Katie Chicot, Staff Tutor

Job Title: Staff Tutor

Organisation: The Open University

Number of years in current position: 8

Qualifications: Leeds University PhD Pure Mathematics
Title- ‘Transitivity properties of countable trees’

Leeds University BA Joint Honours (1st Class), Mathematics and Philosophy
I.N.S.A. de Rouen Erasmus year


Briefly describe the organisation you work for.

The Open University is a distance learning and research university. The Open University’s mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. Educational opportunity and social justice are promoted by providing high-quality university education to all who wish to realise their ambitions and fulfil their potential.

Explain what you do on an average day at work.

My work is made up of a number of parts. My main duties are preparing teaching materials, managing regional provision of the curriculum, public outreach and mathematical research.

What do you like most about your job?

What I like most about my job is bringing high quality Higher Education to people who would not be otherwise able to access it. Open University students are inspiring and talented, it’s a pleasure to work with them.

What stimulated your interest in maths, and when?

I’ve always enjoyed maths. I like the challenge involved. As I like all kinds of maths no one thing set me on a maths path. I have found that I have been able to let go of problems that I haven’t solved. I track my interest in infinity to being annoyed by the Hilbert’s infinite hotel paradox which my dad explained to me. Surely this was wrong?! But today I work on infinite mathematics and I have seen the light.

What influenced your career choice?

I am motivated by social justice and I see education as a strong tool for this. The Open University was the ideal fit.

Which skills do you consider to be essential for your job?

My job requires organisational, inter personal, communication and mathematical skills.

Any advice you may have for other individuals considering your career path.

I believe a good mathematics qualification can open the door to many different careers. It is therefore a good first step to consider whatever direction you want to take. Generally I recommend that people also seize interesting opportunities. It will all help to form your idea of where you want to go.

Your future career plans.

I hope to work with the Open University for many years. I plan to expand my research and outreach work within my role.