Tallinn University of Technology

An interview with Kristjan Jasinski, a mentor of the TalTech MBA programme "Entrepreneurial Management", and head of Customer Experience at Confido Medical Centre.

Kristjan Jasinski

The idea to interview you was initiated by the fact that over the years, the participants in the MBA programme have not only praised the quality of our studies but particularly your work as their mentor. For example one of the participants Kristi Säälik told me that you have helped her understand what she wanted to achieve in her career. Oddly enough, it is difficult to figure out by oneself. She explained that a mentor’s support and guidance were one of the most rewarding elements of the programme, which bound everything together. Kristi revealed that her MBA studies enabled her to make such a leap in development similar to a child learning to walk.

Allen Illimar Putnik shared that your support as a mentor advances the student's development by ten years - the result will just come much faster than moving towards your goals alone. The same idea, albeit a year later, was confirmed by Rebecca Andreas, who told me that MBA studies were transformative: those who had graduated from the programme were not the same people who had joined the MBA programme - in the best possible meaning. For years, participants in the programme have talked about mentoring with gratitude and excitement how it has given them a lot of motivation and courage to take a fresh look at their careers and entire lives and that you have always been there for them.

What exactly do you do? How is mentoring implemented in the MBA programme?

Within the semester, each student must read a book on management and reflect on their findings in terms of how to apply the acquired knowledge in the future. Each participant in the study programme will draw up a personal development plan, the format of which is freely chosen. The main point is that the person is open to change. We have both one-to-one and group sessions. There are 5-6 group sessions over three semesters and as many individual sessions as needed. The first meeting is prepared by me, and the rest by the mentees. The participant in the programme will provide the framework, and I will adapt to it. I am just holding up a mirror, and the mentee is the one who will act.

I help the participants to become more aware of their strengths and behavioural characteristics and to draw up a plan for where they want to reach. I support students in self-analysis, goal setting, time planning and expanding the cooperation network. We think about how to move towards our goal step by step. A lot depends on how willing people are to deal with themselves. Highly analytical people may experience more difficulties in this process than more emotional people who enjoy it. To inspire, I share my personal experience.

How does the mentee benefit from mentoring? What are the merits and purposes of mentoring?

Mentoring is a process that aims to find out where a person is, where (s)he wants to go, and how to get there. Conceptually, it is like orienteering, where the goal is to go through the control points in the specified order to reach the finish line. However, to complete that task, you must first locate yourself on the “map”. To understand where the student is on the "map", we first take the DISC personality test, and our further steps are based on the analysis of the test results.

I see in my work how stressed people do not enjoy what they are doing. When a student moves towards his/her dreams, I sense a small victory. Several mentees have found the courage to start their own company or make a long-planned career change.

How should a manager develop him/herself personally to manage their team and the company more effectively?

Self-awareness and self-development must always be a leader's focus. No leader is ready for everything or everyone. Leaders must be aware of their strengths and weaknesses. I have always said that looking at numbers does not change numbers. Results come from working on yourself and with your employees.

MBA programme

  • specially designed for the Baltic States and Nordic countries
  • personal mentor for each participant
  • investment in the future – higher management competencies bring a higher income 
  • flexible study arrangement - one three-day classroom study session per month, complemented by online sessions
  • can be completed within 1.5 years
  • provides a good balance between theory and practice
  • international and interdisciplinary group
  • tuition fee is 3,000 per semester (1-3 semesters, and €1,650 for the 4th semester)

TalTech MBA programme has been designed to develop the management competencies of professionals or middle managers to speed up their journey to senior management. People with higher education in economics, engineering, information technology or natural sciences and at least three years of experience as middle managers or specialists are invited to join the programme.

The application deadline for the Entrepreneurial Management MBA programme is 1 June 2023 for citizens of the EU and 1 August 2023 for Latvian, Lithuanian and Finnish citizens.

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