In Tom Mottershead’s first year at Otago he was able to study his twin passions of music and maths, but he was limited to majoring in only one for an arts or science degree.
But then Otago developed the Bachelor of Arts and Science degree (BASc) to allow students with diverse interests to combine both disciplines.
“I’d always been interested in music in a big way but I was also good at maths and wanted to major in that too,” says Tom.
“When the BASc came up it was ideal and it all worked out perfectly for me. I didn’t need to change anything in the courses I was doing but just take the papers I wanted to take anyway for a double major in four years.
”Lecturers were great and really responsive with answering questions and all the libraries were really good. There’s a good variety of places to study.”
Tom spent two years at a residential college and took part in a number of student-run social events, including poker tournaments where “maths came in handy with having an understanding of probability.”
He also won awards for his studies in maths and in music composition.
After graduating Tom joined an online learning platform offering alternatives to textbooks for schools but is keeping his options open.
“I’m still considering teaching, which would allow me to continue with both music and maths, but I’m also still making music.
“I’ve done a couple of music video projects that I really enjoyed creating and that have been well received on social media. I’m also pursuing an interest in gospel music production. Maybe it’ll take off. Let’s see how things develop.”
Tom follows his own advice. “Find out for yourself what your values, skills, gifts and passions are. Go with what you find enjoyable over what you might be expected to do.”