Show interest – it will usually take you quite far

Show ambition, interest and never stop. Hear how the transformation from university to full-time employee went for Johannes Ivarsson.

By Johannes Ivarsson

Being ambitious and curious, and showing interest in the place you want to work at usually takes you quite far, especially when you come straight from university. It did it for me – I’ve come pretty far in Nordea and my journey “never” stops.

I started the selling process of my profile years before I started working at Nordea in June 2013. Today, at age 28, I work as a dealer on the trading floor in Nordea Markets in Copenhagen but before that, I lived and worked at Nordea in Stockholm.

I started working in Nordea Markets as a graduate right after my studies. But my journey actually started years before when I met one of the guys from Nordea Markets at a job fair at my university. We spoke here and there, and I got in contact with some other people from Nordea as well. And when I applied to the graduate programme and got through to the first interview , they obviously had a good impression of me as they had all either heard of me or spoken to me. The fact that I had shown so much interest for Nordea made them think I was a good worker, which also made their thoughts of me higher when I first started working there. But I hadn’t really proved anything to them by then; I had only shown interest in working there.

You never know what you’re good at until you’ve tried it – especially when you’ve just come out of university. After having worked in Nordea Markets Structured Products in Stockholm for almost two and a half years, I thought to myself ‘Now I’ve tried structuring for a while; it was nice, I was happy with my position but I haven’t tried anything else within banking’. I went to the Senior Management who gave me a new position where I got to work with FX Sales. They didn’t actually have any vacant positions at that time but after showing a lot of interest in working there, they created a new position to give me the opportunity to expand my skillset.

After seven months in FX Sales in Stockholm, a new opportunity occurred. I actually had the ambition to work in Sales longer – otherwise I wouldn’t have asked for a position in the first place. I don’t think switching positions is a bad thing, on the contrary – and in Nordea, job rotations is both encouraged and promoted, and I think that’s great. It’s of course important to work in a position for a decent amount of time so you can make an impact as well as learn things. This way, you contribute to business, and develop professionally and as an individual. But opportunities come when they come – and I always grab them when they come. So all of a sudden, I was moving to Copenhagen where I’ve now been for over half a year. It’s challenging and I enjoy every minute of it.

I’ll tell you more about that next week – so stay tuned.

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