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Company of the Week: SEB – From Local Internship Programme to International Trainee Programme

We are currently looking for interns to take part in our Local Internship Programme 2020 so for this post we asked Lauri Stark, former Local Intern and current International Trainee to share his experiences at SEB. The application period for the Local Internship Programme is open until 8th October. Read more and apply here: www.seb.fi/rekrytointi

 

Who are you and what have you studied?

My name is Lauri Stark and I am currently working as a Quantitative Analyst Trainee at SEB Markets in Helsinki. I have a background in finance and mathematics, and I am currently finishing up my master’s thesis in finance at Aalto University School of Business. I am also pursuing a master’s degree in mathematics at Aalto University School of Science.

Where did you hear about SEB and Local Internship Programme?

In the autumn of the fourth year of my university studies, a fellow student of mine recommended the programme to me. He had participated in the programme the year before and felt that it had been a great experience for him, and he actually works at SEB currently. I thought that this would be a unique opportunity for me to get a hands-on introduction to the financial markets.

What made you to apply to SEB?

Before applying to the programme, I had very little knowledge about SEB in general. After hearing good things about the programme from my friend, I checked out some information about the company and found out that SEB seems like a modern, innovative company with a great working culture.

What kind of tasks did you work with during your internship?

The length of the internship was a bit over four months and took place between August and December. Despite the rather short time period, I felt that I was able to contribute quite a lot to the operations of the Markets department. My main tasks included developing quantitative tools and performing research to support the foreign exchange and rates sales personnel in their work. A very cool thing was that during the last weeks of my internship, I actually got to participate in a client meeting and present my analysis there. It was very rewarding to see that something that I had done was used in a real-life case.

What was the most useful takeaway from the Internship Programme?

I got first-hand experience with different products in several asset classes which helped me to get a grasp of the big picture of the financial markets. I also learned that in addition to technical skills, it is really important to focus on communication and collaboration. The financial markets form such a complex system that different perspectives are required to tackle the tasks at hand.

You applied to International Trainee Programme after the Internship and are now working as a Trainee in Markets department. What are your first impressions of the programme?

At the time of writing this, I am in Stockholm participating in the first training week of the International Trainee Programme. The participants of the programme consist of 20 people with varying backgrounds from Sweden, Germany and Finland who are working at different departments around the bank.

The training week has been rather intense, but during these days I have met a lot of great, talented people and made new friends in an international environment. I find that getting to know to people around the bank is really beneficial as it helps one to form a picture of how the bank works as a whole.

What are your expectations towards the trainee year?

I expect that the trainee year will be quite intense but rewarding. The training weeks contain a lot of teamwork exercises, and I am quite excited about getting more hands-on knowledge about the financial markets in my home department and combining this with the soft skills that are practiced during the training weeks.

How do you see SEB as an employer?

Based on my personal experience, I find that SEB really values its employees.

The working culture is very open, and people are encouraged to bring out new ideas. Also, SEB constantly offers possibilities for professional development. For example, during the Local Internship Programme I participated in a hackathon arranged by the bank which was a great experience.

The atmosphere at the office is really nice and there are also a lot of activities outside work. For example, twice a week there is a sport practice such as uphill running in the park which you can participate. My boss is the coach there, so probably I should not skip it…