Alex Deonarine, a Danske Bank graduate trainee, is one of six young people showcasing the importance of maths in work and everyday life as they star in a specially created poster exhibiting in secondary schools across Northern Ireland as part of Maths Week 2021.
Taking place this week and supported in Northern Ireland by the Department for the Economy, the island of Ireland festival helps demonstrate how practical maths skills are essential to enable young people to enter, progress and succeed in the jobs arena and fulfil their potential whilst at the same time contributing to the development of the local economy. Already nearly 59,000 pupils from schools across Northern Ireland have registered, exceeding last year’s total of 56,000.
Originally from London, Alex studied Chemistry at Queen’s University, and joined Danske Bank’s graduate programme in July 2020.
“I’m using maths in my day-to-day roles at Danske Bank – from handling and interpreting data to spotting financial trends and patterns in the economy as wells as planning and scheduling content and information for Board Meetings in my current job working in the Chief Executive’s office.
“Maths is the building blocks for so many job roles. My advice to anyone who doesn’t think maths is fun is not think of it as numbers, consider it more like problem solving. And there is nothing to beat the feeling when you finally figure out the answer.
“I’m thrilled to represent Danske Bank in this year’s Maths Week and I hope the Maths at Work poster encourages many more school students to enjoy maths and perhaps take it further in sixth year or in further or higher education colleges.”
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons said, “I am pleased to support this initiative given how important maths is in everyday life and how it can open up exciting career opportunities. Reaching people of all ages through Maths Week encourages them to maintain and improve their maths skills. They may also continue learning and studying maths, in turn giving them access to many great career opportunities in areas such as IT, games development, engineering and medicine. Maths also helps develop skills in research, analytical thinking and problem solving which can be carried to any job.”
Maths Week this year features an extensive range of interactive workshops by international maths presenters, resources for parents, quizzes as well as a weekday twice daily ‘MathsWeekTV’ series of programmes designed to supplement both primary and secondary school curricula.
Eoin Gill, co-founder of Maths Week Ireland said, “It’s essential, particularly in this current post pandemic era that we invest in maths skills and encourage and inspire our young people in schools to enjoy maths and see how it can impact on and benefit job opportunities and careers. Our six ambassadors are drawn from a wide spectrum of companies and organisations but each uses maths in their everyday work lives.”
Alongside Alex, the other 2021 ambassadors are; Fermanagh girl Laura McDermott, an apprentice mechanical and electrical engineer with Tetratech, Holywood chef and co-owner of NOBLE restaurant Pearson Morris, Specsavers Abbeycentre optical assistant Aaron Howarth, Jasmine Dines a water and waste water apprentice with Northern Ireland Water in Carrickfergus and programme co-ordinator, Siofra Frost from Catalyst in Belfast.
Maths Week Ireland takes place from 16th to 24th October. For more information on events and resources visit https://www.mathsweek.ie/2021/