FFP #2: Life in Middle Office – what it takes, and why FFP is a career booster!

This week, three FFP interns tell about their lives in Middle Office, and let us in on their work, unique opportunities, skills and passions ...

By Louis, Matleena and Niklas

Hi, the three of us FFPs, (Future Finance Professional) Matleena, Niklas and Louis, are working in the middle office, more precisely in Financial Reporting & Control (FRC). In this blog, we will tell you about our lives as interns here and life in general in FRC, which is responsible for mitigating and controlling various risks and producing internal and external reports.

From left: Matleena, Niklas and Louis at their desks in the crowded(!) middle office in July!

The typical employee in the middle office comes with an education and knowledge in the fields of business and technology. All of us here have something in common; we have a passion for finance and an IT-oriented mindset, which is much needed in today’s digitalised world of banking – and as such also reflected in our backgrounds:

Louis Helminen (age 27)

I have studied Strategic Finance and Business Analytics in Lappeenranta University of Technology for 5 years and I’m now in the process of finishing my master’s thesis. In the FFP programme I’m part of the Credit risk control team which is responsible for reporting the counter party credit risk, meaning the risk when counter parties fail to fulfill their financial commitments to Nordea.

The general areas that the team covers are reporting, data quality checks, agreement processing, product approvals and projects. For me, the daily work consists mostly of investigating the causes for limit breaches and resolving them. This requires communication and cooperation with many different stakeholders across the bank. I also manage agreements and limits among various other tasks like developing work processes and tools. The most useful skills in this position, according to my experience, have been general knowledge in the market infrastructure and having the courage to take action.

Matleena Tyni (age 21)

I finished my bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management with a minor in Software Engineering last spring, and am starting my master’s studies at Aalto University majoring in strategy next fall. I am currently working as an assistant controller in a team called Finance Development. This team is among others producing internal and external reports as well as automating these reporting processes.

I have worked on month-end process and also programming tasks such as improving and fixing issues and handling data requests day to day. This job requires technical skills and understanding since there are lots of different IT systems used every day, like SQL and Python. I find my work very rewarding and interesting here because it is possible to combine business and technical expertise.

Niklas Piispanen (age 27)

Having expertise both in finance and technology, I think that I have a typical background for middle office. I’m holding an M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration specialized in Accounting & Finance from Turku School of Economics. I’m also a Master of Technology student in Tampere University majoring in Information and Knowledge Management and seize to graduate next year.

I find my work in Risk Tools & Analytics (RTA) rewarding and challenging and get to use a wide range of technologies on a weekly basis such as ETL tools, SQL, Python and BI solutions. Daily tasks of RTA revolve around explaining risk drivers, automating workflows, creating and modifying BI dashboards and serving as an analytics task force with the competence of solving various ad-hoc data requests and analysis.

Unique opportunities to advance

Enjoying a coffee break at the cosy office/café premises at Nordea HQ in Helsinki.

After three months, we believe this FFP internship is the perfect way to start your career in finance. The tailored FFP programme combines business and IT understanding in an international environment. It offers unique opportunities to advance in your career and gives you a great amount of responsibility starting from day one.

One of the absolutely best parts of the job here, are the ambitious and intelligent colleagues who are there for you, always willing to help you. Furthermore, it has been inspiring to experience how well people from different nationalities, working out of different countries, collaborate efficiently to achieve common goals.

One Nordea Team – rewarding and fun

The FFP summer programme of 2020 has been slightly different than previous years due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation. For example, working from home has been a common practice for many Nordea employees, and this has encouraged us to take ownership of managing our work. We have been delighted to notice, that the One Nordea Team value stands tall and makes up a tight community, even though most of the employees are working remotely.

Fortunately, restrictions are easing. At the beginning of summer, we had several virtual get-togethers with the FFP team, but now that the pandemic situation is improving, we have taken ownership here too, and are organising our own after-work gatherings in addition to the official FFP events.

From left: Jussi, Robert, Matleena, Jasmin, Louis, Niklas, Simo, Nea and Amanda enjoying a nice afterwork FFP dinner.

Looking back, these past three months have been so rewarding, and we look forward to having more fun with our fellow FFP interns – and colleagues – in the coming weeks and months.

/ Louis, Matleena and Niklas

Don’t miss out on the previous blog from this year’s FFPs, “Not just an internship but new friendships and an extraordinary summer” – or see some of the blogs and vlogs from the FFP team 2019.

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