Switchboard Connects Job-Seeking Alumni with Like-Minded Peers

Finding the "perfect job" soon after college is, well, nearly impossible. Whether young alumni are looking for a job in a particular sector or for a job with a special sense of purpose, they often have to compromise.

This is the story of Seán, who graduated from Oberlin in 2011. Seán recently used Switchboard to transition from a job in IT to a job doing what he really wanted to do. He was already happy in his old job, but the culture and experiences he shared with other Oberlin Switchboard users helped him find a job that was even cooler.

Seán missed the spirit of social justice activism he enjoyed at Oberlin. When he saw that Chad, a fellow Oberlin alumnus, was hiring a developer, he also saw an opportunity to work with someone who would understand his drive to make the world a better place.

How did you find out about the Oberlin Switchboard?

I started using Switchboard about the same week I got in contact with Chad, initially to help increase volume after I'd heard my friend Ma'ayan was working to help it gain traction amongst Oberlin alumni and students.

You posted an ask on the Oberlin Switchboard looking for a programming job. How did that go? 

I posted a simple post looking for junior development positions, though I wasn't actively looking and was happy in an IT/technical operations role for a major advertising corporation.

When trying to write a polite note of thanks to the people who replied, Chad's post came up in the suggested posts, and it turned out to be a perfect complement to the one I had posted.

Working with Chad was simple—we replied back and forth once, then organized an interview complete with coding examples and discussions with other Product team members.

Chad was sure to bring up partnerships with community centers, penitentiaries, and other organizations during the interview, which was a huge boon for me, having missed ties to social justice activism that Oberlin had instilled.

I knew the opportunity seemed perfect, and a month later, I joined Apploi as a junior developer. A few months later, I'm now happily working as Apploi's UI/UX Engineer and helping to prepare a much-needed and anticipated redesign of our core product!

What do you appreciate most about the Oberlin Switchboard?

Being able to post to Switchboard was pretty great, because I knew I was interacting with a community of people who pulled from similar experiences as mine from Oberlin.

I was looking for companies that had an awareness of social justice and an appreciation for diverse backgrounds and interests. These are definitely subjects I've learned to delay in discussions with recruiters or potential employers that are focused on experience and specific technologies, but are so closely associated to the passions that make me a fast learner and creative thinker... so to be job-seeking in an environment where I could count on these passions to be lauded was definitely a boon.