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Anne Watts
MSc Applied Statistics and Operational Research

After taking a first degree in Pure Mathematics and Statistics, I worked for two years as a statistician, raised a family and taught maths and statistics for a long time, mainly in further education.  In the middle of the 1990's I took early retirement from a full-time post and had various part-time jobs including teaching at the Extramural Department at Birkbeck and working for a charity.  The idea of doing a higher degree had been pushed to the back of my mind for many years - I'd started a part-time Ph.D. at Birkbeck on graduating but the combination of a new marriage, a new full-time job, and commuting resulted in the Ph.D. lasting about three weeks!

Being a student again was exhilarating.  I was definitely the grandma of the group but years of teaching meant that I was familiar with the maths and I enjoyed the challenge of the new work.  The lectures were well structured, the course offered the opportunity to work with computer packages that I was unfamiliar with and the continuous assessment gave me the confidence to do well in exams.   

After the M.Sc. I continued to work part-time in higher education including two years teaching undergraduates at Birkbeck until I moved to Birmingham.  Now I am teaching statistics in the Maths Department at the University of Birmingham using what I learned at Birkbeck.