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Dare to apply for a position abroad. It is an incredibly rewarding experience

Lisa Silver, Head of IT in SEB office in New York
Lisa Silver, Head of IT in SEB office in New York

From an office with 5,000 people, to one with 45 people. From Stockholm to New York. From the Trainee Programme to Head of It. Lisa Silver talks about life in the office in "The Big Apple". 

Lisa Silver had never been to New York before moving there for a whole new role. After her bachelor's degree in 2018, Lisa was accepted to SEB's Trainee Programme as Project Manager within IT. 

When the program ended, she continued to work in the position of IT Project Manager and ran projects that included our international sites. When the opportunity came to apply for the role of Head of IT in New York, she was encouraged by colleagues to apply. 

The application process went so well that Lisa got the role, and in January of 2022 she packed her bags and traveled across the Atlantic. 

What is the biggest difference between working in Solna and in New York? 

“The biggest difference is going from Arenastaden with 5,000 employees to an office with 45 people. Here everyone knows each other, unlike in Solna where I constantly met new people. You have to build relationships in a different way, and each person brings a visible value. It is really an interesting environment to work in. At the same time, I had incredible access to people in Arenastaden, and a short distance to get in touch. 

What does a normal day look like? 

“There is a lot of variation, which I appreciate. This is my first managerial role, which is a big change, and I learn new things every day. There is a lot to learn about the business side, what they do and what kind of support it requires. You also have to take a lot of consideration to the regulatory, the US has other rules in many ways and both on the IT and business side we have to find ways to work with it. 

Otherwise, life is quite similar as at home in Sweden, strange as it sounds. I do CrossFit a lot, and I like everything that has to do with food and drinks. The only time it really feels different is when people come and visit, and you do “touristy things” together. 

Where are you in 5 years? 

“My contract is time limited, so then I'll be back at home. I would like to continue working with and supporting our international sites. That is why it is so rewarding to have the experience of working internationally.” 

Lisa describes how SEB is such a large company and that the possibilities are endless 

“At first I did not intend to apply for the role of Head of IT, but then I thought ‘why not?’. More people should dare to apply for roles abroad. It is an incredibly rewarding experience, both on a professional and on a personal level, to dare to expose yourself to new environments. But do not forget that Sweden has the best sweets, so pack a few bags of your favourites before you go.”