My first 100 days as a graduate in Markets – Meet Martin

Currency fluctuations, FX lingo, client interaction, boot camps and great colleagues. Tune in and hear more about Martin's graduate life at Markets.

In our Graduate blog series, we follow some of the graduates who joined us last summer to hear about their experiences, challenges and successes at work. So far, we have introduced you to Matteo, Camilla, Sanna and Viktoria – and next up is Martin who in the following blog tells about his first 100 days at the high-paced Markets Trading floor.

By Martin Wisth Kolltveit

Over the past 6 months, I have been part of the FX Sales & Distribution team in Oslo. Having studied abroad for several years, I have personally experienced how much currency fluctuations can matter for one’s personal economy. Over the past few years, the Norwegian Krone has performed very bad, hence having a robust FX strategy is something Norwegian customers are placing great emphasis on these days. Being in the middle of that is super exciting!

Anyways, as the title suggests, this blog post will summarize my first 100 days as a graduate in Nordea Markets. Let’s get started.

 

First 33 days – a lot of new info

The first weeks were all about getting to know the building, the systems, learning the lingo, and last but not least getting to know my colleagues. We have all seen and heard about the stereotypical finance environment, where a fresh-out-of-school youngster like me would have a hard time making a difference. Luckily, Nordea Markets is not like that.

From day one, my colleagues took great interest in showing and explaining how things are done, as well as allowing me to listen in to their calls. During the first weeks there was a lot of new information to digest, but as my understanding increased, so did my interest. For most people, an interest rate meeting at the Norwegian, Swedish or American central bank goes by unnoticed. At the FX desk, however, this is the highlight of the week.

Middle 33 days – the trick is to know how

One of the good things about the graduate programme is that you get to take the first steps into the corporate world together with graduates across all the Scandinavian countries. Being a part of the programme gives you the opportunity to attend three “boot camps” at the Nordea offices in the other Nordic cities. This way you get to connect with others in similar positions as yourself, making it is easy to share experiences and knowledge across countries. And of course, the social part is highly appreciated.

In addition to that, during the middle 33 days, I was really focusing on trying to understand the bigger picture of how the FX market works. How does various macroeconomic events affect different currency pairs? What factors have the largest impact on the Norwegian Krone? Does the same factor affect the same currency pairs, or are there differences? It is all interconnected somehow – the trick is to know how!

Martin with fellow graduates Christian (left) and Jens (right) at the graduate bootcamp in Copenhagen.

Latest 34 days – client interaction

Being part of a sales division, client interaction is naturally a large part of your day-to-day responsibility. It did not take long until I was answering customers’ requests of all kinds. We deal with customers of all types, from private individuals to large corporates. The issues they have can differ a lot, from making a simple exchange to wanting to know more about long-term hedging strategies. As a result, everyday is different.

In the end, I would highly recommend everyone with a wish to work in finance to apply for the Finish Future Finance Professional programme (FFP), an internship and/or a graduate position at Nordea. If you attend career fairs, stay updated in the markets and read these blogs I am sure you will crush the interviews. Good luck!

 

As Martin recommends, stay tuned and updated on our Career blog openings and relevant blogs like our recent blogs from a couple of students. Also, have a look at what it is like to working at the trading floor in Copenhagen in some of our previous blogs from the interns in Oslo, our summer interns in Stockholm and this year’s FFPs in Helsinki. For more graduate stories, see the blogs by Matteo, Camilla, Sanna and Viktoria

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