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Catching Up With German Majors: Thomas Jankovic '20

Thomas Jankovic ’20 went to college to help fight climate change. He was simply unsure how best to do so. He spent his first two years sampling majors, deliberating between neuroscience, economics, and even architecture. Jankovic did not enjoy his quantitative courses, so he chose to focus on policy. In the spring of his sophomore year, he decided to major in the School of Public and International Affairs.

But there was an important catch: Jankovic wasn’t happy with the public policy department. As a result of the department’s structure, there was no guarantee that he would be able to study anything related to the environment. Dissatisfied, Jankovic decided to look for alternatives.

“Three days after [major] declaration, I went to Thomas Levin, and he explained the politics track of the German department, which I didn’t even know existed,” Jankovic recalled.

Professor Levin guaranteed that Jankovic would be able to study German energy policy. He would also have more room in his schedule to minor in environmental studies and music performance. This was a winning combination for Jankovic, and he joined the department.

Jankovic has conducted research on Germany’s current efforts to transition to a low-carbon economy (die Energiewende), energy cooperatives in Germany and their impact on the Green Party, and green policy in general.

Since graduating from Princeton, Jankovic has been working for a non-profit energy cooperative based in the US. It was his research on German energy cooperatives that landed him the job.

Looking ahead, Thomas is excited for his Fulbright scholarship next year, even though it has been shortened to six months instead of the typical year. He will be headed to Rheinland-Pfalz to teach English.


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