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History - Felix Schaaf

Originally from Germany, Felix completed the International Baccalaureate Diploma at Schule Schloss Salem before coming to St John's. Captaining the blues basketball team, and competing for the blues athletics team, he graduated from his undergraduate degree with a First. After brief stints in management consultancy in Germany and dishwashing in the Canadian Rockies, he returned to Cambridge, gaining a distinction in the MPhil in Modern European History in 2012. Felix is about to commence his studies for the Graduate Diploma in Law, before joining an international law firm in London.

'Studying history in a foreign language can be a daunting task, and I was certainly struggling to meet expectations during the first term of my undergraduate degree. While confidence was low, St John's College provided a wonderfully supportive community of Fellows and students. Help extended from the practical – e.g. extra language tuitions – to the pastoral, as most Fellows took an active interest in my academic as well as personal development.

Due to an excellent Fellowship in History, St John's rarely needs to outsource supervisions to other colleges, which further strengthens the communal spirit among the subject group. Close relationships between students and Fellows is certainly one of the main reasons why undergraduates usually outperform the university-wide average in final-year examinations. While it is impossible to pigeon-hole the 'historian' at St John's, it is striking that most students invest a significant amount of time and energy in extra-curricular activities, providing for interesting and vibrant year groups.

If you want to study History, there are few places better than Cambridge; if you want to have a fantastic university experience, there is no place better than St John's.'

- Felix Schaaf (BA, 2011; MPhil, 2012)