Knowledge is power—especially when you're interviewing for a job.
When he was applying for a job at the EPA, William '10 used Switchboard to connect with other Oberlin alumni who worked there. They helped him decide whether the position was right for him and understand the EPA from the inside out.
William's research paid off—the advice he got from his alumni network on Switchboard helped him get the position.
Why did you start using Switchboard?
I started using Switchboard shortly after it was announced to alumni class presidents by the wonderful Ma'ayan Plaut [the Oberlin Switchboard operator]. I was mostly curious about the concept, but have stuck around for its utility.
You asked for advice on working in regulatory law. How'd it go?
My ask was responded to quickly and sent me down a path of person-to-person networking, that, doubled with an avenue I developed through my law school contacts, eventually landed me in the office of the program coordinator.
Obies that had formerly worked with or in the EPA were able to give valuable advice on the culture and the internal structures of EPA, so I walked in with a base knowledge that the coordinator found positive. I got the position and am still working here!
What do you tell other Obies about Switchboard?
Switchboard is a user-friendly, non-Facebook way to interact directly with the Oberlin alumni community. It is a collective Craigslist designed around a community that is known to espouse the values that define Oberlin.
On Switchboard, I can offer help to current students knowing that they are inquisitive and hard-working, and I can receive advice from older alums who have the experience of striving for positive change in this world on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, decade-long basis.