Switchboard Hearts Oberlin!

It’s true, we love them.

This last week we visited the place from which all Obie magic originates. It was such a treat to get to know the campus responsible for shaping the Oberlin community during their four years and beyond. As Switchboard’s first institutional customer outside of Oregon, we are so glad we got to include them in the Switchboard Hearts Tour.

Some highlights from our visit:

We hand wrote thank you cards for every current student who was among the first 100 Obies to sign up for Switchboard last May. We stayed up into the wee hours of the night writing and delivered them to their mailstops the next morning. We got to meet one of these students later in the week who thanked us for such a beautiful card.

Each night we posted up in the library cafe and handed out candy, cards and stickers to students interested in Switchboard. Besides being grateful for a study-break sugar kick and free swag, everyone we talked to was genuinely excited by the site. Our favorite response, however, was a student who came up to us and said “Oh Switchboard, I think my dad just tweeted at me about this.” That’s a cool dad!

Other students told us that of all the senior resources they’d heard about, Switchboard was their favorite so far. Another just exclaimed “Oh, f*cking cool!” The folks who stuck around a little longer were kind enough to tell us a little about themselves. For every interest and need they shared, we encouraged them to “Switchboard it!” New asks started popping up in real time.

From the other side of our visit, we had an awesome meeting with Oberlin’s Career Services office. Recognizing that “careers” emerge from experimentation, exploration, and chance as much if not more often than from formal “networking” we began thinking about what keywords the career center should set alerts for. Richard Berman, director of Career Services showed his Oberlin expertise when he suggested setting an alert for “the man,” as in, “I don’t want to work for the man.” More seriously, Richard is captivated by the word “curious.” I’d say reaching out to curious Obies on Switchboard is the perfect way to help!

Since launching just a few months ago, the Oberlin Switchboard now boast 750 helpful Obies and counting. With nearly 300 asks and offers, it can be seen as a kind of mirror, reflecting back the image of an active, passionate, and generous community for all to see. Even more exciting is that the success stories are already rolling in. It’s clear you can count on Obies to help Obies - all you have to do is ask.

After a bittersweet departure, the Switchboard Hearts Tour continues on to New York City. We’ll be throwing a little party to celebrate our members in the Big Apple in the coming weeks so keep your eyes open for an invite! We’re looking forward to meeting you!