Profiles in Prominence: The Tab talks to the Cambridge Union Women’s Officer Lara Brown

‘I’m not one to kiss and tell’

Born and raised in London, 19 year-old Lara is a first-year student at Downing currently studying Theology but with plans to switch to English. A firm fixture at the Union, Lara is notable for her position as the Cambridge Union Women’s Officer and is also running for Executive Officer in the upcoming union elections. In Lara’s words, “the fact that [she’s] ginger” helps her to stand out.

What does your average week look like?

My weeks probably revolve around the Thursday debate at the Union and the ensuing discussion in the bar afterwards, which is usually topped off with a trip to the Van of Life. Other than that, I don’t have a regular routine. I attend events of far too many societies – including trips to Spirited Discussions, (run by CULA every other Wednesday) which are a dependable highlight.

As a consequence of these events, Fridays tend to devolve into essay crises, which leave me to spend a fair few too -late nights (and too-early mornings) in my college library. Nevertheless, I can always count on friends for middle of the night chocolate deliveries, or for a chat on the floor of the book stacks.

How did you attain the position you hold?

Don’t know my position is that highly sought after, but I pride myself on being in the right place at the right time, with a bit of hackery thrown into the mix.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Well, The Tab think I’m worth a ‘profile in prominence’ so I think that ranks pretty highly. I was also part of a team which ran a few online Zoom events to raise a £1,000 for Cambridge Women’s Aid which I was pretty pleased with. My first Crushbridge also mustn’t be overlooked!

Lara speaking at a Union debate (Photo credit: The Cambridge Union)

What has been your biggest disappointment?

My failure to become a child actress certainly stings – I stand by my belief that I’d have been the better choice for Liesel in The Book Thief. Alas, the casting director did not agree.

When were you happiest?

I like to think I’ve not peaked yet! But a contender for this moment could be when I first really felt part of Cambridge.  I opened my door to a surprise birthday cake from my friends back in Michaelmas.

What was your most embarrassing moment?

I distinctly remember trying to go to school with pyjamas under my skirt back when I was six. Putting clothes on in the right order wasn’t one of my strong points!

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I like to think Emma Watson, but maybe she won’t take the role. As long as Timothée Chalamet plays my love interest(s), I don’t mind!

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I had great plans to spend my days unearthing lost tombs as an archaeologist. Seeing as one essay on the topic nearly finished me off last term, I think it’s quite good I didn’t pursue it – turns out you need maths, chemistry, and geography!

The obligatory Cambridge black tie picture

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?

At age 11 in a fit of anger, I once sent my LAMDA partner a 2,000 word email bemoaning the lack of progress on our duologue – this might have been slightly unnecessary. I hope she knows I’m sorry.

When did you last cry, and why?

Every single damn episode of Normal People. The ‘why’ doesn’t need explaining.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?

A lifetime supply of Candy Kittens.

What is your greatest fear?

Toope’s “global doom” scenario coming true. I’ve got a pretty good room in college next year, and I want to see the wisteria growing out of my window so I can role play Brideshead Revisited.

What was the best kiss of your life?

I’m not one to kiss and tell.

Hacks do sometimes leave the Union: Lara at brunch with friends

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I’m a terrible procrastinator. As I answer these questions, I have a blurb to write for a Union Panel and a mounting pile of Greek work.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?

A childhood music teacher advised me my sense of pitch was so poor I ought to mouth the words. As always, I had been hoping to be centre stage of the school choir.

What has been your closest brush with the law?

I may have done two types of exercise in one day during lockdown.

What is the closest you’ve ever come to death?

Mildly disgusted by an all French ESF ski school, I once sat down on a ski slope complaining of dizziness. To my surprise, a few minutes later, the instructor summoned the blood-wagon! I was just hoping for a hot chocolate.

Cover image credits to Ama Konadu Otuo, all other image credits (unless otherwise specified) to Lara Brown