Martial Arts, Paragliding and Colonial Architecture

I was somewhat apprehensive in the week prior to the launch of the Telephone Campaign. Lured by the prospect of good pay, free accommodation and the chance to crack on with some work, I decided to sign up earlier on in the term. Yet despite the clusters of voicemail messages from time to time, my apprehension has long faded following the warm, friendly and insightful chats with many members of our alumni community this week.


The most enjoyable part of the campaign so far has been the opportunity to discover the diverse origins, careers and lifestyles of our alumni. As a finalist, I am constantly reminded of exams, graduation and life after Cambridge. Many of our alumni have gone on to professional careers as lawyers, consultants and teachers amongst other roles, and it has been invaluable to receive their good, honest, and (quite frankly) much needed career advice. Others have pursued their passions in different ways, and it is a pleasure to speak to alumni in careers as diverse as decorating, martial arts and events catering. In all of these conversations, one thing ties all of us together; none of us would be where we are without the thrills, joys and ups-and-downs of life at Magdalene.


Tonight marks the end of our first stint of calling in the campaign (we have a break before the weekend!). Each evening, we’ve gathered as a team of callers in Ramsay Hall to eat, talk about our day and prepare for the evening call sessions. At the end of our shift, we often stay behind to talk about how our chats with alumni have gone and to share the anecdotes of the evening. So far, we’ve heard from alumni from all over the world who have discussed topics as wide ranging as paragliding and colonial architecture, and from others who have simply reminisced about their time at Magdalene despite having left decades ago. In this sense, we’re developing our own small community as callers over this campaign. During this time of the year, when the pressure of impending exams and coursework deadlines overshadows most things, it is great to remind myself how lucky I am to study here in such a close, supportive and friendly community.


We’re not even half way through the campaign yet, and already the response we have received from our alumni has been inspiring. Fundraising is not the only reason for our calls, and for both those who have generously offered their support, and those who have simply imparted their wisdom to us – thank you! An extra special thank you goes to those alumni who had just returned from a long day at work, who were looking after their children, or who just wanted a quiet night in, and yet picked up their phones to speak to us. I hope you have enjoyed hearing about life at the College and Magdalene’s ambitious plans for the future as much as we have enjoyed hearing about how you have carried your experiences here into your personal and professional lives.


I’m looking forward to speaking to more of our alumni over the next week and a half of our telephone campaign. For now, anyway, a big thank you!


Danny Lee


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