Three fresh faces are in at the Interviews section of the Blue – here’s a quick look at who they are and what they’ll be bringing to the team!

Ollie Banks

Hi! I’m a second year PPE student at Corpus and I’m senior editor for the section this term. In my degree I dropped economics as fast as possible and did a hard pivot toward continental philosophy. I had a secret dream of being an English lit student and then graduating to wander the streets of Paris broke, hungry, and a bit drunk. However I soon realised that the phrase “starving artist” was quite literal, and therefore proceeded to sell out to Westminster’s favourite degree.

I’m still really interested in the arts and that’s why I’ll be bringing you content related to the hottest developments in the space – including the introduction of machine learning and NFTs. My inner nerd is thoroughly placated by my ongoing engagement with the trope of decentralisation – in politics, economics, and technology – and I’m also hoping to get some stuff on cryptocurrencies out there.

Other than that I’m quite keen on radical approaches and a hard Žižek stan (as you shall see). I would love to get some thinkers or activists behind the mic and hope our section can give disadvantaged, quirky, and inspirational figures a platform.

When I’m not working for The Blue or the Broad Street Humanities Review, I play Scriabin and Debussy on piano, or go for runs. I also love to paint and draw, and compensate for my lack of talent by leaning toward abstraction. Recently I wrote a libretto for an opera, after getting into poetry during lockdown. I also write for a fashion blog sometimes and an arts platform. I’m currently working on a book of philosophy.

Fallon O’Neill

Hi! I’m Fallon, a first year law student at Magdalen College and I’ll be an Interviews Editor at the Blue for Trinity ‘21. I’m originally from Vancouver, Canada, and I luckily was able to move to Oxford for Uni in September 2020.

I plan on interviewing inspirational women in the legal industry. Since coming to Oxford I have faced quite a bit more misogyny than I had expected, especially in law-related spaces. While I have managed to handle this unhappy little surprise through a wonderful group of supportive friends and peers, it got me thinking about misogyny in the wider legal industry – if I’m already experiencing noticeable prejudice in law school, what is it like out there in that oozing cesspit my parents call the “Real World”? So I suppose, through this set of interviews, we’re on a mission to find out. Does it get better for women in law? Or is it all downhill from here? What obstacles await, and how have our predecessors dealt with the challenges? I’m here to ask a range of women in the legal industry, from members of corporate city firms and chambers to women in legal start-ups and academia. Fingers crossed it’s not as bleak a situation as it seems – if so, I’ll just have to reconsider my career in law and become a lentil farmer in my hometown of Moose Jaw, Canada, instead (no joke). Considering I’m a great deal better at law than I am at raising plants – my crusty, malnourished chilli plant on my desk can speak to this – we can only hope the outlook is good.

Alannah Burdess

Hi, I’m Alannah, a second-year Classics student at Trinity College. I’ve introduced myself this way so many times that it’s pretty much automatic… I don’t remember a lot from fresher’s week, but I do remember that you’d sometimes find out what subject someone did before their name, and how my best friend accidentally introduced herself as “I’m English” instead of Holly.

So, things you should know about me: I was born in Barbados and I lived there for the first ten years of my life but my mum is Irish and I inherited her very fair skin so factor 50 sunblock was my best friend. However, I can confirm from the times I didn’t wear it that I do an excellent lobster impression. My Irish heritage is very important to me. 3 out of 4 of my grandparents are Irish and I spent a lot of time there growing up, so much so that I have a bit of a lilt but I always end up leaving Oxford at the end of term sounding more English than I did at the start!

My interests are wildly diverse, perhaps best exemplified by the chaos of my music taste which is everything from Iron Maiden to Eva Cassidy (but never ever drum and bass…). The interviews I’ll be conducting this term are similarly as broad. I was really drawn to the role of Interviews Editor because I love meeting and talking to new people, something I’ve really missed over the course of the past year. Whenever I read a paper I always read the obituaries first, a habit I picked up from my nana – not because I’m morbid, but because I love to read about the lives of interesting people I may otherwise not have come across. These interviews are a chance to introduce you all to exciting and interesting people you may not have come across. I’ll be bringing you people from across all sorts of industries and backgrounds this term, so buckle up and join me for the ride!

Illustration by Michael Freeman

Ollie (any pronouns) is a student writer based in Oxford and London. He has been Editor for Global Affairs and Interviews for "The Oxford Blue", and ran one of The Blue's most successful events. In 2020 he co-ran a COVID-19 think-tank, "How The World Recovers". He helps produce an arts editorial for Chimera, a cryptoasset investment startup. He is now the incoming President for "The BSHR", an interdisciplinary humanities journal. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including "The...