Egg-timer and Skype - a new mentoring network helps Business Administration and Philosophy students
Photo: Bjarke MacCarthy
What do you do if you are having trouble getting through all the homework in your programme? Or what if you are on leave from your studies and find yourself in a managerial position in a Kuala Lumpur start-up, and one of your employees is underperforming?
If you're a mentee in the FLØK mentoring programme, you ask your mentor for advice. The mentoring network has just closed its first year. It was started by Anders Møller who is now writing his thesis in the FLØK programme. Business Administration and Philosophy is an interdisciplinary programme combining economics and philosophy.
- I started this because I saw a need for myself and my co-students to know what we can do practically with these fanciful competences when we are ready to find a job, says Anders Møller.
So last spring he started the mentoring network in cooperation with the FLØK programme and CBS Alumni, in which former FLØK students have signed up as mentors. The process included a kick-off event, an inspirational book about the mentoring cooperation and a wide framework that the mentoring-teams were recommended to stick within.
Hanna H. Salameh is one of the 13 FLØK students who jumped at the chance to have a mentor. She has one year of her master's programme left and her mentor was FLØK alumna Josefine Kampmann, Consultant with PA Consulting Group.
Hanna H. Salameh used her mentor to gain a different perspective on her education programme and put her mind at ease about prioritising in her studies. And she got a very concrete advice to help her get through the homework.
- There was a period where I didn't study quite enough before classes. My mentor advised me to set an egg-timer to twenty minutes, read for just that time span, and then stop without feeling guilty. When I do that, I have at least some idea what the text is about, and that helped me through that period, she says.
But it was also a rewarding experience for mentor Josefine Kampmann.
- It was fun to use my experience from both my studies and my career and pay it forward. It was great to sit on the other side of having landed that first job and advising a student. It's a bit like if someone came up to you the day before your exam and said "don't worry - you've done everything right, and it'll be fine", says Josefine Kampmann.
She also sees the mentoring role as a way to keep in touch with the FLØK programme, and was therefore very happy to meet the other mentors for the kick-off event that was part of the mentoring process.
Joachim Almdal is another FLØK student who has benefited from mentoring help in the programme, however in a slightly different way, because he was in fact on leave from his studies at the time he was sparring with his mentor. Instead of studying, he was working in a start-up in Kuala Lumpur. He soon got management responsibility and his mentor turned out to be a great help.
- I've used my mentor more for professional than academic sparring. I have gone over a lot of specifics with her. For example, I found it hard to have a talk with those staff members I found were underperforming. She gave me some very concrete tools and advice for that, says Joachim Almdal.
His mentor is FLØK alumna Lea Lønsted, HR Business Partner with Maersk Oil Qatar, and it was very useful for Joachim Almdal to mirror the little start-up in the much bigger and older organisation of Mærsk.
- You can easily become obsessed with a problem when you are in a start-up working 60 hours a week and spending all your time with your colleagues. It was comforting to be told that a specific problem was just a tough nut to crack, it kept me from being put off by it, says Joachim Almdal.
Today he connects investors with green start-ups at Green Tech Challenge.
The first mentoring process was concluded with a recent event that was open for all mentors and mentees. Present was also Morten Sørensen Thaning, Programme Director, who is happy that students have the opportunity to spar with the mentors and that the mentors could confirm that the programme is relevant in a professional context.
- It is important that the relevance of the programme is repeated over and over to the students. And it is also important that mentors can give both the students and us feedback on which competences from their studies that they use in a professional context, says Morten Sørensen Thaning.
Now the expectation is to continue with the mentoring network for a new group of students starting this autumn. CBS is also looking to whether it would be relevant to expand the concept to other programmes.
Read more about the mentoring network
If you would like to be a mentor, please contact CBS Alumni