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International Center For Afghan Women's Economic Development Launches Mentorship Program

On November 30, 2015, International Center for Afghan Women's Economic Development (ICAWED) at the American University of Afghanistan launched mentorship program named, Women in Business Management Internship Training program, supported by Chemonics/FAIDA. The event was attended by Dr. Mark A. English, President of the University, Zakia Soleiman, Director of ICAWED, 60 participants of  this Internship program, and ICAWED staff members.

The event began with the welcoming remarks by Dr. English. He highlighted importance of mentorship programs and said it increases job opportunities especially for women.

"This program provides graduates with the opportunity to align and learn about organizational and personal career goals," said Dr. English. "It gives you the ability to advance your professional skills."

Zakia Soleiman congratulated the participants on successfully completing the first phase of the Internship training program. She talked about the second phase of the program which is designed to provide support to those participants who are  looking to enter the workforce to explore entrepreneurship opportunities, and to create their own businesses.

"What makes this program unique is the inclusion of workplace mentoring to support trainees when they work as employee in a company," said Mrs. Soleiman. "It is the combination of real-world experience with professional support provided by industry practitioners that develops employability skills for the trainees."

Mrs. Soleiman formally introduced Ms.  Zen Parry, a  mentor of the program. She told participants that Ms. Parry is an experienced entrepreneur and educator-practitioner, teaching what she has learned from her international business career.

Her corporate appointments include senior management in various companies such as Cartographic Sciences in India , and senior executive roles in management with AAC, Czech Republic. She has also worked with Boards of Directors including Trim Con, Czech Republic.  Her entrepreneurial roles include starting and running businesses, consulting and mentoring services in industry and education appointments.

The event concluded with a speech by Ms. Zen, who highlighted a few important concept to be worked on during  mentorship program. The concepts includes: writing professional resume and cover letter, networking, job search strategies, and Interviewing skills.

As a Mentor and Tutor, Zen will work closely with students who are often the first members of their families pursuing higher education, and supporting their families.