Choosing maths leads to big opportunities

For ExxonMobil Australia employee and AFLW footballer Cat Phillips, the journey towards a rich and rewarding career in engineering began in her childhood where she displayed a curiosity about how things work and a passion for problem-solving. So when it came to her education, Cat chose maths.

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Choosing maths leads to big opportunities
The decision to choose maths served as the catalyst for Cat’s tertiary studies at university where she completed a Masters of Mechanical Engineering before joining ExxonMobil Australia as a Supply Planner in tandem with her on-field position with the Melbourne Football Club.

Cat’s unique career journey, inquisitive nature and appetite for hard-work caught the attention of the Australian Mathematical Science Institute (AMSI) who recently engaged her as an ambassador for their CHOOSEMATHS campaign.

CHOOSEMATHS aims to turn around public perception of mathematics by working with students, parents and teachers to transform community attitudes to participation in mathematics, especially amongst girls and young women. Cat’s national profile as an AFLW star, coupled with her STEM-centric employment, made her the perfect choice.

According to Cat, a willingness to challenge yourself and embrace the unknown has been key for her success inside ExxonMobil and out of the field.

“When I studied maths at university, I was worried that I’d be stuck in a job where I’d be sitting by myself at a computer all day. But that’s definitely not the case at ExxonMobil. My job involves both communicating with people and maths, two completely different skill sets that I love.

“Similarly, the first time I picked up a football was February 2016, and by October 2016 I was drafted into the inaugural Melbourne Football Club AFLW team. You never know where you will end up if you just put your head down and maintain a willingness to learn.

“The best decision I ever made in my life was choosing maths and I’m proud to be representing ExxonMobil as an ambassador for this program that will hopefully encourage young people to pursue rewarding STEM based careers,” said Cat. 

For more information on CHOOSEMATHS visit https://choosemaths.org.au

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