23 Apr 2019 12:50

Paula about the work abroad: ”An excellent base for your future career”

"Working in the international network provides a unique opportunity to see a microcosmos of SEB, which is an excellent base for your future career", says Paula da Silva, head of Transaction Services. Since the mid-1980s she has had several international assignments in both South America and the United States.

Can you describe your international assignments within SEB?

There have been a few. We are such an international bank with large globally active clients, which gives us a broad and diverse base to develop from. I have worked in the bank for 40 years, yet every day is different!

Mid-eighties I was sent out as a representative from SEB to Banco Continental in Lima. Many of our core customers have business in Peru and at that time they had difficulties in growing due to local restrictions, so SEB helped out by having a client executive at a local bank. It was a great experience for me and a thorough "on the job training" on client relationships and credit work. I was 24, and in my world there were only opportunities. The clients appreciated the commitment we showed and gave us great feedback.

I then had assignments in Brazil and in Mexico, at our representation offices and had an opportunity to grow our emerging markets business. In the late nineties, I was appointed Head of Corporate Banking in New York. Being part of a team that transformed the local branch into a lean and efficient unit (well plugged in to the global organization). This was a good learning experience and gave me the opportunity to get to know other product areas and clients.

What do you think it has given you professionally and in your personal life?

My son, Alexander, was born in New York. This gave us, as parents, the opportunity to share our time at the beginning of his life differently than we might have done at home, in Sweden. His father stayed at home with him for a couple of years. We are all very grateful for this today. Being out in our international network gives a unique opportunity to see a micro-cosmos of SEB. You have access and insight to a palette of business areas as well as other aspects of the business, such as compliance and risk, in a much closer way, which is an excellent base for your future career. Personally, it has given me and my family a fantastic opportunity to get to know new places, other cultural aspects, ways of thinking and working. I feel really fortunate to have experienced this.