perjantai 31. maaliskuuta 2017

Learning and knowledge sharing through mentoring - IWBAS

We participated a lecture about mentoring in working life. This lecture was a part of the IWBAS week at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Ms. Gudrun Gaedke from FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences, one of Austria’s leading universities of applied sciences for management and communication, told us about learning by mentoring.

Mentoring is an important part of sharing knowledge and experience in any field of business. Via mentoring, one can get more insight about the company and its specific ways and rules. Mentoring is the best, and sometimes the only way, to learn about tacit knowledge. Tacit knowledge means knowledge that hasn’t been written down, so called silent information and practices.
Furthermore, mentoring is very efficient form of learning. It saves the company significant amounts of resources to be able to pass on this tacit knowledge through mentoring process.

The most interesting point of the lecture was how the mentoring is seen as an important part of the human resource process. In HR development, mentoring has been taken to the professional level. The ideal mentoring program is a period of 9-12 months. Program starts with preparation, the agreement about the relationship between the mentor and the mentee. Goals for the mentorship are set in the kick off meeting. Matching the mentees and mentors is important part of the process.  Mentors present themselves and mentees can apply for the specific mentor. Mentorship continues with several meetings, usually once a month. At the middle of the program, the mentor and the mentee meet for a mid term event and they go through the process and analyze how it has worked. After this they continue with more meetings. Program ends with a closing event. It is essential to have a clear kick off and closing.

Role of the mentor is to listen and give advice. The mentor is not responsible to make the mentees career but to guide the mentee towards his/her goals.
What makes a good mentor then? We discussed about the main features that make a good mentor. Main features came up in the conversation were the social skills, the knowledge of the field and the motivation. Mentoring needs to happen voluntarily to achieve best results. As a mentor, you have to be open minded and keen on giving advice. Other involved roles in a mentoring program are line-manager of the mentee and HR department.

After the lecture we interviewed Ms. Gudrun Gaedke about the field of business studies and working in Austria after graduating. Application process to the University of Applied Sciences is pretty much the same as Finland. In the application process there’s a limited room for every course. Approximately in every course is room for about 35-50 students. The structure of studies is also pretty similar compared to the Finnish higher education system. Structure form consists of general studies and specializing, for example in marketing, finance etc. Duration of studies for bachelor’s degree is three years. Newly graduated students usually get hired pretty well, depending on the field of specialization. For example in the field of finance you will find jobs easier than in the field of HR.

 From left: Juhani Piilonen, Emilia Pesonen, lecturer Gudrun Gaedke and Sampsa Parviainen 

We want to thank Ms. Gudrun Gaedke for an interesting lecture that taught us many new things about learning by mentoring. Thank you! 

Written by:  

MainosPanda - Juhani Piilonen, Emilia Pesonen and Sampsa Parviainen