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School of Mathematics

School of Mathematics

Blog for the School of Mathematics community

Alumni Stories: Vera Dimovska

Photo of Vera. She has dark curled hair and is wearing a red jumper. Text reads: Alumni Stories, Vera Dimovska, Machine Learning Engineer, MMath Mathematics

Vera shares the broad range of extra-curricular opportunities she took part in to develop her employability skills, as well as her experiences of 2nd year entry to the programme.


Programme MMath Mathematics (2nd year entry)
Year of graduation 2020
Job title Machine Learning Engineer
Industry Technology
Home country North Macedonia


Why did you decide to study Maths at the University of Edinburgh?

I wanted to study Maths because it’s a degree with lots of options – for example, you can focus on pure maths, or you can apply it to a range of industries such as medicine, computer science, biology, and more. At the time when I was applying, I was keen to pick a subject that gave me flexibility to choose what I want to do in the future – and I was always good at Maths!

Then when I was researching universities, I was offered a scholarship from my local government to go to a global top 100 university. After I received an offer, I visited Edinburgh at an Offer Holder Day – I remember it was a beautiful day and I felt it would be a good fit for me. I’m so glad I chose Edinburgh – it’s a smaller city which I felt more comfortable with, as it was the first time I was going to be far away from home. It has a big community of students everywhere in the city.

How did you find the direct entry route, going straight into second year?

At the Offer Holder Day, I had a chat with one of the professors and he looked at my educational history and advised I could apply for direct entry into second year if I was interested. I’m glad I did it, because I went to a high school that focused the final two years on advanced level maths, so I had covered specific areas of mathematical analysis and calculus, so I enjoyed the faster pace of the direct entry route.

Can you tell us about your career journey so far after graduating?

In my final year I did an Employ.ed in an SME internship programme in a small Edinburgh-based company called Viapontica AI in machine learning, which was a mix of computer science and mathematics. Then after I graduated, I got a full-time role there as a Machine Learning Engineer.

I’ve been doing some cool projects in different industries and in a previous job I was still closely connected to the university as the company was an industry partner, where Masters students worked with us as part of their dissertation project.

The work I do is a mix of research and development, so we work with clients who come to us with lots of data that they would like insights from, and we work with them to analyse the data. This involves data processing, filtering, checking how valid the data is and then going deep into the maths with some modelling.

What do you enjoy the most about the role?

I like the research side of the job and the fact that you need to think creatively. Because I’ve been working in smaller teams, I can get involved in the decision-making process and have my ideas heard which is great. It’s been fun and fast paced – it doesn’t get boring as I have exposure to different industries through different projects. It’s a great way to learn soft skills but also learn about what you like because projects change all the time.

What do you find most challenging in your job?

I would say probably the disconnection between technical and non-technical people, as it’s a client-facing role and you sometimes have to explain your work to clients who aren’t from a maths background. Sometimes deadlines have to change on projects which can be challenging too.

What did you gain from your time at Edinburgh and were there any experiences during your time at university which particularly helped prepare you for life after graduation?

Throughout my studies we did lots of group projects and presentations which helped develop my soft skills. I also gained lots of different skills from working on a number of internships and part-time jobs alongside my studies.

I worked as a Resident Assistant in halls, I was a Student Caller in the Alumni & Development team, and I was a Maths Student Ambassador. These were great opportunities for me to develop my communication skills – when I first came to Edinburgh I was really shy and English was not my first language, but these roles helped me gain confidence and become the person I am now. These experiences have definitely helped me in my role now as it’s client facing so you need to be open and confident communicating.

I was also a Data Coach for the Data-Driven Innovation Initiative delivering training for the Students as Change Agents project for two years. This helped me with the technical skills, along with my experience working in the Student Analytics team.

All of these jobs also helped me meet a lot more people outside of the School of Mathematics, from different year groups and different degree programmes, so I could broaden my friendship group which was great.

Do you have any highlights or a favourite memory of your time at university?

Working as a Data Coach was really cool – I got to work with local organisations to help them with problems and develop my data skills, and it was the first time I was able to apply maths to real world challenges.

On the academic side, in my 4th year I did a dissertation, then in my final (5th) year I did a group project and it was great that we had the creative freedom to focus on what we were interested in.

What advice would you give future students who are considering studying Mathematics at Edinburgh?

Try lots of things and don’t be afraid that you’ll fail! If you see a course you think might be interesting, try it. The programmes at Edinburgh are quite flexible – for example, once you’ve arrived, if you decide you want to do the MMath 5 year integrated masters programme you can switch, or if you start on the Direct Entry route but change your mind in the first few weeks, you can change to start your studies from year 1.

There is a big support system at the university – you have an Academic Cohort Lead and Student Adviser and they can help you. Almost always someone has been in the same position as you.

My final piece of advice is that the University of Edinburgh has a lot of job opportunities both on-campus and off-campus – the Career Hub website was great so make the most of the resources and opportunities out there!




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