Switchboard Abroad is a Home Away from Home

 Emma '09 found international alumni connections on Switchboard.

Emma '09 found international alumni connections on Switchboard.

Since she graduated from Reed College in 2009, Emma's life has taken a turn toward the cosmopolitan.

Emma has looked for connections and advice throughout North Africa and the Middle East over the past few years. Her alumni network has always been there on Switchboard to help.

Why did you start using Switchboard?

I first used Reed Switchboard back in 2011, when they were looking for alumni to speak with current students on campus.

I offered to speak with Reedies about political science/international relations graduate programs and my experiences in the local legal sector. 

You've used Switchboard everywhere from Lebanon to Morocco. Could you share your stories?

I've used it a few times since 2011.

Once, I connected with a Reed grad living in Turkey while I was looking for housing in Beirut. He had a number of tips for me and sent out a message to his network in Lebanon.

 Switchboard success

Recently I've used Switchboard to connect a current student interning in Boston to my housemate who was looking for a subletter, offer advice to a recent graduate looking for information on international NGOs working with insurgency organizations, and, finally, to ask for connections in Morocco. 

I connected with Devon by searching Switchboard for posts dealing with Morocco and found a past post suggesting Devon might have some ideas. Through other internet searches, I figured out where Devon had interned in Morocco and sent her an e-mail asking for advice.

 Switchboard success

She then connected me to the organization she had worked for, and I was able to have an in depth conversation with the manager of that organization. Success!

Would you recommend Switchboard to friends?

I would definitely recommend Switchboard. I think it is a great way to directly connect students with alumni and alumni with alumni in a way that is more organic and user-friendly than what Reed otherwise offers.

People love helping people, especially within the Reed community, and Switchboard facilitates that in a great way.