Spring 2021 1:1 Mentoring Match

The Odyssey Mentoring Program's 1:1 Mentoring Match will pair an alumni mentor with a student mentee based on overlapping areas of interest. Once matched, the mentor and mentee will connect virtually before Friday, March 26 for a helpful chat about their Columbia experiences, current challenges in light of COVID, extracurricular activities, career interests and more. It’s as easy as that! Time and again, we hear from students that connecting with an alum for an informal conversation leaves a lasting impact. The goal is to offer students an additional avenue of support, connection and community.

The Spring 2021 1:1 Mentoring Match is open to Columbia College students and alumni who graduated in 2015 and earlier.

Sign up today!

Timeline:

  • Wednesday, January 13: Registration opens
  • Wednesday, February 3: Registration closes
  • Week of February 8: Match notifications go out to alumni mentors and student mentees
  • Week of February 8-Friday, March 26: Mentors and mentees connect virtually for a 30-60 minute conversation
  • Friday, March 26: Deadline to connect with your match

FAQ:

Who can sign up to be a mentee? Current students.

Who can sign up to be a mentor? For this program, we invite alumni who graduated in 2015 and earlier to sign up.

Who will I be matched with? A  current student will be paired with an alumni mentor based on overlapping areas of interest. The more information you provide in your Odyssey Mentoring Program profile, the more ideal the match.

What is expected of me if I participate? The goal of the 1:1 Mentoring Match is for the mentor and mentee to connect one time for a 30-60 minute phone call or Zoom meeting between February 8-March 26. If the mentor and mentee want to connect more than once, that's great, but not required.

What should an alumni mentor ask their student mentee? The purpose of the 1:1 Mentoring Match is to provide students with an additional avenue of support and encouragement. You might ask your student mentee some of the following questions:

  • What challenges are you facing in light of COVID?
  • What are the pros and cons of virtual learning?
  • What is your major (or anticipated major) and what are your favorite classes or subjects?
  • What student groups and extracurricular activities are you involved with at Columbia?
  • Do you know what you want to do after you graduate? What industries are you interested in?

What should a student ask an alumni mentor?

  • What was your Columbia College experience like?
  • How did you get from Columbia to where you are in your career today?
  • Even though I'm remote, I'm wondering what you think I should make sure to take advantage of during my time at Columbia College?
  • What challenges did you face while at Columbia or in your career and how did you overcome them?
  • Are there things you wish you did or could do differently when you were an undergraduate?

How can students prepare to meet their alumni mentors?

  • Review their Odyssey Mentoring Program and LinkedIn profiles before reaching out.
  • Draft a thoughtful message and provide 3-5 times that work for you to connect virtually.
  • Respond within 24 hours.
  • Always send a thank you note.
  • Remember: there is no perfect match, but you can learn something valuable from every alum.
  • Odyssey Mentoring Program is for guidance and advice. Do not ask an alum for a job or internship.

Testimonials from Alumni Mentors:

My mentee was an absolute pleasure to meet. She was bursting with enthusiasm and curiosity. It reaffirmed my faith in the great potential of her generation. It also inspired me to recall my own memories as a Columbia student with great fondness.
It was fun chatting with a bright young student and getting her different generational perspective on things.
I enjoyed offering advice on navigating careers outside of typical grad school and career paths.
My two students are lovely people. It is my pleasure to be able to be one more person in their corner, particularly at this difficult time.
I love being able to be supportive, non-judgmental, and encouraging (and to give advice/guidance if it is asked for) to a CC student. I also love learning about my mentee's experience at CC and how CC has changed since I graduated.

Testimonials from Student Mentees:

My mentor was so supportive and easy to talk to! She had eye-opening insights and really reduced my anxieties about this crazy year. -CC’24
I really appreciated being able to connect with an alumni mentor on a personal and informal level, I also appreciated being able to talk candidly about my life, goals, and other interests. -CC’22 

My mentor offered great perspectives and I really appreciated learning about his career trajectory. -CC’21

Contact:

If you have any questions, please contact the Odyssey Mentoring team at ccmentoring@columbia.edu.