"I could see myself working here in the future"

Tricky maths is like meditation for Anna Wahlbeck and when she finally found her way home to mathematics and got a job as a lecturer at the University of Gävle, all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.

Anna Wahlbeck

Anna Wahlbeck's interest in the world of numbers began when she was 7-8 years old.

– My grandfather and I used to sit and solve numbers and he would clock me and put an R after each right. Then my interest grew and I felt like I entered a bubble when I was doing maths. For me it's something meditative. It's hard to have other thoughts in your head while solving a complicated problem. It's an effective way to be here and now and let go of all other thoughts.

After high school, she studied at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and then worked at a bank. During a parental leave, she started to reflect on her career choice and felt that she wanted to return to maths.

Study time made a strong impression

This resulted in a bachelor's degree in mathematics here at the University of Gävle and also a supplementary pedagogical programme (KPU) to obtain a teaching degree.

– In my studies here, I enjoyed the university and the faculty, and I felt that I could see myself working here in the future. After graduating, I worked for two years at a secondary school in Bollnäs. When I saw that there was a vacancy here, I applied and got it. My studies made a strong impression on me, especially because I had good teachers who saw and lifted me up, says Anna Wahlbeck.

Anna Wahlbeck teaches maths to engineering students, among others. Photo: Anna Sällberg

Anna Wahlbeck teaches maths to engineering students, among others. Photo: Anna Sällberg

She's working at the University since 2022 and she mainly teaches mathematics in the engineering programmes and in the teacher programmes. She is also involved in a project to develop new syllabi in the subject.

– It is a relatively small university and there are many strengths in that. The small size means that contact routes are short. It's easy to get in touch with someone and to put a face to people, even within the other faculties, she says.

She enjoys working with her colleagues and feels a sense of community within the department and the faculty.

– At our university and in my department, I appreciate that people are not differentiated based on their title. I share courses with professors, lecturers and other assistant professors and everyone's voice is equally valuable. I think that's fantastic. I can be surprised that people who have a lot of education stop and listen to what I have to say.

Appreciates the flexibility of work

Anna Wahlbeck lives with her family in Bollnäs and thinks that the possibility of flexible working makes everyday life much easier.

– It works really well because I can mix distance courses with courses on campus. The possibility of having a functioning life alongside work is easier now than when I worked in Bollnäs.

She mentions two cornerstones that make her love her job.

– One is that I am developing as a person so much all the time when I teach and have competent colleagues around me who I learn more from. The other cornerstone is the contact with students. In general, maths can be quite difficult and it can be a challenge to get everyone on board. When I realise that I am getting through and that they understand, then I feel that I am making an important contribution.

Text: Anna Sällberg

This page was last updated 2024-06-28