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History - Tom Muir

Originally from Manchester, Tom attended the state school, Crompton House, where he completed A-Levels in English Literature, History, Biology and Chemistry. Gaining a first in History, he will be starting work at Nomura International in September 2009.

'Enormous weekly reading lists and a lower emphasis on lectures can make studying History at Cambridge a fairly independent environment. That’s why the college you choose is so important. For me, there couldn’t have been any other: St John’s has some of the best academics in the University, unparalleled support-systems and financial bursaries, and is large enough to encompass any combination of interests and societies. Uniquely, it manages to maintain all this whilst being one of the friendliest colleges as well.

The papers I have taken over the last three years have been as varied as I could have imagined and have been genuinely enjoyable. From the history of the Middle East to the American Civil Rights Movement, contemporary political philosophy to the theories of famine causation, studying history here has been an invaluable experience. Unlike most disciplines it teaches transferable skills which really are desired by employers, whatever profession you want to take. Next year, I’ll be starting work for the biggest investment bank in Japan, and there’s no way I would have been able to do so without the skills I learned at Cambridge.

It isn’t an easy course and certainly you have to work hard, but by choosing a college like John's, even the most difficult parts become manageable. I couldn’t recommend, the college, our Directors of Studies, or the subject highly enough.'

  - Tom Muir, graduated 2008