Meet Helena, Sales Manager, for a talk about career moves, work life, biases and more

In a new "Work Life – Diversity & Inclusion" series, we aim the spotlight at some of the brilliant minds with seniority in the Nordea Markets LC&I family. Meet sales managers, traders, economists, astrophysics, you name it, and hear their personal work life stories, touching upon career steps, diversity, inclusion ...

In this blog series, you’ll get familiar with people of different genders and age groups with diversified backgrounds. We look forward to sharing their Work Life experiences and give you a taste of the life within parts of the biggest bank in the Nordics.

First up is Helena who works at Nordea’s trading floor in Stockholm. Tag along and hear Helena’s story about kick-starting her career as a graduate and the ongoing journey as a Markets employee at the vibrant trading floor. Hear about the challenges, successes and a vast amount of opportunities offered during the years with Nordea, from student to Sales manager.

By Helena Grane, Sales Manager in Global Rates Sales Sweden, Nordea Markets

Helena has a Master in Finance and Investments from Copenhagen Business School. She joined Nordea in 2014 as a student worker, and returned in 2018. Today, she’s Sales Manager at Markets in Stockholm.

My first year in the bank was intensive and fun – not to say that it isn’t today, because it sure is! But joining Nordea straight out of university is something out of the extraordinary, exciting and memorable, I think. The reason I joined Nordea was that I had been looking for an employer where I could learn about banking and finance on an overall as well as in an in-depth scale.

That definitely came true as I started off joining Nordea’s Graduate Programme which is an excellent way to learn about the business, products, processes and get a sense of the somewhat complex Nordea organisation, let alone meet many of the talented and diversified group of people working here.

As a graduate, I attended insightful seminars and events which were quite fruitful both professionally and socially. Moreover, I was introduced to many inspirational and helpful people, as the graduate programme offered opportunities to rotate between different departments. In my view, job rotating is an ideal way to get insight to the various business areas – not to mention, learn from some of the best people in the industry, all the while help you get an idea of your own field of interest.

I started off in the Credit Sales team, where I learned the dynamics behind corporate bonds and how they trade in the market. After a few months, I rotated to the Investment Banking division, first in the Debt Capital Markets (DCM) with focus on issuance process of new corporate bonds, followed by a few months with the Leveraged Finance team, where I worked with due diligence, financial modelling and risk assessment for Private Equity owned firms.

Enjoying the steep climb

Then I returned to Markets and joined Global Rates Sales – my final destination (so far). Here I together with a great bunch of colleagues, cover a broad spectra of Nordic Institutional clients and trade all kinds of fixed income products. In our team, we’re all different in personalities and backgrounds, and in my experience that is key to create a great dynamic working environment. We complement each other well. I believe we work hard, and have good fun while doing it, and acknowledge each other for our efforts.

Throughout my time at Nordea, I have set off on a steep learning curve, both professionally as well as personally. Thanks to competent and helpful colleagues, I continue to enjoy the steep climb, supported and motivated to continuously develop. That’s some of the essentials which makes it a great joy to go to work here – and together with my team and other Nordea colleagues give our customers the best service possible.

/Helena

Lastly, a quick Q&A

Helena, did you have any prejudices before starting at Markets?

I imagined a busy and buzzing environment, with strong charismatic individuals (mostly men), lots of fun and high efficiency. However, I was a bit concerned that people would be individualistic, and everyone would operate their own sales, which in worst case could imply a competitive culture of selfish attitude and internal rivalry. Happily, it’s nothing like that at all.

What proved to be true and what not?

The positively busy and buzzing atmosphere was definitely true. I must highlight positive, and any concerns of individualistic, competitive and non-inclusion attitudes turned out to be very wrong. On the contrary, every day consists of great team work, and the work community is very strong and inclusive. We help each other out, and it is important that everyone can develop and succeed here.

Fun fact about Helena

“I am a hobby artist. Painting is a very nice way to relax and stimulate another kind of creativity – check my Instagram granegalleri for inspiration! And I love surfing, and spend around 2-4 weeks a year with my surf board. This year, I explored surfing at Torö in Stockholm’s archipelago – and that was a surprisingly positive experience!

Stay tuned for more blogs in our “Work Life” series. Coming up is Madeleine, who among others, pinpoints Collaboration, Ownership, Passion and Courage as key attributes to succeed in her position(s), currently as Management Partner. Madeleine also shares her view on ‘hot’ topics like diversity and inclusion at the workplace.

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