March’s Mentor of the Month: Lindsay Joelle CC'05

Congratulations to Lindsay Joelle CC'05 for being selected as our Mentor of the Month for March. Lindsay received her B.A. in English from Columbia. She is now a playwright, screenwriter, author, tutor and college counselor. She is a mentor on the Odyssey platform and participated as a mentor in the Odyssey 1:1 Mentoring Match.

Interview with Lindsay Joelle CC'05

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

Yes, I've spoken with four bright and driven young women during the pandemic. Meeting over Zoom was a welcome opportunity to connect during an isolating time. It allowed us to compare experiences across Arizona, Texas, New York, New Jersey, and even China! In all my conversations, we shared some of the many ways we have cultivated creativity and self-care amid global uncertainty. 

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

Columbia nurtures a highly independent student body. While I am still in touch with my small-but-mighty groups of college friends, I felt disconnected from the larger Columbia community until I became an Odyssey Mentor. Because I am in an arts field, the students I've matched with or who have requested me as a mentor are emerging playwrights, screenwriters, directors, and fiction writers. The opportunity to share the advice I've learned "the hard way" through experience was gratifying. If I can answer their questions, connect them with a few resources, or make them feel more supported and encouraged along their paths, I'm thrilled. 

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

A mentor can be a great sounding board for questions and hopefully point you in the right direction. Still, ultimately, you'll find your way of doing things. Whether you're feeling uncertain about choosing a major or about your career path after college, the first thing to know is that it is okay and normal. My career path was certainly not linear. It was and continues to be a process of saying yes to various opportunities and experiences and noticing what doors they opened for me. Collect advice from as many sources as possible, then discover what works best for you. 

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

I didn't, but I sure could have used one! Looking back, I wish I had been less shy about attending office hours with faculty and TAs on campus or identifying and reaching out to prospective mentors for advice. Now that I'm on the other side as an alumni mentor and a tutor, I know that it is not an imposition – we love to help!

Any additional thoughts about the Odyssey program?

I'm looking forward to follow-up conversations with my mentees to hear updates on how their creative lives are going. I now find myself wondering how alums can best use the platform to connect and support each other. Columbia grads reading this who are fellow artists and/or tutors, shoot me a message! 

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.