Mikhail Kakuzin together with Simon Helmér, CEO at The Chamber of Commerce of East Sweden.

Brilliant Mentors of the Future

“Don’t be scared of the word mentorship!”, that’s the message from Mikhail and Simon, participants in Linköping Science Park’s reversed mentorship program. Continue reading to discover how this program can serve as a valuable tool for promoting talent attraction and gaining insights into diverse cultures.

We get to meet Simon and Mikhail at the Final Meet of the reversed mentorship program, at Link Business Center in Linköping at the end of May. This event marks the program’s conclusion, bringing together all the mentor pairs for a final gathering. Throughout the program, mentor pairs have had the opportunity to connect and learn from one another.

Mikhail Kakuzin is in his first year in the Master’s Programme of International and European Relations. As an international student, he saw it as a chance to delve into Swedish culture while sharing his experiences as someone from a different country. Mikhail has previous experience working at foreign embassies: Namibia, Thailand, and India. 

Mikhail was paired with Simon Helmér, CEO of The Chamber of Commerce of East Sweden. Recognizing the significance of talent attraction for both companies and Sweden, Simon firmly believes that individuals should seize the opportunity to participate in exchange programs like this without hesitation.

“A broader network enhances opportunities for talented individuals to establish roots and remain in Sweden,” says Simon.

Cultural exchange

The primary focus of their exchange centers around culture, with Mikhail having only been in Sweden for a few months but rapidly adopting the Swedish language. Reflecting on this, Simon shares, 

“It demonstrates that nothing is impossible, and hard work pays off.”

Mikhail expresses a keen interest in management and expresses gratitude for the opportunity to work with Simon. Exploring senior management roles in Sweden and the importance of equal communication, Mikhail appreciates the warm welcome received, emphasizing the contrast to working with ambassadors in hierarchical structures. Adding a touch of humor, Simon remarks, 

“And I even got to brush up on my English.”

Advice to future participants

“Don’t plan so much what you will do. Take it from the first meeting and see where it goes,” Simon says. 

“Don’t be afraid of applying. It can feel a bit intimidating because of the name Mentorship and that you are mentoring someone more experienced than you. Focus instead on exchanging perspectives. Have fun and enjoy the process. This is a unique opportunity that not many get,” Mikhail ends.


The next start for the upcoming program is set to start in fall 2023. Keep your eyes open for application dates and further information at Linköping Science Park’s website and social media channels. We constantly seek interested students and companies from different backgrounds and industries.

Application for this year’s reversed mentorship program is now open. Read more & apply here