something in this way. I found myself cringing on more than one occasion. For most of these shots, we had the camera on us but we had to keep our eyes on a person to the side. Let me tell you, it is bloody difficult not to look at the camera and to keep your eyes focused. Any little distraction causes your eyes to flicker and look (as Marx put it) ‘shifty’.

In the afternoon, we did all the ‘filler’ shots eg. working at a computer, walking down a corridor, being in a meeting, having something explained to us. This was all ‘pretend’ as the people in the office are annoyingly camera shy. We weren’t allowed to use any real data due to client confidentiality so we manufactured some ridiculous graphs on Excel. Thank you random number generator. Also you’d be surprised how difficult it is to be ‘natural’ when you have a lens on your face. When we were walking down a corridor, we had to pretend to be talking about something really important. Anyone lip reading the official video might be alarmed to read ‘this is in blue font’, ‘wow this sentence is shit’, ‘this is a title’, ‘what am I doing?’, all very professional of course… I probably shouldn’t be sharing this on the internet…oh well, come at me Towers Watson.

Throughout the day we had fun with the new branding tagline: Go beyond. It was very tempting to just say ‘go beyond Towers Watson’ which probably wasn’t the right message to be sending out! Other variations included ‘to infinity and beyond’ and ‘go beyond friction’ but the most hilarious was ‘go beyond….FRIENDSHIP’ *cue one of the guys putting his arms around the girls (see 0:53 in the video below)*. I am still laughing about it.

So the final video isn’t out yet but me and Shakira made a video of the videoing (…) for our final presentation. It’s basically just outtakes and it’s by no means perfect but we had so much fun filming that we wanted to share it. By the way our team name was Fast Forward (shut up I know it’s cheesy).

As you can see we had a tonne of fun. Our group was fabulous and it was a brilliant day away from the office!

Go beyond! Over and Out!