My name is Helena Mandleberg and I’m studying for my PGDip in Secondary Mathematics. In terms of making the transition from working as a Chartered Accountant in the private sector, I first of all before this year, I did a subject knowledge enhancement course in mathematics at Birmingham because I didn’t have a maths degree, I actually have a degree in psychology, which have an element of maths but not nearly enough maths for me to be able to teach it in the classroom. So I did that prior to embarking on this course and that was extremely helpful. In order to fund my qualification, I was awarded a scholarship by the Institute of Mathematics and its applications or the IMA for short and that is a fairly substantial tax free bursary. I receive £25,000 pounds over the course of the academic year, so that’s enabled me to focus on this full-time. The other really good thing about the scholarship scheme is the extra networking you get to do and the additional resources you have access to during your training year. It really is a tough year anyway, so to have all that extra support is extremely valuable and I’m already learning so much from having that available to me. I decided to train to teach at the University of Birmingham, largely because of the reputation it has. I know that teachers that qualify from here are very highly respected and are snapped up very quickly in terms of getting jobs. The course so far has been great, I won’t deny that it’s been very full on, it’s intense, but the support you get from the tutors here is absolutely fantastic. You’re both learning about the mathematics but you’re also learning about how to teach mathematics. The best thing about teaching is the variety and often the unpredictability. No two days are the same and the children and young people are just absolutely fantastic to work with and it’s very energising.