Meet Sarah, one of the Interns at SEB’s Summer Internship Programme 2020

Sarah Fleischer

Sarah Fleischer recently joined SEB as an intern and student worker in the Client Account Management team, working with credit risk management for the UK large corporates.

She took the time to share her thoughts on her experience thus far and why she joined SEB.

First of all, how has the Summer Internship experience been so far?

“Lots of great impressions and really welcoming people right away. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all the other interns. We have a group chat, and we’ve been getting together for lunches and the weekly after work. I’m happy about how everyone has come together in a short period of time. Part of that was a great intro week, which was well organised and provided chances to interact with each other as well as a great overview of the company and its business areas.

I have also been pleasantly surprised by how I have been embraced by my team and been supported to pursue all the same tasks as a full-time employee. We are encouraged and supported to learn and see different sides of the bank, and I’ve already started to individually execute meaningful work to benefit the rest of my team.”

What made you decide on SEB’s Summer Internship?

“Well I have some experience with SEB as a customer as well as with employees at fairs and events at the Stockholm School of Economics, where I currently study, all of which have been really positive. So, I felt that if I was going to work in banking, SEB would be a very attractive place to do so. Strengthened by several friends’ experiences at SEB, both full-time and through various internships, I was encouraged to apply.  

I was aware of SEB’s presence in the Nordic’s, but I did not know it was also quite an international bank, which really appealed to me. The international spirit is so embedded in my upbringing, and that has made me look for places in which I can continue to find it. SEB seems like a place where I can grow and potentially continue my international path.”

What were your first impressions when you joined? Did anything surprise you?

“Before I joined, I had the impression that SEB was focused on important topics like sustainability and innovation but seeing it from the inside opened my eyes. I wanted to work for a bank that does good and addresses bigger issues in the world. In my work, I look carefully at environmental and governmental risks when evaluating companies’ financial profiles. It’s very much embedded in the company culture.

Another aspect that exceeded my expectations was how much of a people-oriented bank SEB is, both in terms of employees and clients. The culture is very open as a result. Some of the top managers sit in the open plan with us, and I can engage with them. My mentor is also amazing. She spends a lot of time with me and is always there to answer any questions. My colleagues also proactively involved me in a practical learning There’s a feeling that SEB really invests in its people, so you see a lot of progression and longevity within the organization.” 

I understand you had an earlier ambition to be a doctor in London. How did you end up picking a career in finance?

“Well I am a problem-solver, and a very stubborn one at that. As a doctor, there are cases where you must accept that there is nothing more you can do and that is not for me. I had some experience in consulting and project management between high school and university and was inspired by the problem-solver mindset in Business and Economics. I decided to go on studying the subject at the Stockholm School of Economics and have so far learnt that there are lots of set-backs, but always solutions to those too - with the right tools, of course. Working with people and numbers, and in teams of bright and driven people, I figured that there would never be a completely non-solvable situation.”

And what’s next for you? What’s the dream going forward?

“I don’t know exactly, and that’s exciting for me. I love finance, problem solving and business strategy – analyzing, learning new things, coming up with the best solutions and implementing them. I think I could do that in almost any role and there are a lot of different places within SEB where I could see myself. I am very curious to learn new skills, meet new people, try new things, and ultimately see where that takes me."