I spent the day in London and gave my careers talk at London Metropolitan University. I had to modify this as the first and second year students had a class which started half way through my talk, while the final year students could stay for the whole hour (or hour and 15 as it turned out). I gave the skills development part of the talk and then talked, by request of my host Dr Amir Khossousi, about mathematics societies and what the students may gain by setting one up (as a commuity and individually). They might do just that, with the help of an IMA University Liaison Grant.
I told them student Mathsocs activities include events – social, mathematical and careers based – peer support sessions, newsletters, sports teams and generally building a sense of community among the student body. I gave a plug for the IMA RUMS blog in that regard, where people can find out what other societies are up to. I told them about the UL Grant funding and the electronic copy of Mathematics Today that I can send to student reps. Finally, I told them about the London group of universities, run on behalf of the IMA by Noel-Ann Bradshaw (and having a Facebook group “London University Maths Societies – IMA”). It was nice when saying what fantastic opportunities there are to attend mathematical events in London (not least Gresham College and the Lighthill Institute) to be able to gesture and take in the whole of central London with a sweep of my hand from the window in the 11th floor of the Tower Building (pictured below).
After the first and second year students left I returned to the usual talk, telling the students to look at career profiles (including Maths Careers, Plus and the Travels in a Mathematical World podcast) to find an area of mathematics that interests them and what a great benefit to their career IMA membership and chartered status can be. Actually the real hard sell in that regard was given by Dr. Pargat Singh Calay CMath FIMA CSci who gave a passionate speech on the benefits of association with the IMA.