Hello! My name is Natalya and this is my first telephone campaign.
After the two days’ training, I picked up the phone with great trepidation and began to call my first few alumni; I needn’t have worried because that night I only got through to voicemails. Things could only get better from there and, after chatting with some really kind and interesting people, I soon lost my nerves.
Voicemails do still play a large part in our campaign, as you’ve probably gathered from other blog posts. The cruellest are the ones which sound like real people: they raise our hopes and I’ll often start a conversation with them before the dreaded phrase starts: “we are not able to take your call…”. Now I am becoming too cautious the other way and will sometimes leave an awkward pause to see if there is actually a real person at the other end!
The conversations we have really make the job not just worthwhile, but enjoyable. Over the past week I’ve heard about crashing May Balls, the time the ceiling fell down in Thompson’s Lane and how Formal used to be £3.95 (not £6.95 as it is now); I’ve had career advice (very useful for a second year who loves being here far too much to think about what to do next!); I’ve spoken to people with similar interests to me, had some lovely chats about choir and learned a lot more about College.
Formal is still candlelit, which has pleased many Members, but Magdalene has changed in some ways over the years. Even so, Members, who matriculated in very different times, have a lot in common and I am struck especially by the affection we all have for the College. Magdalene is a place which shapes your life, leaving you with lasting friendships and memories, and I am realising just how lucky I am to be here.