After graduating, Florian Baetmans quickly found a job as a business analyst in the insurance sector. Responsible for bridging the gap between software users and developers, his career path has led him to work for various companies, to travel regularly to Tunisia, but also to set up his own business. Today Senior Business Analyst at Thewave, he does not hesitate to tell students "You have chosen golden studies. You have good heads and employers are looking for your skills". They appreciate the ability of mathematicians to analyse, understand and solve problems in a very pragmatic way.
From left to right: Bastien Delaunois, Florian Baetmans, Noémie Laloux and Virginie Gekiere were invited by the Mathematics Department to explain their profession to students.
Bastien Delaunois began his career at Orange as a business insight analyst in the BI team and then moved to the Business department. He particularly enjoys the contact with customers and partners, which allows him to adopt a concrete, applied approach in his analysis work. Today, he is a data analyst, and also does data quality, for example to assess the reliability of data when transferring from one system to another. "For many, this subject seems very complex. We become a reference in their eyes", Bastien points out. He also stresses the importance of the scientific approach, which invites mathematicians to question results and analyse them critically.
My training helps me a lot, especially with the persevering side of the mathematician.
Virginie Gekiere passed her agrégation in her second degree. She has been working at the Institut Saint-Charles Dottignies-Luingne for 28 years, first as a teacher, then as deputy director. From the outset, she alerts the audience: "I assure you that we are looking for maths teachers. It's a very difficult search now". For the past 2.5 years, she has held a management position in the school. "My training helps me a lot, especially with the persevering side of the mathematician who wants to get to the bottom of things, who knows how to analyse, take the time to establish the starting situation, evaluate the means available to arrive at a solution, who will look for hours, days, and adjust if the result is not suitable. As a headteacher, you must take on very different functions: managing human resources, finances, buildings, communication, pedagogy, digital technology, pupils and parents". She adds, "If you don't like contact with others or collaborative work, you shouldn't go into teaching. If you are an individualist, you won't be happy there". When asked by a student if they really need a master's degree in mathematics to teach in upper secondary school, she answers "yes" without hesitation. There are two reasons for this: the master's degree allows you to explain concepts better because they have been studied, and to acquire the necessary teaching skills. "It's not because you've done maths that you can manage a class of teenagers", she insists!
You have a great capacity to work independently, but also in groups.
After obtaining a degree in mathematics, Noémie Laloux continued her training in actuarial science. From the outset, she points out that the mathematics required in actuarial science is "very concrete but of a much lower level of complexity than what you see in analysis or algebra". She began her career in consulting and in the field of pensions. Then, as consulting no longer matched her aspirations, she joined a mutual insurance company, Contrassur. At first, she worked in actuarial science. Quite quickly, she wanted to get away from the repetitive side of her job. As time went on, she became a risk manager. Today, in addition to risk analysis, she has taken over the management of the actuarial department. She says that she does not use mathematics at the same level of technicality and complexity as she learned in her studies. But her advanced training in mathematics allows her to understand, analyse and explain complicated things in a fairly simple way. She also highlights the strengths of UNamur: "You are very well trained. You have a great capacity to work independently, but also in groups".
The questions from the audience were diverse and the testimonies enlightening. At the end of the session, the Alumni all insisted on the fact that it is useless to be stubborn in a profession or a sector if you do not like it. Mathematics opens many doors: IT, insurance, banking, pharmaceuticals, teaching, private or university research, etc. And, as Bastien Delaunois explained, "During our studies, we learn to learn. Consequently, you quickly learn to manage in many fields".