Skip to main content

SPS - Nick Charlwood

Since graduating from St John's with a degree in SPS (2005) and an MPhil in International Relations (2006) Nick Charlwood has qualified as a solicitor and now practises restructuring and insolvency law in London.

'My experience of the admissions process was slightly unusual as I was simultaneously auditioning for a choral scholarship and an academic place. I somehow ended up with both and, after a year out, started at St John's in October 2002. Although I'd pretty much settled on studying politics long before arriving in Cambridge I tried to keep an open mind about the other aspects of the SPS course in the first year. As well as the compulsory papers I studied Thucydides, political thought pre-1700, Revolutions, Russia and post-Cold War American politics. Above all, I enjoyed writing my part II dissertation, which combined two of my principal interests, American presidential elections and US foreign policy.

College life is particularly important as an undergraduate and St John's combines a collegial and supportive atmosphere with first-rate facilities and teaching. I was fortunate to have some outstanding supervisors and an understanding Director of Studies. As a graduate student - and by now without the time commitment of singing every day in the College choir - I was able to explore even more of what the College and the University has to offer.

Following graduation I trained and qualified as a lawyer. While doing this I managed to fit in stints working on US political campaigns, at a legal aid clinic in Oakland, California and with the UN Commission on International Trade Law in Vienna. It was in Vienna that I first encountered cross-border insolvency law and this is now my area of work back in London. As part of my training I was also lucky enough to spend six months living and working in Beijing - an experience that has definitely fired my appetite for working abroad again in the future.'

  - Nick Charlwood, graduated 2005