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You gain an entirely new context through the Trainee Programme

After a master’s degree in International Strategic Management from Lund University, Jacob Lindgren chose to apply for SEB’s International Trainee Programme. Through the programme, he joined SEB’s Customer Intelligence team within Strategy & Offering, who are responsible for customer strategies and value propositions toward corporate and private customers. Today, one year later, Jacob works as a Strategy Manager and shares his experiences from the Trainee Programme!

How did you end up at SEB? 

– During my studies in Lund, I was quite active in a student association and had the opportunity to meet various companies. About a year into my bachelor’s program, I attended a student event where SEB participated, and it definitely changed my perspective on the bank. That’s really when my interest in both the bank but also the Trainee Programme was piqued. SEB is a very large organisation, which not only felt exciting but also secure when you’re at the very beginning of your career. So, after completing my master's degree, I decided to apply for the programme, thinking it would be a fun and educational introduction, which it definitely has been.

Tell us more about what you did during your trainee year!

– Since I work in Strategy & Offering, which is quite broad, there were plenty of opportunities to work on various things during the programme. I participated in larger projects, worked with different clients and parts of the bank, and also did rotations. That way, I was not only able to build a network but also gain a much better understanding of everything happening within the bank. I believe this is crucial when you’re new, not only to gain a better understanding of your own interests but also to continue being challenged and remain humble in your role. So, it has been a diverse experience and I’ve learned from all different directions. 

What do you think was the part of the Trainee Programme? 

– There are many advantages to the Trainee Programme. One, of course, is that it’s very educational. Working at a bank will always be relevant because it has such a central societal function. It’s very developmental, and you keep learning just by being at SEB. But overall, the Trainee Programme is a lot of fun. Not only do you get to travel to different places and meet new people, but you also make some of your best friends. I have several colleagues who have taken part in the Programme, and even though it was 15 years ago for some of them, it’s still something they look back on with joy. I think this is due to how close you get to other trainees and the fact that you gain an entirely new context. That’s really the best thing about the programme!

What are you looking forward to in your coming time at the bank? 

– After the Trainee Programme, the job naturally looks a bit different. You get more responsibilities, and there are higher expectations. Although it can sometimes be overwhelming, it’s also stimulating because you continue to learn and be challenged. At the same time, you feel even more valuable and can contribute in a new way, which is something that definitely drives me. Right now, I’m looking forward to really settling into my role!

Do you have any tips for future trainees? 

– For many, the trainee programme is their first job after graduation, and you often have a lot on your mind at that point – you may not feel entirely comfortable at the beginning or feel pressure to perform. There’s a certain threshold for everyone, but here you’re met with a very open culture, which not everyone expects from the finance industry. Even when you’re the youngest and newest in the room, you always feel encouraged to take the stage and share your thoughts. Everyone knows it can be a bit challenging at first, so don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t forget to enjoy it as much as possible. Make the most of your time because it’s a lot of fun and something you will look back on and miss.