PPS - Katy Lee
Katy took A-levels in Politics, Economics, English Literature and Mathematics at a grammar school in Essex. She is now studying for a Masters in Broadcast Journalism at City University, London.
'I applied to study PPS at Emmanuel, and only came to John's through the pooling system. But I'm incredibly glad that I did - the college has provided me with inspiring supervisors, a highly supportive Director of Studies, and friends I hope to keep for a lifetime.
I've wanted to be a journalist for as long as I can remember, and spent much of my free time at Cambridge writing for the student press and reading the news on student radio. Politics always seemed like that natural choice of degree for me, and I've not been disappointed - one of the best things about the course is that it allowed me to indulge my obsession with current affairs. My habit of dawdling on news websites frequently produced useful contributions for my academic work, and it's been exhilarating to know that many of the topics I studied were simultaneously preoccupying politicians and policy-makers all over the world.
The course's fusion of disciplines allows you to study a dizzying range of topics from different perspectives. In first year, we looked at everything from prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib (Social Psychology) to Brazilian transgendered prostitutes (Social Anthropology). I specialized in Politics in my second year and became very interested in the history of political thought. I was also able to take the brilliant Pol 3 paper, which allowed me to study a range of theoretical ideas, and to bring these together with the empirical study of politics via close case studies on the Iranian Revolution and the European Constitution. In my final year, I was able to learn more about two areas that fascinate me: the politics of New Labour, and the politics of China and Southeast Asia. There are papers for people of all tastes and interests. Whatever you choose, you'll probably end up wishing you'd had the time to do all of them.
Cambridge is tough; you're in at the deep end with Hobbes's 'Leviathan' in your very first week, and you'll be bitterly jealous of the easy ride your friends seem to be getting at other universities. While the workload might get you down at times, I know that I've picked up work habits here that will be invaluable in my working life: an ability to absorb information quickly, to write coherently in an impossibly short time, and to meet a deadline, however ridiculous it is - which is especially useful for a journalist-in-training. Above all, I've come out of Cambridge a much more argumentative person (in a good way). I've no doubt that I've got the supervision system to thank for that.'
- Katy Lee, graduated 2009