I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I first signed up to the Telephone Campaign. I knew that I wanted to stay in Cambridge for most of the Easter holidays (mainly because my dissertation is still very far from complete!) and the prospect of spending a few hours each day calling up alumni seemed like a rather appealing way to pass the evenings and weekends. After all, I have been told on multiple occasions (when anyone can get a word in edgeways) that I am a bit of a compulsive talker. The campaign seemed like an opportunity to turn this apparent fault of mine into a strength!
Not only have I been able to chat away about my own experiences at Magdalene but it has been really wonderful to hear so many fond memories and entertaining stories from the alumni I have spoken to as well. I’ve heard about former May Balls, societies I never knew existed and a particularly entertaining story involving a lawnmower, an angry goose and a vintage bottle of port!
Obviously the work has its ups and downs and sometimes after multiple hours spent listening to voicemails the sound of the kettle boiling is my only solace. But my team is so lovely and I am glad to have them there to share their own telephone stories and to compete in tense games of battleship or ‘name the song.’
As a fourth year with only a very vague idea of what I want to do in the future, I am also extremely grateful for all the valuable career advice I have received from the alumni I have spoken to. It’s comforting to be reminded that the worries I have about leaving the safety of the Cambridge ‘bubble’ and entering the adult world of utility bills, taxes and matching cutlery sets are the sorts of worries that many generations of alumni have experienced before me. Most of the people I have spoken to have gone on to do such interesting and inspiring things like blowing glass in Murano, studying medieval Armenian texts on alchemy or writing a book on financial innovation! Its nice to hear that most of the time people end up doing something they love, even if they never expected to work in that area or they took an unconventional route to get there.
I’m not sure where I’ll be or what I’ll be doing when, in a few years time, my own phone rings and I hear the chirpy voice of an eager student declare that they are phoning from Magdalene; but when I get that call I’ll be sure to tell them they have the wrong number.
Just kidding! As I mentioned earlier, I’m not one to turn down the opportunity for a chat, especially not one with someone who shares my love for the best college in Cambridge!