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Anna Stansbury - Economics

Anna Stansbury

'I decided towards the beginning of my A-Levels that I wanted to study Economics, as a subject that's at the heart of current affairs and combines intuitive understanding of politics and society with rigorous theory and analysis . Cambridge was my first choice because of the diversity of the course, which includes historical, political and sociological modules alongside pure theory and statistics, because of the small-group supervision system and because of its fantastic reputation.

The teaching and support St John’s offers is really excellent – it’s definitely one of the best colleges for the subject. It has a large intake every year for Economics of 10-15 students who come from very different backgrounds in terms of where they’re from, what types of schools they went to and what subjects they studied. I studied Economics, Maths, Further Maths, French and German; the background of others ranges from humanities-based to purely scientific (though everyone needs Maths and usually Further Maths). The quality of the supervisors is excellent, both because Johns’ Fellows are often leaders in their fields, and because the College’s reputation means that out-of-college supervisors are also usually very good. Although lectures are university-wide, the supervisions are vital because they’re where you acquire the in-depth knowledge of the course. This leads to Johns’ Economics students usually out-performing the university average. And on top of that, John’s is very generous with grants for buying textbooks and for travelling, as well as scholarships for academic success.

Outside of academia, the College has a fantastic atmosphere – it’s big enough to have a huge variety of different societies and space to find like-minded friends, but there’s still a close-knit feel because almost all the undergraduates live in College for all three years. What’s more, the rooms are some of the biggest and nicest you’ll find in Cambridge, the food is not only some of the best but also some of the cheapest, and the May Ball is the best party Cambridge has to offer.

While academic success is highly valued at St John’s, you’re also able to take part in extra-curricular opportunities if you wish. I’ve been involved on the committees of The Wilberforce Society, Cambridge’s Student Think Tank, and the Cambridge Union, have kept up old interests in music, debating and Amnesty International, and have tried my hand at new things like rowing, dancesport and target shooting. This is by no means unusual: from racing solar cars to acting at the Edinburgh Fringe to playing semi-professional sport, the diversity and talent among the students is genuinely amazing.

So if you’re looking for academic and extra-curricular excellence, a fantastic location and a great group of people to study with, look no further than John’s.'

- Anna Stansbury, January 2013

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