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Here, you have the opportunity to be curious and change direction

Manne Fagerlind

Technical Lead Manne Fagerlind may not have the typical background for someone working in IT. At university, he studied language and social science subjects, eventually becoming a doctoral student in linguistics. However, after a few years in academia, he decided to change direction and reignite his previous interest in programming. 

– I dabbled in programming a bit during my teenage years, but I haven’t formally studied IT at university and am self-taught. I like challenges and find it very satisfying to delve into difficult problems and build something from the ground up. It’s something I take a childish delight in and one of the things that attracted me to the IT industry. 

– I started my IT career as a consultant and worked with that for quite a while. Although consulting was very exciting, I prefer working more long-term and later ended up at a product company. There, I worked as a developer, manager and as a System Architect. However, my interest in big data and machine learning began to grow, and I really wanted to learn more about it. That’s when I heard that SEB was looking for a Data Engineer to join the Big Data Platform, which sounded like an exciting opportunity. Today, I’ve been at the bank for over five years and have internally switched roles to become Technical Lead within Machine Learning Operations. 

An exploratory role

– My team's mission is to help tech teams in the bank with machine learning and AI. As Technical Lead, I also have a responsibility to research and explore how the bank can work with these areas in the future – something I really enjoy about my role. At SEB, there are many opportunities to work experimentally as we are all encouraged to deepen our knowledge. For example, we have dedicated time to trying new ideas and techniques, which is very interesting because so much is happening in machine learning and AI right now. 

The driving force behind the career 

– When it comes to work, I have two major priorities. The first is that I want to do something that has a positive impact and makes the world a little better. I wouldn’t work at SEB if I didn’t think it was a good company that, for example, also works a lot with sustainability. Secondly, I want to continue my education and be able to evolve. Most people work 40 hours a week, sometimes more, and I’m not ready to sacrifice that time by doing something I don’t find stimulating or enjoyable enough. That has been my driving force, and over the years it has only become more important. It’s never too late to reconsider one's work situation, because when you reflect on what you really want, it makes life much richer. 

Where do you see your career in the coming years? 

– In the long run, I would like to work with both machine learning and data engineering and continue to combine my interest in IT and research. But regardless, I’ll probably always be on the move somewhere. And the great thing about SEB is that there are many different things you can work with – you have the opportunity to be curious and change direction without having to change employer.