Mentorship Article

17 March 2016

Emma Rydell

A Mentor, /ˈmɛntɔː/, according to the English Oxford Dictionary an Experienced and trusted adviser

The custom of seeking guidance from those more experienced and wise dates far back in time. Despite this, it is more relevant than ever in our hectic times, where the multitude of career possibilities sometimes can cause confusion and finding a real work-life balance is hard. The SCC is proud of having introduced The Mentorship Programme in 2014, which enables Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber to get mentored by some of the SCCs most successful and experienced Members.

With the second cohort about to finish the programme, The LINK caught up with Mentor Lars Olsson, General Manager at Stena Line Ltd and his Mentee Nicklas Danko, European Executive Jet Director at SHY Aviation, to hear about their experience of the programme so far.

Danko left Sweden in 2008 and have since then lived in Australia, France and is now residing in London. After having completed a Bachelor of Business he entered the world of private aviation as an aircraft charter broker predominately working with companies and Hight Net Worth Individuals in the Nordic region. Olsson has been living in the UK since 1990 and is also the Vice Chairman of the SCC Council.

“I have been a supporter of The Mentorship Programme since its inception, so it was only right that I took an active part in it. I expected the calibre of the mentees to be high and I have not been proven wrong,” Olsson tells the LINK.

Olsson has had a very good experience of the programme so far, enjoying the format of regular organised meetings where participants get the chance to both socialise with other Mentors and Mentees as well as listen to invited speakers covering interesting topics. Danko agrees with Olsson that the programme has exceeded his expectations and continues:

“All mentors are of the highest standard and it would be an honour to be a mentee to anyone of them. I am, however, very fortunate to get Lars as my mentor as I feel that we had a connection straight away”.

Both seem to have gained a lot from the experience. Danko emphasises that it is important to stop and think about why one is doing something as it is easy to get stuck in corporate routine of London. He says that Olsson in a way has helped him establish a foundation of values on which he can build further on when making the next career move.

“What I like most about my meeting with Lars is that he constantly questions my thoughts and ideas. Not by criticising anything but by encouraging me to think about what I do and what I want. I think that it is easy for young professionals in London to have a general goal and an idea on how to get there, but not necessarily know why one is on this path to begin with”, Danko continues.

Olsson agrees that they have addressed some issues that are relevant for a young professional at this stage in their career:

“I think we have been able to spend quality time on the key issues that he faces and that we together have come to some conclusions that will help him”.

According to Olsson, one of the best things for the Mentees is to be able to have an open dialogue with someone who has more experience of business and the way organisations work. Danko agrees with this and continues:

“I strongly believe that this is a programme everyone should apply for. It gives you a unique and valuable experience that money can’t buy. However I would recommend that you have spent a few years on your career path to know how

your industry works and where you and your mentor can find a way to make the most out of it for you”.

The chance to be selected for the programme is also one of the many benefits of joining the Young Professionals of the Swedish Chamber.


“This is one of the most important things I have done so far in my career and I would see this programme as one of the best parts of my membership with the Young Professionals“, Danko tells The LINK.


Olsson also recommend other Members of the SCC to consider becoming a Mentor in next year’s programme.

“I would very much like to recommend it to Members. It can be a very rewarding experience for both parties and it is also good to be able to give time and advice to the younger members starting their career. I would have thought many of us wish we had this opportunity when we were just starting out”.


The application for the next programme starting in September 2016 is now open and we welcome your application before 13 May 2016. Read more and apply here. 

Experiences of current Mentees: 

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