From international student to mentor

Alin Ene is former international student at Business Academy Aarhus. Now he helps other international students as a mentor, which includes helping them with the transition from student to worker.

Alin Ene came from Romania to Denmark in 2015 and studied on our Innovation and Entrepreneurship top-up bachelor programme.

This is the first time a former international student at the Academy has returned as a mentor for another international student.

‘If you expect to get something, you should also give something back. I think it’s extremely important that we benefit from each other’s knowledge and experience,’ says Alin Ene expressively.

He got help to start his own company

He’s glad that there was also a mentor to help him when he came to Denmark with his desires and dreams for the future. And he would like to share his experience.

‘While I was studying, my mentor gave me good advice on how to start a company in Denmark. I also got useful sparring and tips on how to work more efficiently and structured,’ explains Alin Ene.

His company, which offers private help for household work, has done really well and is now being sold.

Today, he works as a Digital Service Specialist at Grundfos in Bjerringbro.

The way to the top requires hard work

22 of the programme's 56 mentees are international students.

A mentor takes a student under their wing and can for example, help to put into words how the students can use their education when looking for a job in Denmark.

‘I was also an international student and know how hard it is to adapt to a foreign culture. What I learnt at Business Academy Aarhus has really helped me get a foothold in the Danish business community,’ says Alin Ene and elaborates:

‘Do you dream of becoming a top executive? Go for it. But you then need to know that it is an uphill battle and requires a lot of hard work.’

An invaluable aid 

The mentor and mentee usually meet 4-6 times during the period. The mentee takes the initiative for the meetings and prepares an agenda, which is sent to the mentor prior to the meeting - this ensures that no time is wasted. Each meeting lasts about one hour.

Alin Ene stresses that as a mentor, he does not have all the answers. But he can still be an invaluable aid.

‘It’s one more building block in your professional life. How you use it, is completely up to you. I can, as a mentor, help you identify what you need to be aware of before taking the next step on your career path,’ says Alin Ene, who as one of his first activities, plans to invite both the mentees and the graduating class from the Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme for a company visit at Grundfos.

The mentor programme is growing

The number of mentor programmes at Business Academy Aarhus has more than quadrupled since the programme was launched in 2013 with 14 mentor-mentees. This year there are 56 mentees and 54 mentors.

The dedicated mentors include directors, consultants, farm owners and independent business men and women. They all offer their time for free and are motivated by the desire to make a difference for young students.

The mentor programmes lasts 6-12 months.

Prior to the programme, both the mentor and mentee fill out a form in which they answer various questions about their professional background and experience. In this way, a suitable match can be found.

The agricultural and environmental management students choose their own mentors; all the other students get one appointed.