February’s Mentor of the Month: Akosua Ayim CC'11

Congratulations to Akosua Ayim CC'11 for being selected as our Mentor of the Month for February. Akosua received her B.A. in Economics and French and Francophone studies from Columbia and MBA from the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School. She is now the CEO of =SPACE, a premium sharespace created with multicultural business owners in mind. She is a mentor on the Odyssey platform and participated as a mentor in an Odyssey Roundtable for Black students and alumni this fall. 

Interview with Akosua Ayim CC'11

Have you connected with students during the Covid-19 pandemic? If so, what has the experience been like? 

Yes. The pandemic has created an even more intense need to connect with people, and it's been very inspiring to connect with students. I think I've had more conversations with students and young(er) alums than ever before. 

What have you gained from being connecting with these students and alums?

Speaking with students has definitely given me some much-needed energy during some of the tougher weeks this past year. Their enthusiasm, ideas and general optimism is a breath of fresh air and reminds me that even though there is a lot of good work left to be done, we have the right people in all stages of life ready and willing to do it. 

What advice would you give a student or young alum looking for a mentor?

Hearing about every single alumni event can be overwhelming, so try to pick a few each year that interest you and commit to reaching out to a few people from each event. Even if an alum doesn't work in your area of interest, reach out anyway -- they could offer something else or point you in the right direction. 

Did you have mentors during your time at the College? If so, could you share a bit about them? 

My biggest mentors were definitely Columbia and Barnard alumni who were also members of my sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. From doing community service together, to them coming back to campus to speak at our events and everything in between, they helped me navigate Columbia and life after graduation. 

Any additional thoughts about the Odyssey program?

I love that this program has been created to build stronger bonds between alumni and students. I'm very excited to see how it continues to grow! 

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.