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A ‘Youngie’ at The Oldie: A week’s work experience

Blog | By Alice Whaley | Jul 21, 2017



I thought I might be out of place at The Oldie. For a start, I’m only nineteen (that’s six whole years younger than the magazine itself). I’ve never worked in an office before - and growing up between rural Spain and English boarding school means that I’ve only been to London a handful of times. In short, my comfort zone is a speck on the horizon, far from Fitzrovia.

But, come Monday morning, I was pleasantly surprised to enter a relaxed office without a done-up top-button or a tie in sight. I suppose I should have guessed that I’d like the people here; given that, when I bought my first Oldie, I read it cover-to-cover overnight. I was distraught to find out I’d have to wait a month for the next one - a woe you can all sympathise with, I’m sure. My private reading, however, hadn’t really hammered home quite how many people are involved with this publication. Although the editorial team is small and close-knit, my first task was tracking down almost ninety contributors’ addresses. The readership seems more varied still: I’ve been sorting the ‘Not Many Dead’ contributions and it has made me smile to see letters coming in from miles away.

The newest issue has just been released; so I haven’t learnt what I thought I would about hurriedly putting together a magazine like they do in films. I haven’t seen how features are chosen or how the layout becomes so streamlined and, thankfully, no one has ordered me to fetch a coffee in a Devil Wears Prada way. Instead, I’ve seen the tail end of one publication and the germination of another, writing tweets about finished Oldie articles, whilst brainstorming who to contact for The Amorist’s next Q&A. It’s been a fascinating start and certainly a reality check. Annabel, the editorial assistant, told me she loves it here because it’s an ‘old school office’, and I count myself lucky to experience this charming dynamic as my first taste of office life.

ALICE WHALEY

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School's out: Alice at Oldie HQ, clutching a handful of past issues