Monika and Matas, who are working at the bank after an internship: “SEB is a great place for people who don’t want to stand in one place”

After the internship, the bank’s employees are Monika and Matas: „SEB is the best place for people who don‘t want to stand still“ 

Have you thought that an internship program could be the beginning of your career in an international company, where would you work with experts in your fields and apply your knowledge to discover the best solutions? The paid „SEB Tech“ and „Youth Laboratories“ have been designed specifically to give students the opportunity to start their careers in the real challenges of an international organization, as well as to take time for personal development and collaboration. For a several years now, as many as two SEB intership programs have invited motivated students to join the organization, many of whom remain specialists in IT, marketing, operations, finance or other fields. Monika Baranauskaitė, a former “SEB Tech” trainee who now works as an IT engineer at SEB Service Center, is one of them and a manager Matas Merfeldas, a former trainee at “Youth Laboratories” who has made an internal career in customer service in SEB Bank. Monika and Matas invites to read and to learn more about their experiences.

How did you decided to candidate to paid internship program in SEB?

Monika: The last semester of my studies was approaching so I started looking for a place to practice. The announcement of “SEB Tech’s“ internship was eye-catching, because were was emphasized uniqueness of the program, when 50 percent practice time is devoted to learning, who is especially important in career beginning. Also liked for that wasn’t required to have work experience which I didn’t have.

Matas: Because I applied in this program in my final years of study, I was looking for organization in which I could see myself after practice. During my studies, I became more and more interested in finance, capital markets, the general economy so I was looking for finance institute which would allow a deeper understanding of these areas. The „Youth Laboratory“ program was also interesting in that, unlike regular internships, it offered not only daily tasks, but also a large amount of time to devote to innovative solutions to real challenges and to work with interns from other countries.

 Has participating in the program has changed your approach to working at a bank?

Monika: Yes. Already during my studies, several of my groupmates and friends worked in various banks, so I knew those stereotypes about working in the bank that everyone there only works with suits and everything is very strict aren‘t true. When I started working, I noticed that my colleagues were very friendly, everyone was trying to help each other, and from very first days I feel that everyone trusts me, listens to my ideas and suggestions, despite the fact that I had absolutely no experience. In addition, I had the chance to contribute to one of the bank’s largest initiatives that year, and my observations and ideas were taken into consideration as early as the first month of my internship.

Matas: At first, I saw the bank as a place where you keep your money and get a home loan. Of course, over the years, that definition kept expanding, and before I started the practice, the bank was for me an organization with a wide variety of processes going on. I knew that each department has a radically different job specific and working at such an institution would be an excellent place in which to gain knowledge. Finally, before candidating I had a pretty good understanding of where I was going. During my internship, I was perhaps only better convinced that working in such an institution could expand my knowledge base very widely, and growth opportunities are simply impossible to count.

What tasks did you have to work with during the program?

Monika: At first, it was the Microsoft 365 team, but with a few colleagues, we focused on Microsoft Teams. The biggest task was to transfer all the bank’s employees to the Teams platform and introduce them to the use of Teams. I had to react to incidents and analyze new functionalities.

Matas: During the „Youth Laboratory“ I worked in operations, in the department of securities and financial markets. The main part of the work was of an administrative nature – monitoring of equity instruments, monitoring and managing those changes in the system (e.g., stock name, stirpe commutationem change), introduction of new shares, bonds, introduction of derivatives into the system, price update of instruments and so on.

What are your greatest achievements during your internship?

Monika: I would probably name one of SEB’s biggest projects I have already mentioned, which I had to contribute to during the first months of my internship. I’m really proud of how successfully we handled it. I‘m also proud of my team and the interconnectedness and command that we have and cherish until now.

Matas: The biggest achievement of the program for me is the opportunities gained during the internship. Halfway through the internship, I realized I would like to continue my journey outside of operations. Because I had a very supportive practice manager who sincerely wanted to help me discover my niche, I had many opportunities to learn about the different departments and the specifics of their work. This is what allowed me to discover an area of the bank where I would like to continue my career and for that I am very grateful and happy with the managers.

What do you like most about working at SEB?

Monika: People and the company trust their employees from the very first days of work.

Matas: Workplace culture and presence in the midst of events. Such a learning culture and the ability to access and ask about anything is highly stimulating to improve and learn. I also think most people are very benevolent – having questions doesn‘t feel uncomfortable talking to department heads because all are great professionals who tend to share their accumulated knowledge and experience. At the end of my internship, I joined the department of business clients and institutions. While working in this department, you sometimes feel like working in a news agency – there are always discussions about Lithuanian and world current issues and how they will respond to our supervised business clients. You also learn about customer transactions earlier than anyone else, and in a few days you see an article in the business news and may say to yourself, „I contributed to this transaction.“ So I feel very involved in what’s going on, and of course I feel quite a lot of responsibility, despite the fact that I started work quite recently.

What advice would you give to those considering joining SEB?

Monika: Don‘t be afraid to candidate for a position you like and don‘t think that the competencies available will not be enough. As in all modern companies, as well as SEB the most important thing is motivation and the desire to improve, so I really suggest that you don‘t doubt yourself.

Matas: I think I could repeat the head of my department words where I did the intership, saying that you will get as much benefit as much as you put in the effort. So I would advise you to be open to all possibilities, to try everything that is offered, and maybe even to actively look what opportunities is in the organization. I only came up in my current position because I was invited to take part in a „Youth Laboratories“ photoshoot dedicating for marketing material. There, I met one of the business client executives. After talking to him during the photoshoot, I asked him to tell me more about this department, these meetings became more frequent until I finally moved on to finish my internship with them, and at the end of it, I got a job offer. I think SEB is a great place for people who don’t want to stand still, as the work culture in the organization provides an opportunity for anyone who wants to improve and achieve their goals.

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