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Trainee programme provided fine introduction to working life

Sara Eriksson

"The trainee programme was a fine introduction to working life. It provided a holistic view of how everything works in a company, how things hang together and where I fit into the jigsaw,” says Sara Eriksson, CX Lead – SEB Mobile Apps.

Sara Eriksson took part in SEB’s international trainee programme between September 2020 and June 2021. Even though the corona pandemic had an impact on the programme, she found it rewarding and educational.

What made you apply to SEB’s programme?

“I studied media technology at Södertörn University. There I learned a lot about my profession, about working methods and technology but on the other hand not that much about business life or how a company functions. I therefore thought it would be good to attend a trainee programme in order to obtain a broader view of these aspects.

“I had also heard a lot of good things about the programme and about SEB as an employer from friends who work here. That was the main reason I applied to SEB in particular.”

How did the programme work?

“I was given the opportunity to see many parts of the bank, build up my network and be introduced to key people. What I found most exciting was the considerable opportunities we had to influence our own trainee time, to run our own projects, be part of a hackathon and work with real business challenges. This was valuable and fulfilling.

“It’s fairly obvious when you study that personal development is included. In my opinion this gets a bit forgotten when you start working life. The trainee period was a way to continue to develop our personal skills.”

Did anything surprise you?

“Yes, that I was given so much responsibility so early. I also believe that I had some prejudices about how things are at a big bank. I was surprised that there was such a family atmosphere and such an open-minded attitude, that you could get in touch with different people and always be well received. I thought it would be more strict, controlled and rigid that it actually was.”

What is your advice to others thinking about applying for a trainee position?

“A trainee position is somewhat different from a regular job. To get as much as possible out of it I believe you need to be prepared to get involved, run projects, build your network and be sociable.

“So I would encourage anyone who applies to be clear about the fact that you have a passion in addition to your studies and previous experience. It’s good to show this at an early stage. It is highly possible that you will get an opportunity to increase this interest and make more of it.

“Don’t get too hung up about what you have studied or worked with previously, but also highlight your personal qualities. This can be highly significant for how you fit into a trainee role. Personally, I do not think that it was my education per se that got me accepted but also my personal qualities which fitted the programme.”