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AmCham Mentorship Program: 2021-2022 Program Kick-Off

AmCham Mentorship Program: 2021-2022 Program Kick-Off

The sixth edition of AmCham’s popular nine-month program kicked off virtually with a leadership presentation from Tine Austvoll Jensen, Country Manager of Google Norway

Austvoll Jensen began by commending participants for their “wise decision” to join the program, noting that she herself is both a mentor and a mentee. To get the most out of this opportunity, she advised participants to give their mentor or mentee concrete examples to work on together in order to achieve tangible results.

She encouraged those present to be open to, and aware of, networking opportunities that will ultimately expand and accelerate their professional circles. She also recommended daring to be vulnerable in order to establish and foster trust and connection in their mentoring relationships. 


Tine Austvoll Jensen

Leading Through Transitions

Austvoll Jensen recently joined Google Norway from her previous position as CEO and Editor in Chief at Discovery Norway, where she, throughout her tenure, held roles as CFO and COO in the Nordic organization. She noted that transitioning between companies was much more challenging than moving internally, where she was already ingrained in the culture. Her solution? “Being prepared is half the battle,” she insisted, emphasizing the need to be agile and adjusting your skillset to face a new role or company.

“What got you here, won’t get you there.”

Not only did Austvoll Jensen touch on leadership transition between roles and companies, but also translating working methods. Transitioning during the pandemic, Austvoll Jensen relied on building relationships and leading people remotely from her home office over the course of the past year, a challenge that presented new issues of balance, communication, and a work culture of intent.

Austvoll Jensen concluded by highlighting the importance of daring to ask “stupid questions”, being open to feedback and advice, taking time for self-reflection and remembering to be yourself.

“The mechanics of doing the role is set, and they know you are able to do the job, but a big part of getting the role is that you are you – always remember that!”

The timely leadership insights openly shared by Austvoll Jensen resonated well with program participants, who expressed their enthusiasm for similar reflective dialogues over the coming months.

2021-2022 Pairings Announced

After the inspiring presentation, and based upon background input from all program participants, AmCham’s Madeleine Brekke announced the cross-industry mentorship pairings handpicked for the 2021-22 program cycle. Including 74 participant from 29 different organizations, representing 12 industries, it is the largest program group to date.

Cross-industry pairs of executive leaders and up-and-coming talents were hand-selected from participating AmCham Patron companies, including 3M, Abbvie, AIG, Amgen, Avinor, AWS, BAT, Bristol Myers Squibb, Citi, Coca-Cola, DNB, DNV, US Embassy, Gambit H+K, GSK, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, Janssen-Cilag, KPMG, Merck, Microsoft, MSD, Pfizer, PMI, Roche, Sanofi, SAS Institute, Tailormade Consulting and Thommessen, with the US Embassy also participating.

For the last portion of the meeting, mentees were invited to make the first call to their mentor, introduce themselves and set up their first 1:1 meeting.

About the AmCham Mentorship Program

With its unique cross-industry orientation and global approach, the AmCham Mentorship Program offers a dynamic, internationally minded arena for leadership development.

The program pairs emerging corporate talent with seasoned executives from AmCham Patron-level member companies. The result: a collaborative arena that fosters improvement and reflection, prepares young leaders for the challenges of the international marketplace, and forges bonds between AmCham member companies.

If you are interested in participating in the mentorship program, please contact Madeleine Brekke at madeleine.brekke@amcham.no for more information.

Past Mentorship Program Events

AmCham Mentorship Program 2016 Summary

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.ottesen@amcham.no for more information.