Student Profile: Brandon Levin

283285_10150269740508390_854907_nWhich year did you come to PKP?

I participated in PKP during the summer of 2011.

How did you hear about PKP?

I heard about PKP from a couple of older Yale students who found the program enormously valuable. One in particular had been a Thouron Scholar and he encouraged me to apply for the scholarship.

What made you want to apply?

It was clear to me that the opportunity to spend a summer in Cambridge studying alongside an incredible cohort of students was special – and, reflecting on my experience, it was all that and more! I had always been drawn to the UK (my mom spent her junior year of college abroad in London!), but I hadn’t had the chance to spend substantial time in Britain myself. As a student of politics and international relations, the prospect of being at Cambridge, in a wonderfully diverse intellectual and academic environment, seemed especially meaningful.

279892_2254168395410_6515369_oWhich subjects did you take?

I took Architecture: The Gothic Experience (a must, especially for this Los Angeles native who thinks of 1920s-era buildings as ‘old’!) and International Management and Business Ethics. As a Thouron Scholar, I was able to complete a supervision on the U.S. debt ceiling crisis, which tied into my undergraduate work at Yale in Ethics, Politics and Economics.

How did you find Cambridge?

During my PKP summer I fell in love with Cambridge – the town and the university. In fact, I told myself at the conclusion of the summer that if I could find a way to return for postgraduate work I would. And, three years later, I was very fortunate to receive the Keasbey Scholarship which enabled me to do so – I spent two funded years in the UK after graduating from Yale, completing an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy at Oxford (Pembroke College) and an MPhil in Public Policy at Cambridge (Trinity College). In my second year, a highlight of the experience was getting to meet the Thouron Scholars arriving for the summer of 2016 PKP program!

What were your favourite things about PKP?

I think PKP did an exemplary job of combining academics with really memorable cultural experiences – the times I spent in the classroom with other students were amongst my favorite experiences all summer. But the chance to follow up class with croquet on the Pembroke College lawn or a punting trip on the river made the summer all the more fun!

320449_10150304872438390_5869603_nHow did expectation match reality?

Reality surpassed expectation – the summer was magical.

How has being a part of PKP influenced your future plans?

My summer as part of PKP is largely responsible for my return to the UK for postgraduate studies. The program helped refine my academic interests and renew my engagement with international relations, while giving me particular insight into the very-special Anglo-American relationship.

What are you doing now?

I am currently in the midst of a joint degree in law and business. I am pursuing my law degree (JD) at Yale Law School and my business degree (MBA) at Harvard Business School.



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