Mentoring Tandem Daniela Krahmer and Tatjana Diebold

“We just never stopped”

TUM student Tatjana Diebold was a bit nervous to meet her mentor for the first time. But there was chemistry between them right from the start. They have been meeting to discuss both professional and private matters for over five years.

Just studying wasn’t enough for Tatjana Diebold. She also worked as a student trainee during her Bachelor’s degree in Technology and Management-oriented Business Administration. She also took part in a number of innovation projects as a scholarship holder. At some point, Tatjana Diebold started to think about she could link together these different strands. She wanted to come up with a coherent plan for her future career. She turned to TUM Mentoring by Alumni.

An expert in personnel consulting

Her mentor was TUM Alumna Daniela Krahmer, who had studied Mathematics with a specialty in Computer Science at TUM. Daniela Krahmer has thirty years of corporate experience in IT and as a self-employed business consultant under her belt. “I was excited and nervous to meet Daniela Krahmer”, Tatjana Diebold says, recalling her feelings about the first meeting. “But the chemistry was just right: we have similar opinions about professionalism and values. We also get along on a personal level, for example, we both like to dance.”

A plan for life

Daniela Krahmer and Tatjana Diebold have been a mentoring duo since 2014, although the program is officially only supposed to go for one year. “We started and just never stopped”, they both say with a smile. The meetings, whether in person or via Skype, took place in a very structured way right from the beginning. “We first made a roadmap. Where are you now? Where do you want to go next? How do you find the right balance between the professional and the private?”, recalls Daniela Krahmer.

The two worked together on documents, fine-tuned social networking profiles, and discussed tricky situations in working life. For Tatjana Diebold, it was the first time that she had formulated certain things in actual words. This was an important experience for her, she says. “Often one has an indefinite feeling. Something is keeping you busy. But you do not know what that is,” she explains. “This is precisely where the conversations with my mentor helped me enormously. But you have to be open to this and allow yourself to trust and to try something new.” Tatjana Diebold says that she and her mentor have created “a protective environment” for themselves, in which they can talk openly, honestly and confidentially. “There are a thousand things that I have talked about beyond technical and methodological issues,” says Tatjana Diebold. “I have learned to interrogate myself.”

It is a blessing to pass things on and it makes us human.

A lot has happened since Daniela Krahmer started mentoring in 2014. She has accompanied her mentee through her Master’s program and is still standing by her side in her first job at an international company in the film and media industry in Munich. Of course, they celebrated Tatjana Diebold’s official graduation together.

Social responsibility

Daniela Krahmer is now a mentor for the sixth time – and it’s still something she puts “all her heart” into, she says. She sees her work as a mentor as a social responsibility. Yet it isn’t necessary to have thirty years of professional experience to be a good mentor, she says. Daniela Krahmer looks over at Tatjana Diebold, a person for whom she has been a constant source of motivation “I encourage you to go that way, too. I would very much like that. It is a blessing to pass things on and it makes us human.”