Alumni Help New Grads Find Their Footing

Asking for help as a new grad can be daunting.

To help them feel more comfortable reaching out for guidance, Oberlin promised the Class of 2015 that alumni would respond to their asks on Switchboard.

Miryam '15 posted an ask on Switchboard looking for connections in the arts, and she heard back from alumni right away.

Now she visits the Oberlin Switchboard often, hoping to pay the favor forward to the Oberlin community.

Why did you start using Oberlin Switchboard?

I started using Switchboard as part of the "May Day" initiative. Ma'ayan [the wonderful operator of the Oberlin Switchboard] told me that Switchboard was doing a special promotion where all Class of '15 posts made on April 30th would be answered on May 1st by alumni.

I had heard about Switchboard before then, but the promise that a team would be helping me find an answer to my post definitely helped motivate me to post.

How'd it go?

The experience asking for advice was not as scary as I thought it would be.

There was a suggested formula that the May Day team sent out that I followed. I wrote a bit about myself and then detailed my question. The most difficult part was being as concise as possible while still standing out from the crowd.

I got two helpful comments pretty much right away. I was asking for help from a couple of different arts fields and I got replies from an author, a musician, and an actor, so it was really helpful to hear all of those different perspectives.

I've checked Switchboard often since then, replying to other posts.

Would you recommend Switchboard to your friends?

I would absolutely recommend Switchboard to my friends, especially those still at Oberlin or who have just graduated.

The alumni community is welcoming and knowledgeable, and it's a shame to not take advantage of that. The more people who use Switchboard, the more connections can be made.