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Anita Karlsson-Dion, GM at Cognitive Process Services, IBM North America

“The best part of mentorship is that I get the chance to learn about the realities and challenges of today’s next generation of leaders.”

What made you sign up as a mentor in the first place? 

I enjoy being a mentor, as I learn a lot from the next generation. I believe I have much great experience that will be valuable for the next generation and also wanted to stay in touch with SSE in a way.

Has the program met your expectations? 

Yes, the two students I'm mentoring are well prepared, thoughtful and providing me with some great insights in their world and challenges they are dealing with.

What does mentorship mean to you? 

Being a mentor is a great opportunity to reflect and be a coach. That is to say, we have to ask questions back to the mentee rather than just offering a strong point of view. To me, it also means to help mentees get perspective of their situation, and provide examples that hopefully are relevant to them.

What is the best part about mentoring a student?

The best part of mentorship is that I get the chance to learn about the realities and challenges of today's next generation of leaders. It helps me to understand how the new generation is thinking about the world and what's going on, as I have new hires on my team that most likely have similar ideas/challenges.

In what way do you think the MSc Mentor Program will influence your professional career?  

Through mentoring, I realized that the gender differences are still there, that the young women need to fight harder to be seen, heard and taken seriously in the labour market. 

What advice would you give to future mentors? 

I would recommend that mentors invest the time needed to get to know your mentee. Besides, we should always listen more than talk, and provide examples of situations that can help put things in perspective for your mentee.

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