Last Saturday, sitting on my train back from Birmingham, well fed and stimulated from all the new and exciting input I had got at the Maths Scholars conference, I thought to myself that it had definitely the right choice to apply for the Maths Scholars scholarship. When I prepared my application in February, I really didn’t think I would get it. I nearly even didn’t try! I thought that you had to be an amazing mathematician who knew all about their subject to even be considered for it. I only ended up applying because a friend of mine convinced me to do so by telling me that I couldn’t be sure what kind of person they are actually looking for. I want to share this advice here: you might as well apply, you never know what kind of person they are actually looking for – and chances are it might be exactly you!

I feel very fortunate to be part of the Maths scholars. There is an overwhelming wealth of material and resources which I can now access for free, due to having been provided with free membership to many very interesting mathematical societies. There is extra support for Maths scholars if they need it, so many people you can contact with you questions. And then there are the Maths Scholars themselves – your peers – who you will meet and get to know at the different conferences. Not only is this great fun to meet these interesting and inspiring people, but it is great fun too! Since you are all in the same boat, the conferences provide a unique opportunity to share experiences and advice, to help each other by asking questions and by sharing resources. You might even meet people who are doing their ITT close to where you live – a chance to make some friends for life.

On top of all these great opportunities there is the extra £2000 that Maths Scholars get on top of their normal bursary. I am paying my tuition fees for University monthly with the money I get from the bursary. I have to say that this extra £2000 do make a difference to me. They are the reason I don’t have to live too frugally, can eat out every now and then and didn’t feel the pressure that I needed to find the cheapest place to live that I could find.

So, living in a nice house, enjoying the comforts of treating myself to a nice meal out with friends, stimulated by all the new input that I am getting, my advice is: you might as well apply – you never know what you might get.

Marvin Masaeli