FFP #6: High expectations, big responsibilities and great atmosphere at Markets

19-08-2021 09:00

Half-way through their FFP internship, Tuukka, Roosa and Teemu tell about their experiences from working as Assistant Controllers in middle office at Nordea Markets. Hear about their tasks and responsibilities and the "excellent opportunities” – and learn why the interns highly recommend the FFP programme.

By Teemu, Roosa and Tuukka

In this blog, we will tell you about our lives as FFP interns at Nordea Markets in Finland. As we are already half-way through of our internship, we are happy to share our experiences from our summer in middle office at Nordea Markets.

Teemu Rantamo (27)

I recently graduated as M.Sc. having Strategic Finance as my major and Analytics as minor. Currently, I work as Assistant Controller in Markets & Treasury Financial Control in a team called Processes & Implementation.

My team is responsible for developing and maintaining processes and ensuring data is available to other teams in the unit for controlling and reporting purposes. My responsibilities vary between daily reporting and development tasks. My first developing projects were concentrated on providing data visualizations to managers’ KPIs before moving more towards automatization tasks. I have, among others, fully automated one specific bond amortisation procedure from the scratch with Python, reducing manual work from multiple hours to zero. One example of my daily reporting responsibilities is to provide global trading reports to Markets’ leaders to summarize how the PL has developed.

While working in middle office, I have raised my technical competence to the next level which I find very beneficial. SQL, VBA and Python are in my daily usage and combining technical work to the fascinating, ever-changing financial markets, is something I really enjoy. Furthermore it has also been interesting to discuss and interact with more senior and extremely professional team members about how various challenges and issues could be solved.

Roosa Mekkonen (24)

I am a recent graduate from the University of Vaasa where I studied Economics as a major and accounting and Finance as a minor. Currently, I work as an assistant controller in the team called TFI Finance Development. Our team is responsible for many internal and external reports, applications  and data storages that are used at the Markets.

During the summer I have worked on e.g. the trading book and product related data tasks, Bloomberg admin. tasks and many ad-hoc requests from different stakeholders.

Typical examples of my responsibilities have been to enhance and clear data to enable better trading transactions and prevent mis-bookings to wrong books. Getting a holistic view of the different systems behind trading and sales data has been interesting. Obtaining insights and hands-on experience of how traded financial instruments are handled within different data systems have been highly valuable learning.

Tuukka Pohjonen (23)

I am currently pursuing a double Master’s degree in Strategic Finance & Analytics and Industrial Engineering at LUT-University. I am working as an assistant controller in MTFC also known as middle office in a team called Credit Risk Control. Our team is responsible for reporting and analysing the counterparty credit risk meaning the risk when counterparties fail to fulfil their financial commitments to Nordea.

My daily work consists of performing weekly and daily controls for counterparty credit risk such as reporting and analysing various limits, changes in credit loss distributions and also participating in agreement processes. During the holiday season, I was also able to put my technical skills into use, as I programmed and developed automated tools and processes for our team with Python, SQL and Alteryx Designer.

During my first three months at Nordea, I have learned so many things, in particular about derivatives and risk calculation methods which are not covered at university courses. I think the best things about the FFP trainee programme are the many interesting and challenging tasks, not to mention having the best colleagues and fellow FFPs.

Best things about the FFP internship

The three of us got together to reflect on our FFP experience so far, and we’ve tried to summarise how the summer has been for us here, in a hectic world of finance.

Throughout our three months at Nordea, we have been trusted with a lot of responsibility and gain new knowledge on a daily basis. Expectations are high but we can always rely on our team members to help and support us when needed. We think that the FFP internship is an unique way to start a career within finance, and positions in the middle office offer excellent opportunities to combine technical skills and business.

During our internship, we have been able to utilize many skills learned from the university and previous jobs. Those experiences have helped us to leverage e.g. our coding skills in the current positions, helping us to move on to more challenging tasks. It is also rewarding and inspiring to see how people from different backgrounds, nationalities and countries are working together towards common goals and targets.

Although many of this year’s FFPs have been working remotely due to the covid-19 pandemic, we still had the chance to get together with all the FFPs a few times during the summer. Our so-called FFP Fun Managers managed to arrange a couple of social events for us, which among others included beach Olympics and a FFP custom made “The Apprentice” competition.

Conclusively, we would say that some of the best and instructive things about the FFP program, are: The varying and challenging tasks, the constant support offered from the team, combined with the great atmosphere, and good fun, we have with the fellow FFPs. It just makes any challenging day a good day ;-).

In a nutshell: We highly recommend the FFP summer internship programme. Go for it!

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