Annika Falkengren

Why did you apply to SEB's Trainee Programme?

My first contact with SEB was as a summer intern at one of our Stockholm branch offices. I liked the work so much that I stayed on for three years! I really enjoyed meeting customers every day and handling their varying needs. And my impressions lasted: having finished university I applied to SEB's trainee program. I wanted to get back to the mindset of long-term relationships, to the business acumen and all the great people in SEB.

Looking back at your year as a trainee, what were the greatest experiences?

A trainee year with SEB is a very special time. You are introduced to a new company, to different roles, and you are exposed to several new situations, but at the same time it is a very structured year with a clear start and end. I was still in the midst of the trainee program when I suggested some major changes to it. I was asked to present them to the CEO and the next year I found myself responsible for the entire trainee program!

What benefits has the trainee year given you in your further career?

As a trainee you come across different parts of the bank and you really learn a lot about how things work in practice. Today - being CEO - I can still raise quite detailed questions about the business, even though I am not part of the daily operations as before. It goes back to knowing the business very well and having worked my way up. You also build up a network of people, with whom you keep in touch over the years and can turn to for an informal discussion, trouble-shooting or knowledge sharing. That is truly a great benefit.