Participants in Hanken's popular mentorship programme: “It's totally worth applying for!”

Yrsa Landsdorff och Wilma Leskinen sitter och pratar på en bänk
A record number of almost 150 people applied to the 2023 Hanken mentorship programme. Mentor Yrsa Landsdorff and mentee Wilma Leskinen are two of them. The mentorship programme has given Landsdorff valuable insights about the younger generation, and Leskinen has successfully achieved the goal she set herself at the start of the year.

Landsdorff, who is now mentoring at Hanken for the third time, has had mentors herself since she started working, and has benefited greatly from it. Including concrete tips when she had got stuck in her career.

“Since I now have more experience myself, I wanted to give that back to the younger generation. Understanding the next generation, how they think, what they value and what motivates them, is also really important,” says Landsdorff.

Landsdorff graduated from Hanken in 2005 with a major in marketing. She has 20 years of experience in sales, brand building, marketing and product portfolio management at Fiskars and Fredman, and for the past year has been running her own business full-time, providing business coaching, consulting and more. She also gives lectures on leadership and workplace well-being, and works with everything from small and medium-sized enterprises to listed companies, at the individual, team and strategic levels alike.

Mentee Wilma Leskinen has not had the most traditional study path for a Hanken student, as she puts it herself. First, she completed a vocational qualification in business at the then Porvoo International College (now Careeria) and after that she obtained her bachelor's degree in business administration at Haaga-Helia. In 2020, she began studying in the Hanken master's programme, majoring in marketing and minoring in information systems science. Leskinen graduated in November 2022.

Aiming for a new job

The mentorship programme lasts for about one year, with Leskinen and Landsdorff meeting once a month. Leskinen has been the one selecting the topics for the meetings. One key theme has been recruitment, which is one of the reasons why Leskinen primarily applied for the mentorship programme. 

Since 2017, Leskinen has been working in customer service and various roles in the IT field but has longed for being able to express herself creatively and visually. Her goal has thus been to find a marketing-related job in 2023. In June, Leskinen started working as a marketing specialist at one of the fastest-growing welfare technology companies in Europe.

"Of course, it hasn't been Yrsa’s assignment as my mentor to find a new job for me, but we have gone through my CV and my job applications. She has also given me hope that finding the right fit in the working world takes time. I've gained more patience and Yrsa's experience as a senior recruiter has been very valuable in this process.”

Satisfied with the match

Applications for next year's mentorship programme open in the autumn. When asked if it is worth applying for, Landsdorff and Leskinen are both very clear: "You should definitely apply to the programme!” And "What are you waiting for?". However, both point out that the programme takes time and energy, and it is important to be committed and engaged. Leskinen advises spending time on the programme application so that the team at Hanken can make the best possible match.

Landsdorff notes that a great benefit of mentoring is to be able to take a deep dive into another person's world, something you rarely have the opportunity to do in ordinary discussions. As a mentee, Leskinen has found it nice to discuss her career identity and the transition from being a student to full-time employee.

"Yrsa and I have similar personalities, beliefs and interests. The people at Hanken who paired us up together did a superb job!"

Read more about Hanken's mentorship programme:
Mentorship Opens in new window

Text: Jessica Gustafsson
Photo: Private