Student Profile: Joonas Taras

JoonasThis student profile is part of a series on the students who attend PKP.

Pembroke-King’s Programme (PKP) alumnus Joonas Taras won both a Clarendon Scholarship and the prestigious United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Scholarship, allowing him to take an MSc at Oxford University.  He attended PKP in 2013 and says this about his time in Cambridge:

‘Only positive memories come into my mind when reflecting back to my experience as a student of the Pembroke-King’s Programme at the University of Cambridge. Following mostly quantitatively-oriented courses, namely International Macroeconomics and Development Economics, I remember being impressed by the analytical depth and rigour required in the classes and the excellent teaching done by the Professors to equip us with the necessary tools to meet the high expectations. What I found particularly exciting was the chance to get an insight into the Oxbridge-style personalized teaching system, which meant not only a truly student-specific guidance and feedback, but often also a professor’s invitation to carry on the spirited classroom discussion over the lunch break or dinner.

‘On the other hand, the social side of the experience was no less memorable. Among the variety of thrilling social activities, the most memorable were the hiking trip to the picturesque Scottish Highlands, the visit to the Houses of Parliament with a unique chance to personally meet and talk with the Sergeant-at-Arms and the punting trip to the captivating Orchard Tea Garden where, back in the days, the likes of Keynes, Virginia Woolf and Wittgenstein used to have their afternoon tea.

‘The study abroad experience at Cambridge not only introduced me to the intellectually-stimulating and architecturally ravishing Oxbridge milieu but also gave me the reassurance that I have what it takes to thrive in such an environment. Against the backdrop of an inspiring PKP experience, culminating in all firsts after the exams, I successfully applied to both Cambridge and Oxford for my graduate studies, deciding to take up the offer from the latter as it included both the Oxford’s flagship Clarendon Scholarship and the prestigious United Kingdom’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Scholarship. I am currently enrolled as a Master student at the University of Oxford’s Department of International Relations and Politics where I read MSc Politics Research with a particular focus on statistical research methods.’


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