Catherine Hayes

Associate Director, Balance Sheet Management
BSc Mathematics

Current Status

Associate Director, Balance Sheet Management, DEPFA BANK plc

Why did you study Mathematics at University?

Mathematics had always been my favourite subject at school and I knew I would like my college course to have some mathematical aspect. I didn’t know what sort of career I was looking for so decided just to choose the course that I would enjoy the most. Having attended some of the “course-selection” talks at the beginning of the year, I realised that I wanted to focus all my attention on mathematics so chose Double Maths (later to become Single Honours Maths) as my main subject, with a minor in Mathematical Physics.

Describe what you do now and how mathematics is useful to you.

I currently work in DEPFA BANK plc, a public-sector specialist. As a bank, our core business is lending to public-sector bodies, be they central governments, regional/provincial governments or agencies providing an essential public service. I work on the Balance Sheet Management team – we have responsibility for the EUR 243bn public sector balance sheet of the bank, mainly what assets are bought/sold and at what price. While much of what I learned in college is not directly applicable to my day-to-day job, the analytical, logical and problem-solving skills you learn from a mathematics course are invaluable. That said, I have many colleagues who work more on the modelling of structures in order to price the more complicated assets – they use their mathematical ability every day.....I often hear many familiar formulae/methods/concepts being discussed!

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of doing a degree in Mathematics?

I would definitely recommend it.

Based on my experience, if you enjoy maths in school, you will get a lot out of a college course in Mathematics. It will be very different to what you are used to at school but it’s amazing how many different areas of mathematics you discover in the duration of your course.....and I’m sure even they are just scratching the surface.

Would you recommend that people study Maths in Maynooth?


I really enjoyed my time in Maynooth and I loved my course. The lecturers are great – they’re enthusiastic and very easy to talk to if you need to go back to them to understand something tricky. The course itself is well structured and varied which keeps you interested throughout. There are also options for everybody – if you love maths and want to focus your course on Mathematics you can take Single Honours Mathematics, whereas for people who are not so sure, or want to study maths in conjunction with other courses, Mathematical Studies.