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Deborah Brown - (PhD student) Politics & International Studies

Prior to joining John's as a PhD candidate in International Studies, Deborah spent ten years crossing the globe working in capital markets.  She travelled and worked extensively with companies and governments in Latin America and Eastern Europe helping to execute transactions in the international capital markets. Although she very much enjoyed her job, it was always her dream to return to further studies. Deborah applied for her Masters at Cambridge when she was 39 weeks pregnant with her first child. Two children and a successful Masters' dissertation later she decided to apply for the PhD.

“I chose St John's because of the incredibly close knit community and my father's wonderful memories of the College during his time here in the 1960s. One crisp early morning, I wandered through the different Colleges trying to choose my first, second and third choices.* For me, the second and third choices were a great challenge but my first choice was clear from the start!  There is a very special feeling when one walks through the Great Gate.

My impressions of the close knit community at John's were very well founded! The academic and tutorial support is fantastic as is the camaraderie amongst students and Fellows. I am very fortunate to benefit from a St. John's Benefactors' Scholarship which is a tremendous support throughout the PhD. I also was able to participate in a Symposium last fall at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. with a travel grant. The College is steeped in such rich tradition which included for me practicing Latin to read Grace before dinner in Hall and reading at Evensong in the Chapel. The Chaplain meets with each of the incoming students and I can now count her as both a moral support and friend as I progress with my studies.  Most recently, we wandered into a new art gallery installation in Cambridge.

My most memorable moment to date has been the privilege to have an audience with the Dalai Lama and ask him about my research. St John's is a place of great opportunity - to study with distinguished scholars and be a part of over 500 years of academic and social traditions.”

Deborah Brown, May 2014

*Please note that applicants to undergraduate courses are allowed to choose one College on their UCAS application form, or they can submit an open application.