Mentoring Is a Way to Give Something Back

Rami Molander was one of the mentors in the second cohort of Mentoring for Professionals – a joint programme between SIVO and JIFF (Job Integration for Foreigners). Born in Helsinki, studied in Stanford Middle School, Helsinki University and Harvard Business School, Rami has been based in Switzerland for the past 24 years focusing on quality management and compliance for pharmaceutical companies. Here is what he shared about his mentoring role.

Rami, how did you hear about SIVO‘s mentoring program?

I heard about it through a longtime friend, Evelin, founder and President of SIVO.

Why did you decide to join as a mentor?

Most of my life, I have been on the taking side, mainly thinking of myself, wanting more, aiming higher. I thought it would be time to give something back. I have realized that the so-called success is quite a narcissistic business. 

Have you ever been a mentor before?

Yes, I was once a mentor for a new member at my former Toastmasters club.

What were your initial expectations from your participation in the programme?

My initial expectations were that I would help Rex to get prepared for the Swiss job market and ultimately get him footing in the market via an “entry” level IT job. Subsequently this “entry” position would serve as a springboard for other roles closer to his aspirations.

What did you eventually get out of it?

I got great pleasure to be able to accelerate someone’s process of getting ready for the Swiss job market. I think this process led also to some deeper waters unveiling broader interest and skill sets other than originally targeted.  

I also learned to know the LilliCentre, which is an interesting community offering fun and useful events and programs for international residents and internationally minded locals in Central Switzerland.

Finally, we got a new environmentally friendly online business started with Rex, which can be lots of fun and even financially sustainable, although IPO is not yet planned😊

What are your key take-aways from mentoring Rex within SIVO’s programme?

I realized how difficult it is to find a job if you don’t have exactly the type of experience that the market thinks they are looking for.  I believe the hiring process is somehow broken – it has reduced itself into a 2-dimensional narrow undertaking of eliminating red flags until only one candidate is left. Young HR assistants get a task to eliminate 140 candidates from a pile of 150 CVs. Consequently, everyone not fitting a “standard” [mediocre] schema will not have a chance to reach a short list. This type of one-sided approach kills diversity and eliminates innovative out-of-the box thinkers from the pool. There is potential for a revolution and I hope someone will disrupt the industry soon.

One learning or a reminder was how important active networking is(e.g. connecting via LinkedIn, going to professional events, joining associations, toastmasters etc.). My advice for someone looking for a job is first to start networking and refreshing former connections, and only then focus on CV. Btw, while HR assistants are scanning your CV for “red flags”, keep the CV as short as possible (max 2 pages and use keywords). 

Can you share any tips for people who will apply for the program either as a mentor or a mentee? 

As a mentor, one has to be flexible and open to throw out assumptions and biases. The center should be the mentee. What works for someone, may not work for someone else and the mentor needs to be able to change his strategy when needed.

Sorry for the poor quality of the photo. I had hard time finding anything. Like Rex (see his picture) I have superpowers. See the little flag on my helmet? Yes, I speak Finnish. What’s your superpower?

Are you interested in participating in SIVO’s Mentoring Programme for Professionals? Drop us a line at by 20 February, 2019 telling us more about yourself and what you can bring to the table as a mentor or mentee, and we will get in touch.

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