Business School Lausanne’s Alumni Mentoring Program was designed and launched in 2017 by Daniele Ticli, Head of Careers and Industry Relations, and it has facilitated quite a few success stories. The opportunity for experienced business professionals to present guidance to those just beginning their careers can result in a lucrative exchange of knowledge and perspective.
One mentor-mentee pair fostered by BSL’s program is Knut-Einar Wold and Adriaan Trampe. Adriaan was paired with his mentor Knut-Einar through BSL’s program while it was in its pilot stage, and their relationship has continued productively since then. Read on to find out what the program has provided for both Adriaan and Knut-Einar.
Adriaan & Knut-Einar’s Backgrounds
Adriaan Trampe studied and began watchmaking in the Netherlands. Already having learned the technical aspects of the craft, he wanted to learn the business aspects of it to round out his knowledge. This meant enrolling in business school. “I was attracted to BSL because of the small size and the school location, and I felt connected to the person overseeing the master’s program,” Adriaan reflects. “They also had a luxury management part of the program that was particularly relevant to my watchmaking business.”
While working towards a business degree in Switzerland, the Careers Office suggested he try out BSL’s mentorship program, then in its early stages. He decided to take a chance and was paired with Knut-Einar Wold. Knut-Einar wanted to give back to the school after attaining an MBA several decades back and suggested that he contribute by becoming a mentor, because of his interest in working with younger entrepreneurs. He has worked in several top-level management positions in both the private and public sectors, so he was well-equipped to provide wise, useful advice to Adriaan.
Our Graduate Business School’s Mentoring Program
“I was in a difficult position with my business at the time,” Adriaan reflects, “And the mentorship program really helped with my professional development.” Being mentored gave Adriaan an invaluable opportunity to have critical in-depth discussions with an experienced top-level manager, who could supply a diverse perspective. With Knut-Einar, they variously discuss important concepts, ways to run a business, and courses of action to take when faced with a barrier.
“Mentoring programs should be compulsory in business schools,” advises Knut-Einar, “It’s a very important aspect of education.” For those enrolled in an MBA degree, it can be valuable to be able to discuss business matters with someone of a similar background. Business careers can feel isolating, but they don’t have to be so solitary. “It’s helpful to be able to detach from the business and talk to your mentor when faced with difficult, solitary business decisions,” Adriaan agrees.
A Productive, Interesting Dynamic
Now well into their mentorship relationship, Adriaan and Knut-Einar continue to foster meaningful conversations. “We speak very frequently,” Knut-Einar says, “Sometimes every week, at the very least once a month. The dynamic has turned out very well, and it goes both ways. Adriaan is my mentor in many ways.” Today, the two are planning a podcast that speaks to a diverse set of themes that relate to both business matters and personal matters.
Adriaan says that the mentorship program has been highly valuable for him and recommends that all business students try it out. “It’s a great opportunity to expand your network in a way that’s different than usual,” he advises, “Worst case, if there’s no click with your mentor you’ve wasted 30 minutes of time.” BSL’s mentorship program can be a great way for business students to engage in a productive relationship with more experienced professionals.
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