The Way to Corporate Finance
Alumna Lisa Reenbom studied business and economics with a focus on Finance at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. Today she works as Corporate Finance Associate at SEB and helps companies with acquisitions and raising of capital. Read about Lisa's memorable study time and how she found her dream job.
On a normal workday, Lisa arrives at SEB's head office in central Stockholm at nine o'clock. She starts by reading emails and then gets acquainted with today's tasks. Working with Corporate Finance at one of Sweden's largest banks involves many different types of projects and varying tasks.
- No days are alike. Some days can be spent building a model in Excel or producing important documentation and texts, such as press releases. Other days I focus more on project coordination and have internal or external meetings. In my role, I work with companies in different industries and with different types of transactions, such as acquisitions or IPOs. It was this wide spectrum of tasks and variety that attracted me to work with Corporate Finance, you learn something new almost every day.
During the almost three years that Lisa has been employed at SEB, she has been involved in several impressive projects. She was present when the American company Nasdaq placed a bid for Cinnober, when AMF Pension bought Bergvik Skog Öst and at Kinnevik's distribution of Zalando. Lisa thinks that the best thing about her job is the variety of projects and the team-focused work. In her workplace, you grow together with all your talented colleagues.
Even if the industry sometimes can be seen as a little more demanding than others, she thinks that SEB values a good balance between work and private life. She thinks that the professional role offers a good learning curve with good opportunities for development.
The Road to Work in Corporate Finance
The path to the profession has been a result of self-drive and curiosity during her study period. Lisa says that she has always liked mathematics as well as an interest in societal issues. When she had to decide which programme to study, it was her interests that made her first apply for the School's Bachelor's programme with a focus on finance, and later the Master's programme in Finance.
- I chose between studying Economics or Industrial Economics. They are a bit similar, but I still thought economics was more fun. I also thought I would get more out of the bachelor's and master's programmes at this school. A common thread through my choices is that I have always chosen according to what I think is fun. So far it has worked well!
Lisa became especially interested in finance during the first finance course during her bachelor's program. When it was time to choose elective courses, she made the decision to delve into the subject. Looking back at her studies, she mainly remembers the senior lecturer Evert Carlsson's courses in finance and how they put theories and studies in perspective.
- Evert is a good inspirer and educator. His way of applying theories and sharing his impressive work experience gave good inspiration for what you can do after your studies.
The Importance of Gaining Experience
Early in her education, Lisa realised the benefits of gathering relevant work experience during her studies. She soon became involved in the Student Union's companies Handels Consulting and Handels Capital Management, worked extra at bank branches, did internships in Corporate Finance, and went on two exchange semesters. The commitment is something that made her time as a student fun, but at the same time, it also generated useful experiences.
During the final year of the Bachelor's program, she went on an exchange to Mannheim University in Germany to immerse herself in various finance and business economics courses, and during the second year of the Master's program, she went to the top-ranked EDHEC Business School in Nice, France, to study their master's program in corporate finance. She describes going on her exchange semesters as one of the best decisions she has ever made and is impressed with how easy and smooth it was to go on an exchange.
- It was really nice to study abroad. You got other perspectives on the subjects and got to know a different culture. For example, they had a very clear working life perspective with top-class lecturers from the business world, such as Equity research analysts from JP Morgan in London and credit analysts from the bank Société Générale.
During her studies, Lisa also thought about starting to build her CV and gather relevant work experience. An obvious choice was to get involved in two of the Student Union's companies, Handels Consulting and Handels Capital Management. Getting involved in these companies has given her valuable work experience and was also a good way to build her network.
- At Handels Consulting, I got to try what it was like to be a consultant and run projects together with ambitious student colleagues. Handels Capital Management was one step closer to a finance job, where I did equity research and pitched companies to the portfolio. I was also part of the management in general. The involvement in the Union's company during my studies helped me get an internship that led to the job I have today.
If you have a master's degree with a major in finance, you will not be disappointed.
Education Opens Many Doors
At the same time as working on her master's thesis, Lisa did her internship in Corporate Finance at SEB, and on the same that day she graduated, she got a job offer. Now she has worked as an analyst for three years at SEB and was recently promoted to Associate, which means a new role with more project responsibility. Having studied at the School has opened many doors for Lisa, both during and after graduation.
- If you have a master’s degree with a major in finance, you will probably not be disappointed. Reading these two programmes is a good choice, both if you are completely sure about your decision or if you are not so sure but a little interested. There are good opportunities to make it your thing through elective courses, exchange semesters, and extra work during the study period.