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Don’t be someone who you think your future employer wants on paper, dare to be yourself

To be between studies and employment is something many recognize. The requirements to study further at university are high and finding a job as a newly graduated student is hard, especially when you don’t check all the boxes on a job application. But, it’s not impossible and there are many roads to take. Mathilda Julin, SEB’s Product Owner at Digital Workplace is proof of that.  

Tell us about your journey to SEB.

– I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics at Stockholm University in 2019 and contemplated what I would do after that. The plan was first to read a master's, and I applied to several, but the competition was very tough, and I tried to have backup plans. I checked out some trainee programs and internships as well, which is between a job and studies. I discovered SEB’s International Trainee Programme after some research, and I had heard good things both about the programme and about SEB as a workplace and organization.


What did you do as a Trainee?

– During the nine months of the programme I got to do lots of different things. First, you apply for a position, or several positions like I did, which are going to be recruited into the programme - and if you’re lucky you go the whole way. After that, you are partly in your role-specific department which you were recruited into, but the majority of the time you spend with the Trainees that have been recruited into the other roles, participating in the joint activities.


What did you find fun and challenging with the programme?

– The programme is both fun and challenging - it’s a variation of social activities, work-specific challenges and building a social network. It was a lot of self-driven activities – you get to be involved and influence your Trainee-year according to your own wishes, for example through rotations in different departments, which was challenging and exciting. Nothing comes served to you, for you to learn responsibility. The competence-building training was also new and challenging, and you acquire great tools to take with you further into work, regardless of your position. Another fun and challenging thing were that we got to solve real organizational problems, it wasn’t just fabrications, you had to deal with real problems.


What is your role at SEB today, and what can you take with you from your time as a Trainee?

– I’m still at the same department I was recruited into during the Trainee-programme, but the role has reshaped a bit during the two years I have been at SEB. My role is the agile product owner for our internal digital tools, so I really work with change and development within the whole organization, which is exciting and challenging as I have to meet everyone’s different needs. I create a lot of my own work, and I must develop it in the direction and need of the organization. The Trainee-programme has really helped me get an understanding of an overview of SEB, how the organization works, and the structure is built. The competence-building training we got also gave me tools to use today, both in my professional career but also in my personal development.


What advice do you have for someone thinking of applying for a job at SEB?

– I want to start by recommending SEB as a workplace, I am super satisfied. Even though I had not read a master’s I still applied for the programme, which is something I really want to stress to everyone who’s thinking of applying for a job at SEB. It’s not always that you need specific education or experience. I took my degree in Economics but now work with project management. There are so many opportunities to test different roles within the organization. What I mean is that whatever is your passion and interest matters more than the things “on the paper” - don’t be afraid to apply for an education or a job that you think you’re not qualified for. SEB really strives for diversity and finding different talents. Be yourself, show interest and ask stupid questions. Don’t be someone you think your future employer wants “on paper”, dare to be yourself.