The importance of mentorship
Khawla, age 36, is a Syrian woman who arrived in Denmark in 2014. Just like many other new Danes, she found it difficult to transfer her own previous experiences from the Syrian educational system and job market to a Danish context. In Syria, Khawla completed a law degree corresponding to a bachelor’s degree in Danish standards. However, when arriving in Denmark, Khawla quickly started up vocational training to become a social health worker. Khawla became enrolled in a mentorship program where she was matched with a mentor, Tove. According to Khawla, this mentor became imperative for her future path, as she helped Khawla with navigating in the system. Khawla realised that she had a great interest in mathematics, and that she dreamed of educating herself and finding employment within a field dealing more with this. Her mentor helped her research different industries in Denmark, and they found that an engineering education would be suitable for Khawla whilst being an industry with an extreme shortage of labour force. Khawla is now doing a preparatory course, and she expects to be admitted to an engineering school soon. In this way, her mentorship program has indeed boosted her access to employment.