By Eeva Mustakallio and Antti Kangas
Due to the corona situation, only two Front Office FFPs are allowed to sit here daily at the northern side of the provisional plastic corona wall – and that’s us; Eeva and Annti. The Middle Office people are working elsewhere, while a few FFPs are working mostly remotely, and on the southern side of the corona wall there are more FFPs working and therefore a little bit more active FFP life. Having set the scene, it’s time to introduce ourselves and tell about our experiences at Nordea so far.
Eeva Mustakallio (26) – Background: I am Master’s student at Turku University School of Economics (Pori Unit) with a major in Accounting and Finance. I am currently finalizing my Master’s Thesis.
At Nordea, I have been working as an Assistant Sales Manager in the Derivatives Coverage team for the past two months. My journey at Nordea started very flexibly, as I worked three days a week and focused on my studies the remaining two days of the week for the first month. In May it was time to set full power and accelerate towards an intense and educational summer filled with derivatives and a million new things.
In my Derivatives team, we focus on hedging our customers’ interest rate risks and on providing customized solutions to the clients. I work mostly with swaps and swaptions, but currently, tailored collars linked to loans, fill most of my days. I deliver pricing calculations and offers to internal stakeholders, and while awaiting to get my dealing rights, I can shadow external stakeholder meetings.
The days of learning and doing tests during the studies at the University, has not ended. Here at Nordea, I have to pass an internal dealing test, and APV1 General Securities qualification test. Gathering the big picture of the world of interest rates and derivatives is a long process, and therefore there’s a lot to learn every day. And that’s one of the many great things about working here.
We were promised challenges
Nordea promised us a challenging position, and that they have truly delivered! My journey at Nordea has been an eye-opener, since I didn’t have any previous experience within banking or finance. Before joining Nordea, I have worked in a couple of administrative positions (e.g. as financial assistant), and focused on finance during my studies. But I believe unique backgrounds are what Nordea is looking for in FFPs. Of course, you need a suitable degree but after that the stage is yours – and the people working here come with diverse backgrounds in competitive sports and multiple fields of studies, which is very inspirational.
I have previous experience in customer (and employee) experience development, so I look forward to learn more about the different parts of the Nordea organisation and to get to know better the internal stakeholders – like traders and teams at the branches – with whom I’ve been in daily contact with during my time here. Our FPP Bootcamp was an excellent start on this topic as we learned about different units within Nordea Markets. I’m curious to see where we are by the end of September!
Antti Kangas: Background: I’m originally from Tornio but started to gradually work my way down south, first stop was at the University of Oulu, where I did my bachelor’s degree. After that I took a gap year to work and get some more experience before moving on to my master’s studies. I’m doing my master’s degree in Finance at Hanken, while also keeping busy here at Nordea. I have previously worked in Alternative Investments, and have experience from Back-Office operations, which has proven useful time after time.
At Nordea, I currently work in the Fixed Income Sales team, or to be more precise; in Nordea Credit Sales Finland, as Assistant Sales Manager, working with Finnish institutional clients in the Nordic corporate bond space. I joined my team a bit earlier than usual for FFPs, at the beginning of February. Even though starting this early meant that the spring would be extremely busy, trying to balance school and work, I have been happy with my choice because it has taken a long time to familiarise myself with the process, and getting to know our clients to better understand their needs and preferences. My work here can be divided into primary sales and secondary sales. With the current low interest rates, the primary market has been very active and new deals are announced almost daily.
My favourite thing about working here
When coming here, I wasn’t that familiar with the whole credit market, but since then it has been constant learning. And now, after almost four months, I already feel a lot more confident in my abilities. It seems that the busy days with a lot of new things to learn will continue. To be honest, that might be my favourite thing about working in credit sales. Every day is different, and getting better at sales is an ongoing process that never ends; you can always improve.
To summarize, so far, my time here at Nordea has been tough and challenging but also rewarding. The expectations have been high, but I have also been given all the support and resources needed to develop myself as a future finance professional. What more can you wish for!
Stay tuned for the upcoming blog – meanwhile meet a couple of Eeva and Antti’s fellow FFPs, Essi and Johan, and hear about their lives at the trading floor.
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