December’s Mentee of the Month: Melissa Cook CC'20

Congratulations to Melissa Cook CC'20 for being selected as our Mentee of the Month for December. Melissa is a Senior and is an English major. She is an opinion editor for Spectator and a staff editor for Quarto Magazine.

Interview with Melissa Cook CC'20

What advice would you give an alum who is looking to mentor a student?

Be as interested in hearing from the student as giving advice/talking about themselves! Alumni and students often have way more in common than you can glean from their Odyssey profiles.

What have your mentoring relationships looked like (e.g., phone calls, meeting in person, etc)?

Because my schedule is super busy, I have only been able to message my mentors. I plan to video chat with a mentor soon, though!

What has been the most helpful part of being a mentee?

Hearing from low-income/first-in-family alumni about their transition from college to young adult life. As an independent student (meaning: I don't have familial support), the prospect of getting a job, an apartment, even banal things like groceries, is totally scary! My mentors have been a constant source of validation and advice.

What has been most surprising about being a mentee?

That I can find a lot of helpful advice from alumni who are not in the industries I’m interested in. A lot of successful alumni offer similar (and helpful) tips on breaking into your preferred industry and moving up once you get hired.

About the Odyssey Mentoring Program

The Odyssey Mentoring Program (OMP) was founded on the belief that Columbia College students and alumni want to support one another, share stories and encourage one another’s success, thus creating a strong and tight-knit community. The College has more than 50,000 alumni working in myriad careers and around the country. OMP makes it possible for community members to connect in a variety of ways, from an email exchange to in-person meetings and small group gatherings.