Regardless of age and position, the majority of us can agree that there are times in our career and personal life when we are in need of guidance. Hence, history is full of stories about the older and wiser, advising the younger generation. Young professionals of today often look within their network for an inspirational individual to mentor them through their choices and help them achieve their goals. The opportunity to learn from senior and knowledgeable Members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK (SCC), was introduced through the pilot year Mentorship Programme, implemented in September 2014. Five mentorship pairs have been invited to take part in the programme, with the ambition to strengthen the ties between Members of the SCC and the Young Professionals (YP).
Among coffee drinking and sociably chatting Londoners, The LINK magazine met with Viktoria Skara, an energetic Market Research Analyst at Mintel, taking part in the SCC Mentorship Programme. This time without her newly introduced mentor Anders Frisk, a management consultant and professional mentor, resident in Sweden. Halfway through the Programme, both tell the story of an ongoing developing mentorship and friendship that will last even further than the extent of this first year.
I feel that I have already achieved what I wished for when applying to the SCC Mentorship Programme. I have gained a mentor that listens to me and guides me through the different choices I face, both in my career and with my personal development. My mentor gladly shares his experiences and inspire me to challenge myself to choose new paths for my career.
Frisk agrees; “When I was told that I was selected as a mentor for the pilot year of the SCC Mentorship Programme, I felt honoured and proud as a Member of the SCC. What I wished to achieve with the programme was to meet and guide a young devoted and professional person in her/his choices and different strategic situations. As this is exactly what happened and it is a pleasure to mentor Viktoria. My participation in the programme will also add to my experience, widen my horizon and broaden my network.”
The five mentorship pairs have so far been invited to two joint gatherings and the spring will entail two additional meetings, all with a specific topic introduced by a knowledgeable speaker followed by a discussion on the theme. “The process so far has been very well handled by all parties. My experience is that the joint gatherings have been good, short and effective, whilst also giving time to meet and network with the other mentorship pairs,” Frisk told The LINK.
The outline of the programme also encourages the pairs to meet individually and communicate regularly. Although Frisk and Skara are geographically parted they have established frequent contact and good communication. Skara is very appreciative of the effort Frisk has put in to designing questions for her to take time to reflect upon. This has been both challenging and rewarding and consequently has taught her new things about herself.
Skara wishes to pursue a career within marketing and communications and is certain that joining the programme will benefit her career. Partly through the topics that she and Frisk focus their discussions around; personal and business related development, leadership, energy and happiness. Moreover through the extended network she is a part of through the Young Professionals and the SCC Mentorship Programme.
I would definitely recommend the SCC Mentorship Programme to other young professionals. I can only see benefits and personally don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to take part of this.