AmCham has rounded off a successful debut year of the Mentorship Program, where mentors and mentees from eight Patron member businesses were paired across industries to exchange experiences and learn from each other.
Kristian Røkke, Akastor, and Benjamin Kuban, AmCham, at the first Mentorship Program common session.
AmCham Norway introduced the Mentorship Program in 2016 as Patron member benefit, aiming to promote inter-industry dialogue and to provide a platform where young professionals and experienced international leaders can share best practices and gain new perspectives.
The participating companies, all members of the Fortune 500 list, are McDonald’s, AIG, 3M, Citibank, Abbott, IBM, Google and MSD. All participants were therefore paired across from industries to add further substance to the learning experience.
“Direct employee feedback is a gift to any corporation. One of my reflections of this mentoring relationship was around how to harness that information and use it to make positive changes that will also benefit the bottom line,” former McDonald’s Norway Country Director, Lauren Cody said about the program.
Lasting from March 2016 until the end of the year, mentors and their mentees met over the course of eight planned sessions, discussing various themes related to leadership and insight into how to succeed in a top-level business environment.
“I really appreciated the opportunity to discuss career and personal goals with someone outside my own company. Additionally, it provided me with an objective view of various opportunities and values to consider as a whole,” Wenche Setsaas, the mentee representing Citibank said, at the final meeting for the 2016 program, hosted at Google’s offices in Oslo.
Asked to reflect on the Mentorship Program, both mentors and mentees concluded it was a highly enjoyable and educational experience- particularly as the program enabled two-way exchange of ideas.
“On a general note, I valued the opportunity to share my ideas, but also learned from my mentee and learnt about her organization,” Jan Grønbech, country manager of Google Norway, said.
“For me, the sessions were a helpful reminder of some of the frustrations, barriers, as well as motivations faced by talented people in large, complex organizations.
“It made me reflect more about what I can do as a leader within my own business to remove barriers and bring clarity about the why we are doing things in a certain way versus just talking about what we are all doing,” Cody explained when talking about her own experience as a mentor.
The final session, a plenum gathering discussing experiences and ideas for the Mentorship Program in 2017, also featured guest speaker Maalfrid Brath, Managing Director at Manpower Group Norway, who highlighted key employment points and trends.
Host of the closing session, Jan Grønbech, Google, giving a summery the 2016 Mentorship Program.
AmCham Norway is now in the planning-phase of the 2017 Mentorship Program and we are looking to increase the number of participating companies. Please contact us at Didrik.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.