Nasrin and Karen

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Photo: Suste Bonnén

Nasrin was educated and lived nearly all her life in Denmark, but still benefits from her mentor Karen's job experience and network.

There is no set period of time or "ideal length" for a mentoring relationship, and there is no set formula for success. Some pairs decide to put an end to their relation as soon as possible, usually right after the mentee has achieved her main goals.

For Nasrin and Karen, the mentor-mentee relationship has evolved into a longtime, dynamic and collaborative partnership. They have been matched for over three years and neither of them finds a need or reason to stop.

"I have been living in Denmark almost all my life, but I still thought it would be very nice to have a mentor when my sister described what KVINFO's mentoring program was all about," says Nasrin.

Nasrin was only six years old when her family moved to Denmark. She is now 26 and has recently finished her degree in Journalism. She is matched to Karen, a journalist with long experience within television and magazine publishing.

"I was very impressed by Nasrin when we first met. She is bright and quick, her Danish is beautiful, and she is a fellow journalist. I really wondered: What could I help her with?" says Karen.

However, it did not take long for Nasrin and Karen to found a purpose for the mentoring relationship.

"I felt I could talk to Karen about my dreams and ambitions. She knew the Danish media inside out," explains Nasrin.

Thus, one of the first things Karen did was to provide Nasrin with practical suggestions to get her first journalist internship with a Danish national newspaper. Perhaps more importantly, the mentoring relationship has helped increase Nasrin's confidence and has given her a sense of empowerment.

"Karen is very good at making me believe in myself," emphasizes Nasrin. "She makes me aware of my weaknesses and of my evident strengths. She encourages me to take control, to go ahead with my professional plans."

In a recent interview Karen admitted that her engaging in mentoring has resulted in great personal and professional growth. By talking to Nasrin she has learned first hand about the real significance of being a young immigrant in contemporary Denmark.

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