Intense Seminar – 3 days of learning, networking and laughter

Three extraordinary days, 55 excited juniors, 18 experienced speakers and loads of laughs and learning - sum up a super graduate seminar.

In September, we officially welcomed our new graduates with “Meet & Greet” breakfasts in Copenhagen, Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm, which was a great opportunity for the juniors to get to know each other within and across countries and divisions. And now, some weeks later, time had come for the 55 new Markets Graduates and Research Associates to get to know each other much, much better in record time.

They flew in to Copenhagen from all over the Nordics to participate in a three days intense kick-off seminar. The juniors were introduced to different business aspects through various management presentations in combination with team and trust building exercises (putting one’s comfort zone to the test) along with mingling and dining.

grad sem mingling

Meeting and greeting among the new graduates and associates.

New skills and powerful tricks

On arrival day, the group was introduced to Wholesale Banking and the world of Markets with focus on the market dynamics and how we work within the different units.

Thorodd Bakken, Head of Markets, set the scene and discussed the role of banks today, i.e. what is banking, why are we here, and how do we contribute to the larger value creation. The group was then introduced to how we do strategy and implementation and how we work with sales in Markets, including two corporate customer cases.

graduate seminar thorodd bakken

Head of Markets, Thorodd Bakken, discussing the Wholesale Banking business for the attentive audience.

Then it was all about networking, sessions and games relating to high-performing teams and collaboration as the attendees organised into groups for team and trust building exercises.

One of the graduates commented: “The exercises let us come close to each other quickly, allowing for a warm and welcoming climate for the three days. It set the stage very well and served as an ice-breaker”.

“I learned that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone, you can get very much in return. I acquired new presentation skills and tricks that are very powerful,” one of the attendees stated.

Another graduate has already started to use the newly acquired skills: “It was fantastic to see how we developed through the few hours. Since the kick-off, I have started to practice to become even better.”

“It was tough (the team and trust building sessions, red.), but I truly think that we gained a lot from it,” a fellow graduate added after the last item on the agenda of day one ended and they all headed off for dinner and socializing at a restaurant in downtown Copenhagen.

A definite success

The second day was kicked off by Head of Wholesale Banking, Martin Persson, followed by a string of sessions with presentation techniques as the overarching theme with several fruitful exercises related to the improvement of presentation skills.

grad seminar day 2

Martin Persson (left) captivating the attendees for half an hour, telling about his passion for finance, sustainability and much more, and sharing his story and experiences along his career path within finance. Photo right: Snapshot from the presentation techniques workshop.

On the third and final day of the seminar, the group was introduced to several different units within Markets, including Research, Trading, and Equity & ECM and participated in five master classes, discussing customer cases, equity & credit value chains, and ESG. The day ended with a visit to the Markets trading floor.

Judging by the overall feedback from the attendees the seminar had been a success – for everyone involved. Graduate Programme Manager, Anne-Mette Habæk Bright, was partly responsible for the programme and she was very satisfied and pleased with all aspects of the seminar; the buzzing atmosphere, the presentations, happy faces and excellent feedback:

“Our aim was for our juniors to understand the value chain and our Franchise, and from the feedback we have received, we definitely succeeded. Another important factor for us was the networking through working intensively together in different groups,” Anne-Mette tells.

Programme Manager for the Research Associates, Martin Husby Christensen, added: “Intense three days with a steep learning curve. I’m very impressed with the level of talent among the participants. This bodes well for the future of Markets.”

Feedback was also an integrated part of the programme, and Anne-Mette was impressed by the honesty in the feedback during the three days:

“It enabled us to make changes throughout the days, making it even better. All juniors were curious and asked a lot of question, whether it was during client presentations, Martin Persson or Thorodd Bakken’s presentations or during Friday where a lot of business areas explained how they work in their areas.”

Takeaways! Many great things …

Several of the juniors have also expressed their takeaways from the seminar and the majority are highlighting the great mix of networking and socializing combined with insightful and inspiring content and exercises. The juniors concluded their thoughts about the event with a couple of reflections:

“It was a great balance between exercises and presentations. It is always nice to get a closer relationship with your fellow associates from the other Nordic countries. I liked the mix with sales and trading to broaden our network even further.”

“Hard to pinpoint just one good thing about the kick-off. Many great things: the content, people’s engagement, the social activities.”

“I have given this a lot of thought during the weekend, and I really believe you have done an outstanding job. The speakers were well-picked and you facilitated it extremely well, in a very pragmatic, yet serious style.”

“The best thing about the event was to meet new people, to develop my personal skills and learn new business areas.”

“For me, the best thing was getting to know fellow associates and understanding my place in Markets. Good to practice and focus on presentation technique since most people seem to be uncomfortable with it.”

Are you curious about what life at Nordea Markets is all about? Get to know some of our current graduates or have a look at some of our previous blogs from the interns in Oslo, our summer interns in Stockholm and this year’s FFPs in Helsinki.

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