Oscar is a trainee at SEB
Oscar Söderlund studied the Master's programme Knowledge-Based Entrepreneurship (KBE) and last autumn he was accepted into SEB's trainee programme. A good and developing start to his career.
What made you study the KBE programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law?
“I have always thought it was fun with problem-solving, company development, efficiency, and optimisation. I have previously had my own company alongside my studies. KBE felt like a perfect next step in my career to learn more. I looked through the courses in the programme and thought they seemed perfect for me.”
Can you tell us a little about the trainee position at SEB?
“Half of the time consists of work, and the other half of schooling within SEB. The layout provides an incredible opportunity to get a good overview of the different parts of this large and versatile company. You learn a lot. I spend time with my home-team, where I work with business transformation and development and get my own projects that I have responsibility for. I am also involved in projects run by senior management. The schooling part of the trainee programme consists partly of scheduled competence development, case assignments and collaborative exercises. We also get to visit the bank's various divisions, which means that you get a good overall picture and that you learn an incredible amount. You can also plan your time together with your boss, which gives you a chance to find out what you are the most interested in. You are also assigned a mentor who is a former trainee, which enables a good exchange of information and a sense of security when you are new to the job.”
What does a normal day look like for you at SEB?
“I arrive at the office at half-past seven, after a morning workout. But no days are the same. You are in charge of your schedule, and it is very much up to you to finish the work tasks, even if you always have the opportunity for support when needed. I plan my time and identify which people I need to meet, and, for example, which analyses need to be done. In the mornings there are a lot of meetings and planning. The afternoons are more about summarising - what's the next step?”
What do you think is most fun about your job?
“I am involved in most things and get a lot of responsibility even though I am completely new. Although I have less banking and finance-related experience than my senior colleagues, it is appreciated that you bring in a new perspective and that you question things.”
You have just been to London as part of the trainee service and have a trip to Luxembourg planned?
“The trainee programme is international and SEB is a global company so there are good opportunities to go to SEB's international offices around the world. You get a budget that you are responsible for, where you get to motivate why you want to go to a specific place. SEB encourages you to rotate and try different parts of the company, which I think is a sign of a good organisational culture. You really feel welcome when you come to a new department as a trainee.”
What happens after the trainee year?
“After finishing your trainee year, your position automatically changes to a full-time employment. I am really looking forward to starting my career for real here at SEB. And the fact that I am able to do so is due to the trainee programme.”
How have your studies at the School of Business, Economics and Law prepared you for the tasks you are working on now?
“The knowledge from the Master’s programme Knowledge-Based Entrepreneurship has helped a lot. I learned to ask questions such as: What does the business plan look like? What problem are we solving? How do we reach out? What profitability can the product or service achieve? I have learned to do a proper screening and to dare to question and ask why you do something in a certain way. And that it should be backed up by data and verified hypotheses. It is important to understand what we want to achieve before diving down to the level of detail. The KBE programme has laid a good foundation for this process.”
“My master's program at the School has given me a good and nuanced perspective on entrepreneurship and that you can be an entrepreneur within a large global company. At KBE, we focused on certain soft values, which may seem insignificant in the short term, but which in the long term can have a major impact. We learned to build business models with a long-term perspective, which has proved to be very useful for my current role.”
What tips do you have for students who are about to choose what to study?
"Think about what you think is fun. Check out the programme and its courses to see what you will learn and what the education leads to. Choose something that you feel passionate about. You will probably be in the office at least 8 hours a day, so you want to thrive and feel inspired by what you do.”