The Columbia College Alumni Association has launched the Odyssey Mentoring Program, which offers students and alumni an easy way to connect for career guidance, life advice, networking and more.
Given the College’s network of more than 50,000 alumni worldwide, Odyssey — the name is a nod to the Lit Hum anchor text, in which the goddess Athena disguises herself as the character Mentor in order to advise Odysseus’ son — aims to engage alumni mentors across all industries, backgrounds, perspectives and locations. “I believe that our alumni are one of the greatest resources that Columbia College has. I want students to be able to learn from their extraordinary and diverse experiences,” says Dean James J. Valentini.
Odyssey is flexible; participants can engage in long-term mentoring relationships or short and informal connections. To start, students and alumni create a profile on the Odyssey website; Odyssey then recommends connections based on profile similarities, though members also can search for mentoring matches based on their interests, region, major, gender, profession and student activities.
Odyssey is powered by the mentees, who choose whom to message or request mentorship from. Young alumni have the option of being both mentees and mentors, and all alumni can use the community to expand their professional networks.
As a complement to the online community, events will be held throughout the school year to connect alumni and students in person. Since the program launched in September, more than 1,200 people have created profiles but students outnumber alumni by two to one. More alumni volunteers are urgently needed; to sign up, go to odyssey.college.columbia.edu.
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