Jon Allsop

What are you doing now?

In May 2017 I graduated in the top four of my year at Columbia Journalism School, receiving a $7,500 stipend from the Pulitzer Center to travel anywhere in the world to report. Before spending it, I’ll be staying in New York to work as a Dow Jones interactive editing intern at BuzzFeed and then as a Delacorte fellow at The Columbia Journalism Review, where I’ll be covering the intersection of politics and the press in the age of Trump.

Most recently, I’ve been working on an international investigation into the lottery industry, partnering with Connecticut daily The Hartford Courant.

What route did you take up to this point?

After leaving DHSB in 2011 I went straight to university, studying for a degree in Government at the London School of Economics. I did three years at LSE and an additional exchange year at Sciences Po Paris’ Middle East campus in France. In my final year I was editor-in-chief of the LSE newspaper The Beaver, making me responsible for a 32-40 page weekly publication and its website.

After graduating last summer I travelled in South and North America for three months to give myself some time to think about what I wanted to do next. Before moving to New York I worked as a field organizer for the official Britain Stronger in Europe campaign in Plymouth and South West Devon.

Any significant crossroads?

My most significant crossroads was my study abroad year in France. I was lucky to attend a tiny yet richly multicultural campus in Menton, the beautiful border town nestled between Monaco and Italy on the French Riviera. Not only did I become fluent in French but I was able to zoom in on the politics and philosophy of the Middle East, an academic specialism that kindled an enduring passion for the region and guided my final year dissertation on Shiism in Bahrain. The year broadened my perspective of the world beyond our shores. I’ve used it as a stepping stone for further travel, visiting my exchange friends in places as far afield as Brazil, Morocco and Canada. Without it, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue a masters in the States.

What have you learnt most about yourself?

Above all, I’ve learned that I value being stretched by something that is constantly interesting and ever evolving. I’m always on the lookout for new experiences and new challenges as I’m very rarely satisfied doing one thing for a long period of time.

What words of wisdom would you give to a student joining DHSB in Year 7?

Be aware of your flaws, but don’t let this translate into a lack of confidence or courage.

And for a Sixth Former leaving DHSB?

It’s fine not knowing what you want to do long term. In my experience, people who rush through university and straight into jobs aren’t always as happy as those who take their time, travel and think really thoroughly about what they want to do with their lives.

Any fond memories of school you can share?

There are so many. Sixth form as a whole was great, but my most abiding memories involve tearing around on the field at lunchtime playing football.

Do you have a message for any of your teachers?

Ask Mr McLeod to get the clock on his wall fixed.