Internship #1 Breaking the ice

Follow our summer interns in Oslo, as they share their thoughts and experiences of working in Nordea Markets during the summer.

The six summer interns had some nervous feelings when entering the Nordea office in Oslo… However, it didn’t take that long to break the ice with new colleagues, graduates and among each other. Below, two of the six summer interns in Oslo, Espen and Julia, honestly write about their first week at Nordea Markets. During the next eight weeks, the interns will give you an insight view on how it’s like to work here and what to expect. Stay tuned!

By Espen Kertilsønn Lyng and Julia Palkowska

The first few days as new members of Nordea’s community passed unbelievably quick! We have now completed our first week of the internship – an intense week filled with new names, routines and tasks. Some of our first impressions matched our expectations and some did not. The nervousness we all experienced Monday morning faded as soon as we got a warm welcome from Martin Husby Christensen, Kristian Petersen and our soon-to-be Nordea Markets colleagues. Suddenly, the trading floor was not as intimidating as we all imagined it to be: everyone was more than thrilled to tell us about their work.

After a quick, still comprehensive, introduction to Nordea’s organisational structure and development, we were shown to our new desks (still impressed by the three computer-screens each of us have got) and introduced to our first projects.

Long and intense hours

We have been assigned a project by Risk Solutions that involves constructing a debt portfolio template used to organise clients’ debt and swaps. With our diverse knowledge-backgrounds and limited acquaintance with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), we optimally spent the first few days learning about excel macros and the various kinds of debts, aiming to build a template as user-friendly as possible. Having less than one week to complete the project, we have been working long and intense hours, which have been rewarded by the programming skills we have developed. Besides working on our projects, attending morning equity meetings (and having five cups of coffee each before noon) have helped us settle in to our new analyst lifestyle, and we already feel part of the dynamic community.

Our expectations of a stereotypical competitive and hostile “Wall Street environment” couldn’t be more wrong. We believe we speak for all of us when we say that what didn’t match our expectations was the people. People here are very warm and helpful, and none of us had believed that we would feel this much at home after just one week.

Exercise and socialise

The employees enrolled in graduate programmes at Nordea Markets were quick to invite us to play floorball every Tuesday, and when we started playing, it wasn’t hard to understand why. We got our asses kicked for 2 hours, and the soreness didn’t let go until the week after. However, the game was good exercise as well as a nice way to meet other people from the organisation in an informal environment. We are looking forward to a rematch next week and hopefully we will wipe the smug smiles of their faces once for all.

The next social event this week was “Summer Academy”, a weekly presentation by talented people from different parts of the Markets organisation. This week, we listened to Thina Saltvedt talking about sustainability in finance, and what role the financial sector can have in the transition to a more sustainable economy.

After the presentation, we were served tapas and drinks and got to mingle with some of the talented people in Nordea. After the session we went out to grab a few more drinks just to make sure that Friday wasn’t only spent at the office.

All in all, we are very happy with our first week, and looking forward to the rest of the internship

/Julia and Espen

If you haven’t already read about this year’s six summer interns, then you can get to know half of them in a recent blog post.

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