Nancy Shaw


BSc Joint Honours Mathematics & Sports Science - 2003

Currently: UK&I Market Strategy & Planning Manager for Homecare at Procter & Gamble

"The Professors are experts in the areas they teach, we all had huge respect for them & they are approachable." 


How have you got where you are today, from your student days?

To work at P&G you need a degree, it does not need to be anything specific - all the graduates I started with have different degrees. I do a assortment of financial modelling & planning in my current role, having Maths as my background enables me to see trends quickly, work out shortest paths easily & develop complex documents to model scenarios. P&G did a recruitment presentation in the November before I graduated at Birmingham University - I remember at the end of the presentation I decided I wanted to work for them. After I graduated, I spent a summer working an internship with P&G, at the end I was offered a full-time job. I deferred for a year to represent Great Britain at the Triathlon & Aquathlon World Championships in New Zealand & to allow me to travel & work temporarily in the Southern Hemisphere. I then started full-time at P&G in 2004. I have not looked back since. I am now in my fourth role at P&G - it is great!

What were the best things about the education that you received at Birmingham?

The Professors are experts in the areas they teach, we all had huge respect for them & they are approachable. You have a tutor where you can have one-on-ones when you need them; my tutor was a great encouragement throughout the three years. There is a large variety of courses you can study - I had my favourites!

How did your time at Birmingham influence your career path? Did it do so directly or indirectly?

If Birmingham University did not have the Procter & Gamble recruitment presentation I would not have the career I have now.

Other than your qualification in your subject area, what other skills do you think your time at Birmingham developed?

Interpersonal skills, diversity exposure & development - we were a diverse group of students, doing Sports Science as part of the Joint Honours course meant we have the upmost diversity & a wide variety of experiences at University.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations?

Living & studying in Birmingham absolutely lived up to my expectations, in fact it surpassed them - I had a fantastic time! Birmingham University is a wonderful campus; it is close to the City but also easy to escape - the transportation links are ideal for quick weekends home or away. The sports facilities are developing & the coaching available is to international standard. Whilst studying my degree, I also had the time to balance my time to be dedicated to sport allowing me to compete at international level in triathlon & aquathlon as well as representing the University in swimming & water polo.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

Take the History of Mathematics course - it is highly inspirational & will unlock & drive your passion for Maths that you may never knew you had. I wish it was a compulsory course during the 1 year at University, it is a fantastically interesting. I would like to have done more with it. It is unbelievable to think that past mathematicians did the calculations, formulas & problem solving (etc) they achieved without the modern technology available to us now.

What are your memories of student social life?

In 20 words - fantastic, curries, partying, sports, socialising, meeting new people, making friends for life, Selly Oak, independence, diverse, mentally challenging, responsibility & fun!

What were your expectations of the City of Birmingham and how did your expectations of the City match your experience?

The City offers a variety of nightlife, shopping & culture minutes away from the University. Whilst I was at Birmingham, the City was being developed - it is even more prosperous now. I wish I were back at Birmingham!

Is there anything else you wish to add about your experience at the University of Birmingham and the city in general?

A big thank you to all the Lecturers, Professors, and Sports Coaches at Birmingham University for making my time there very special!