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The learning process is equally as important as the end result

Alexander Wahlgren

As Client Service Manager, Alexander Wahlgren daily gets to meet customers and help them with everything from the day-to-day operations to bigger projects. His work largely covers both internal and external dialogue, networking and running projects. A lot of what he does in his role today, he acquired from the Trainee Programme. He tells us more about that time, and what he has learned. 

What did you do as a Trainee? 

– A lot of the time was about getting to know everyone in the Trainee-group and network. You get to learn about the collaboration between the Business and Tech departments - how important it is to understand both languages. There were many interesting projects where you were introduced to the whole bank. We had various business challenges and data-driven projects which meant that we were presented with real projects that SEB is working on, where we were involved in developing proposals for solutions to take further within the organisation. During five free Fridays, we also had “Gig-days” where we were asked to do any task we wanted to, as long as it created value for you and SEB. It was a rewarding way to use our toolbox and be creative. In that way, I also learned how important the learning process is, and not just the end result. 

What did you think about the programme? 

– It was very good right from the start, with a focus on both your own values, who you are and where you want to go, but also team building which creates a foundation for how you approached projects further on. The cooperation between the Tech department has also been of significant value for me personally. We run many different projects and ideas from the business side where we meet the customers’ needs, and then we have a dialogue with Tech to drive things forward.  

What do you do today, after the Trainee year? 

– Today I am a Client Service Manager at Investor Services, which is a part of Large Corporations & Financial Institutions (LCFI). I am responsible for customer portfolios and help customers both daily, but also with longer projects. For example, if a customer implements a new fund, I help with the setup so that they can enter different markets.  

What is the most fun part about your role? 

- There are a lot of customer meetings, and that's really what I'm passionate about. It's the most fun about waking up in the morning, knowing that I will talk to both internal parties to streamline and find ways forward, but also the external customer dialogue to show what we can offer and do better for them. It’s also rewarding to see all the commitment and to collaborate with other parts of the bank, such as the Tech department, for a larger overall picture. 

What do you bring with you in your role today, from your time as a Trainee? 

- Above all, networking is a must in a large organization, both internally and externally, and that was really something I brought with me from the Trainee program. I also bring with me presentation techniques that we worked a lot with - how important it is with the right words, storytelling and capturing interest, especially in customer meetings. Above all, I learned that with internal projects, you first start, you re-do it and then try something new, it doesn’t have to be 100% right the first time. Fail fast, move on, and try again. However, with customers, it’s important that it’s right from the start.  

What advice do you have for those who are considering applying for the Trainee program? 

- Itis a number of different roles in the Trainee programme. Read about the roles or find someone who works in the role that interests you and ask questions. Dare to apply! You don’t need a pure financial background to start working in a bank, the width of the organisation means that development progresses and we have teams that complement each other. It’s important to keep in mind that you need to be very curious and dare to express what you want to do and who you want to meet. It’s up to you how to build your program!