During ten weeks this summer, Viktoria and Gustaf gets an intense crash course in Nordea Markets FICC business, spending one week at each desk on the trading floor. I asked them a few questions about their time here, now that half their internship has passed.
You’ve been here for five weeks now, how’s the time at our trading floor been so far?
Viktoria: It has been high pace since day one!
Gustaf: Coming directly from the academic world to the market division as an intern has been a very rewarding and inspiring experience. Even though we are in the middle of the summer and a lot of people are on vacation, it is striking how alive and vibrant the floor really is. The trading floor is like a living creature and to be a part of it gives me a special feeling which I truly enjoy and find very appealing.
Both: Also worth mentioning is how the employees at Nordea have made us feel welcomed at the company and encouraged us to have an inquisitive mind and continue to be curious. Since we change desk every week there is a lot of information to process, and in order to absorb and understand as much as possible it is important to ask people questions.
What backgrounds do you have?
Viktoria: I will be starting my fifth year at Stockholm University this fall, completing my master’s degree in financial economics. Last year I did an internship at Atlas Copco’s treasury, where focus was on risk control and financial reporting. Previous to that I worked at Handelsbanken as well as did an internship at KPMG.
Gustaf: The coming autumn I will begin my last year of studies at KTH where I currently study an M.Sc in applied and computational mathematics. Before joining Nordea I have worked with production engineering at Scania and Sandvik.
Which desks have you visited so far?
We started out at the FX desk and moved from there to the derivatives desk. Since then we’ve visited Investment Solutions, Investment Products and are currently at Risk Advisory. In the coming weeks we will be visiting Credit Research as well as Macro Research.
Since we are given a new case to complete each week, we are constantly thrown into new areas of the FICC and this requires us to really reach out to all people on the floor in order to quickly get an overview of the subject at hand. Due to this I would say that we have in some way made quick visits to most of the desks, although of course not for as long as one would wish!
What’s been most fun/challenging/interesting?
Viktoria: There are a lot of aspects of why this internship is so rewarding, but I think it boils down to the mix between the constant closeness to the market as well as the high pace-learning. During our short time here we have seen both the ups and downs of the Greek crisis, as well as actions taken by the Riksbank. Seeing the trading floor react to this is of course exciting! The most challenging part of the summer is definitely to constantly be thrown into new areas of the business which makes you feel like you are always one step behind. On the other hand, people are so keen on helping that if you take the opportunity, the learning possibilities are endless!
Gustaf: In my opinion the most fun and interesting aspect of being an intern at FICC is the closeness to the market. During our short time here we have seen the Riksbank lower the interest rate and Greece almost exiting the EU. Happenings that you can read about in the newspaper, but literally being at the center of attention, seeing and hearing sales & trading reacting and taking actions is something that I find very fun and appealing! The biggest challenge with the internship occurs when you come home after the first day at a new desk and you begin to process the impression and information from the day. You have met a lot of new people and you try to remember their names, their titles and what they do, and what the desk as a whole does for the bank. The holistic mindset and the big picture of Nordea is somewhat overwhelming and I still struggle in figuring out what different people do and how that matters for the company!
Is Nordea Markets FICC and the bank business what you expected it to be?
Viktoria: Yes, and much more!
Gustaf: I have visited market divisions before so in some ways yes, but I have to admit that I am impressed of how big the markets division at Nordea is. Being in Sweden, where everything is quite moderate I expected the market division to be moderate as well, which it isn’t!
We wish you all the best in your final weeks here!
Until next time.