Service to School Servant Leadership Series: Joseph Lynch

The Service to School Servant Leadership Series highlights the contributions, selfless service, ideas, and personalities behind the Service to School team.

What is your Service to School position and describe what you do in your position?

Joe Lynch Preparing to Freefall

I am currently an Undergraduate Ambassador. Before matriculating at Columbia Business School, I served as the Director of Undergraduate Operations.

What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite book is The Mission, The Men, and Me by Pete Blaber. It’s a memoir of a former Delta Force officer. Although the stories are from his time in the military, they are directly applicable to my life as a civilian now. Each of his stories is a reminder that if you don’t take care of your people, the mission is impossible.

What is you favorite movie and why?

Dumb and Dumber. It’s hilarious. One of my teammates on my last team had not seen the movie. The rest of us quoted every line during the workup. By the time we finally all watched it together, my teammate no longer found it funny because we had butchered all the lines.

Who is your favorite military leader and why? (can be a historic one or a boss you had in the military)

My commander at EODMU5 — Oscar — is the epitome of a military leader. I could have chosen any number of reasons here, but I’ll highlight his philosophy of allowing his subordinates to truly own their missions and taskings. He’s a force of nature and has shaped an entire generation of sailors during his time in the Navy.

Where are are you currently?

Joe & Katherine on Wedding Day!

I’m currently an MBA1 at Columbia Business School in New York City. I’m married to an extraordinary woman and fellow Navy veteran. Katherine is a former Surface Warrior Officer and is working at Oscar Health while pursuing a Masters in Public Health at UC Berkeley.

What do you want to do 2–4 years from now? Long range?

I’m hoping to become a management consultant after graduation. Long-range, I hope to start my own company. Whether that’s five, ten or 30 years down that line, I’m not sure.

What are you working on at Service to School?

Right now, I’m working with enlisted veterans on their applications to college. One of my applicants has already been accepted for admission as a Spring 2018 transfer. The rest of the applications are due between Jan 1 and March 15!

What school transition advice do you have for veterans?

Don’t sell yourself short. Study for the SAT or ACT — crush whichever test you take. Talk to veterans who have made the jump. Always know that this transition is possible and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

It’s an honor everyday working with the enlisted vets that are just starting out on the college application process. If you know of any enlisted vets that are considering separating from the military, connect them to

What general advice do you have for veterans?

Joe narrowly avoids landing on a cactus

Stay connected to the veteran community when you get out. Pay it forward to the next generation behind you.

Best advice you ever received?

“Quit talking about it and start being about it.” — Jeff Schultz

What is your most memorable military experience?

Chasing Sunsets with the Boys of 5–3–2 and remembering that “legs feed the wolf” with 5–0–3.