KY’s Company of the Week – SEB International Trainee Programme


SEB International Trainee Programme – a unique opportunity to start your career in banking


SEB International Trainee Programme is targeted for students that are about to graduate soon or have recently graduated. It has approximately 20 positions across different SEB sites yearly of which 1-2 are in Finland. The programme runs for 9 months and includes the opportunity to work abroad. * As a trainee with us, you receive a permanent employment in a full-time position.


There are two cornerstones in the programme: on-the-job practice and training and collaboration. The trainees belong to a home team from the start where they will get support and inspiration to grow and perform in their job assignments. Together with managers the trainees will plan rotations and visits with other units and departments to get a broad understanding of how to work in a big international organization. Trainees also have the opportunity to plan for an international internship to another SEB office of up to 4 weeks after graduating from the programme.


What comes to training and collaboration, trainees will participate in learning activities that include training in self-leadership, communication, negotiation skills and other future competences. Cross-collaboration is a key competence to develop during the programme. During the trainee period trainees will practice a lot of collaboration, both with the fellow trainees and other colleagues in the bank. Trainees will have self-driven cross-collaborative activities and real business challenges to solve with other trainees. Trainees will also learn and influence our way of working, as well as our culture and values.


In this blog our current International Trainee, Teemu Malkavaara, describes his experience with SEB.


What attracted you to SEB?


I did not know much about SEB before the recruitment process, but I had a positive image of the global—yet Nordic—bank and its Trainee and Internship programs. Strengthened by several friends’ experiences at SEB—through various internships—I was encouraged to apply. As I went through the recruitment process, I realized that SEB is a workplace where I can grow and ensure a rich learning experience that would pave the way towards my career path.


The International Trainee Programme has been a unique opportunity to get acquainted with international aspects of corporate banking. I was aware of SEB’s great presence in the Nordic countries as well as teams and divisions of bright and driven people, but I did not know about SEB’s international presence. This fact really appealed to me since I have always been interested in working in an international environment.


During my four school years and prior to SEB, I worked at Danske Finance (a subsidiary of Danske Bank) within Asset Finance. I was very interested in corporate banking, and my previous experience boosted my desire to pursue a career in the Nordic region’s leading corporate bank. SEB was the most suitable fit for me because it offers a lot of personal growth and professional development as well as a logical continuation of my career.



What was your first impression of SEB as a workplace?


Many great impressions and a very warm welcome. One thing that exceeded my expectations was how much of a people-oriented relationship bank SEB is, both in terms of customers and employees. There is a feeling that the bank really appreciates and invests in its people. The company culture is very inclusive, open and even the top managers sit in the open area with us. The environment is very engaging, and people are always there to answer questions. Sustainability matters are also very much embedded in the company culture.


I have enjoyed exploring the different parts of the organization and meeting all the people. I have also been pleasantly surprised by how I have been embraced by my team and been supported in every way. My team also proactively involves me in practical learning. From day one, I have been involved hands-on in the process from customer meetings and advising to analyzing, documentation, business development, co-creation and product innovation with clients and partners, and structuring the specific solution to client needs.



What do you do in your role?


As a trainee, I work in a Nordic team with one of the most specific and complex banking and financing products. The International Trainee Programme also gives a thorough understanding of SEB as a bank as well as builds an extensive global network of colleagues. I work with diverse tasks to get a good overview of the products, solutions, and risk management within Structured Asset Finance (SAF). SAF offers structured and advanced big-ticket customer finance solutions and advice to our large corporate clients, mostly in Nordics. In this role, I have various contacts with clients and different departments and teams in SEB. I am encouraged and supported to learn and see different parts of SEB, and I have already started individually executing meaningful tasks to benefit the rest of my team, which is represented in Helsinki and Stockholm.



Was there anything that was particularly challenging, and how did you solve it?


In my role, I have a lot of global collaboration, especially with my colleagues in Sweden. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will not travel as much as previously. To be able to cooperate closely with other people, you need to know them as well as trust them. And I think this is a lot easier when meeting in person. This applies internally and—to some extent—also for clients.


However, nowadays, the world is being challenged in many ways, and in this context, SEB’s International Trainee Programme will continue to innovate and adapt. We have agreed to dedicate the year 2020 to remote learning and collaboration, while looking forward to travelling and interact in person in 2021, as soon as the travel restrictions are lifted—fingers crossed.



What advice do you have for others who are thinking about applying for a trainee position at SEB?


If you are soon-to-be-graduated and eager to kick-start your career, I highly recommend applying for a SEB trainee position. Remember to speak up and say what you are interested in. Try to be clear about who you are, but do not limit yourself based on what you think of your future today. The Programme will probably open your eyes to various opportunities that you did not even know existed.



The application period for the International Trainee Programme 2021 will be open later this year. To find out more please visit


*Due to ongoing pandemic the amount of travel and exchanges might be affected. The Trainee programme will follow the bank’s travel policy and restrictions regarding Covid- 19