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Jessica Pritchard

Operations manager

Jessica Pritchard has a lot to juggle in her senior operations job at Transport for NSW, but she says it’s her grounding in maths and logic that gets her through the toughest days

When she started out though, deciding her next step after finishing school in Newcastle was tough. 

“I was a bit lost as to what I actually wanted to do. I did a double degree with a Bachelor of Mathematics and a Bachelor of Arts because I enjoyed history and thought that’ll be a nice mix.”

After Jessica got a job in market research for some community groups she realised maths could impact people’s lives. 

“It wasn’t just the maths and statistics, it was what you could do with that information.”

Today Jessica has a full-on job as an operations manager at Transport for NSW, the part of the government that looks after all the state’s roads. “Every day is different.”

During the floods in Lismore Jessica was working out how and when they could get trucks (and the food supplies in them) back on the roads. At other times she’s analysing traffic data to help prevent accidents.

Jessica says in all of these tasks logic, a skill at the heart of maths, is really important. “In almost every role, employers want to see that you’re logical, and that you can think.”

And even if you don’t plan to go to university, Year 12 maths is so important. “There is so much now that is just so heavily data driven. That’s our world.”

Jessica’s study and career path to becoming Senior Manager, Customer and Network Coordination at Transport for NSW

  • Bachelor of Arts, Politics 
  • Bachelor of Mathematics, Statistics 
  • Demand Analyst and Operations Planning Coordinator, Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator
  • Senior Manager, Customer and Network Coordination, Transport for NSW 

What else in our world relies on maths? Find out on the Everyday Maths Hub

This profile was brought to you in partnership with  the NSW Department of Education and a version of it was originally published in Careers with STEM: Maths & Data.

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