29-09-2021 14:43

Five Nordea graduates reflect on the future of banking

What is the bank’s role in the future? Five of the Nordea graduates of 2020-2022 and 2021-2023 have had a very positive experience at the bank so far, with some new, both work and life experiences. Experiences that led to ideas on what the future of banking will entail.
Mathias, Kajsa, Thea, Busra and Caelum.

The urgent need to transition into a greener economy and the crucial role banks will play in society in the future are two recurring themes brought up by the participants in this year’s Nordea Graduate Programme. Applicants for the programme are carefully selected and each accepted participant gets the chance to work in different areas of the bank. 

“As an ‘outsider’ you don’t really consider or know about all the different branches in the bank. One of the best parts of the programme is being able to do several rotations in different units and parts of the bank, really getting to network and make new friends,” says graduate Thea from Norway, after one year in the programme.

Different needs demand flexible solutions

The rotation setup also allows the graduates to face and tackle different types of problems. It makes it possible to focus on topics that interest them while maintaining a broader perspective.

For example, Mathias from Norway wants to gain better insight into how Nordea is developing its products to face future demands and stay competitive within pension and life insurance, while Kajsa from Sweden is interested in the bank’s ability to adapt and have new dialogues with customers, in light of the pandemic:

“With new ways of working emerging, where decisions are being made on flexible ways of working from home and the office, this change is a highly relevant topic. I now also better understand the potential consequences this can have on for the real estate sector.”

It is through our customers that we can have the largest impact when it comes to contributing to a more sustainable society.

Thea, Nordea graduate 20/22.

Obstacles that give meaning

The possibility to influence and come with new solutions is what motivates Kajsa: “The bank’s role in society goes beyond being central to the financial system and economy. We also have the power to influence stakeholders, customers and institutions to take more responsibility and contribute to a better world.”

Caelum from Finland is energised by his work against financial crime: “I feel I have a real purpose, and this is a feeling I would never want to part with.”

He also sees how all banks and financial institutions must be, “thorough in their due diligence, as it ultimately otherwise exposes them to the risk of regulatory fines, media backlash, and criminal activity.”

This is something that Busra, based in Sweden, also recognises while working with the IT solutions part of the bank: “A bank’s role in the future will rely very much on its ability to protect customers against financial crime.”

She now better understands how Nordea will be a central force in another great shift. “There is also a move towards being cashless society. In the future, the transition from the current cash-based system will be immense, and banks will play a major role in that,” says Busra.

Mathias points out that digital services will be another big challenge: “Without a doubt, technology is advancing and will continue to increase the competition in the financial industry. It will be important to improve digital user experiences and focus on financial innovation to keep customers satisfied.”

Motivation for the next generation

The shared ambition for this year’s graduates is how to make the transition into a more sustainable society as easy and fast as possible.

As Kajsa describes it: “The green transition has never been more critical, and all business areas have to adjust their daily operations and start to map their sustainability footprint.”

Mathias adds that he now has “better insight into how banks will play a greater role in the future low-carbon economy by favouring investments in ESG companies.”

While Thea, working in the Business Banking segment, puts it like this: “In our role as a bank, we have to take this responsibility upon us. It is through our customers that we can have the largest impact when it comes to contributing to a more sustainable society.”

Kickstart your career after graduating

Are you interested in applying to the Nordea Graduate Programme? We are now accepting applications for the 2022 programme, application period starting in mid-November.

Read more
Graduate Programme