From Lab Help to Community Taxi Services

Mick is a junior biochem major. Over the summer, he had a lab internship working with a professor at school. Faced with hours of menial lab work, he turned to Switchboard to find help.

“It went super well,” he says. “I was able to reconnect with a friend who had been away and came back to Reed, and I hadn’t seen her in a while, and it was just a good vibe.”

Soon, Mick began to think of others ways he could use Switchboard—like for the informal taxi service he ran for his community. “The first Switchboard post was just so successful, I thought, ‘This is pretty neat, people actually use it, so maybe I should use it more,’” Mick says. “So I gave it a shot.”

After posting an “offer” about his taxi service on Switchboard, Mick began driving alumni in addition to the students he’d already been taking to and from the airport around school breaks. “The best part was definitely meeting a ton of Reedies, both currently enrolled and alums who I would not have otherwise been able to meet. I got to know the freshman class a lot better, and recent grads, and even people who are friends of alums. It’s great for indirect networking.”

Many students and alumni use Switchboard to find jobs and internships or look for places to stay around the world. But Mick found that Switchboard offers everything from extra lab hands to potential taxi clients.

“It’s surprisingly diverse,” says Mick. “It’s not just about finding a place to stay or some kind of internship. There’s a lot of things where we could use a helping hand or that we could offer, and it’s nice to know that there’s an extensive network out there for you.”

Switchboard unleashed the altruism of Mick’s community, and he found more than just a concrete reward. He found inspiration. “There’s a whole ocean of possibility out there, and the flood gates are open,” Mick says.