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History - Ruth Smith

Ruth Smith attended grammar school in Northern Ireland and took A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and History before coming to St John’s in 2003.

'I arrived at St John’s full of enthusiasm for my subject, and was delighted throughout my three years to study a huge variety of topics. The Cambridge course is wonderful in allowing one to pursue any interest, and so as well as building on my knowledge of Tudor history I was able to explore medieval Europe and race relations in the American South. The content of these papers was fascinating and has provided a platform for continued reading since.

Nevertheless, the history course is demanding; not because it excludes all other fun, but because it requires quick adaptation to a new learning environment and new techniques in studying. In acclimatising to this environment I found the support of Miss Tomaselli (Director of Studies) and my peers invaluable. Dr Nicholls was also a brilliantly encouraging supervisor as I worked on my dissertation, which was a great experience in itself. Perusing sixteenth-century manuscripts in the University Library I was reminded of what a privilege it is to read History at Cambridge .

I graduated in 2006 and having worked for three years for a church in London and gotten married, I am now set to embark on an accountancy career in the public sector. The skills developed at Cambridge – sifting a large amount of information quickly and critically, questioning the accuracy of a source – seem set to stand me in good stead. And the support of Miss Tomaselli continues to be invaluable.'

  - Ruth Smith, graduated 2006