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From intern to Equity Analyst – Meet Gustav, see what’s so great about his job

05-01-2023 11:09

A summer internship at Nordea proves to be an ideal way to kick-start a career in finance. Gustav is one of many employees at Nordea who set off as intern, stayed on, and seized the opportunity to follow their aspirations, which in Gustav's case was to become an Equity Research Analyst. In his blog, Gustav tells about his career journey, his background, the triggers to pursuing this path, and why he finds his job as equity research analyst so stimulating.

I hold a BSc in Finance from Lund University and MSc in Finance from University of Gothenburg. During my spare time, I enjoy playing golf.

By Gustav Berneblad (28)

I have been at Nordea for 1.5 years, starting as summer intern in June 2021. I stayed on and continued at full time in August 2021. Today, I work within Investment Banking & Equities at Nordea in Stockholm as equity research analyst where I primarily cover smaller Swedish industrial companies.

My interest for the stock market began back when I was a teenager, in 2011, following two elective courses within Corporate Finance and Investments in High School, during an exchange year to the United States. At first, it was the potential returns that investments in certain stocks could lead to that was intriguing. This successively translated more into an interest for the financial and operational performance of companies. In 2015, I began my studies at Lund University with the aim of pursuing a career within Finance, and more specifically, related to the stock market. While the path was never a straight line, stocks remained a hobby for many years.

During my Master’s degree at the University of Gothenburg, I joined Handels Capital Management (HCM), a student run fund. This was a great association in which you got to pitch and discuss investment ideas with like-minded people – a true eye opener which paved the way for a job within sell-side equity research.    

What brought you to Nordea, Investment Banking & Equites?

By having talked to a few employees at Nordea, I decided to apply for the summer internship within Nordea Equity research in 2021. It was two months characterised by several IPO-projects and intense work, which was very stimulating and exciting given the responsibility you get as an intern at Nordea. Combined with helpful and welcoming colleagues, I early on felt part of the equity research team here at Nordea.

Gustav together with Agnieszka Vilela, Head of Equity Research Sweden.

There is another side to the coin as well. With Nordea having a full-service offering, as an employee you are part of a huge network, with industry experts across the board. While collaboration forms the backbone of the culture at Nordea, I find that the organisation offers a great platform in which you as a junior are able to grow on your own, while receiving support from senior colleagues.

What’s a typical day for you?

Generally, my days are quite varied. However, every morning starts with the global equities morning meeting in which we as research analysts present our latest research on companies or comment on information which might trigger stock movements and so on. I usually try to be at the office some 10-30 minutes before the meeting to look through the news flow. At the meeting, I am also able to keep myself updated on companies and trends in other sectors, which I find very valuable and interesting.

I find my job very invigorating with a good mix of high-paced work and time to reflect

Following the morning meeting, I start to tackle the plan that I have set out for the day. However, as the market is highly news driven, you never know how your day will turn out. A lot of things happen ad hoc, e.g., larger acquisitions or other events being announced by the companies in your coverage, client meetings, or assisting your colleagues. As such, I find my job to be very invigorating, as you get a good mix of high-paced work and time to reflect, enabling you to work on longer research reports and smaller updates on the companies you are covering, or intend to cover.            

What triggers and motivates you the most?

In addition to the above mentioned, I find the responsibility you get as junior analyst highly motivating, as you early on get to cover smaller companies. As smaller companies generally are covered by fewer analysts, and often are not too “discovered” by the market, you are able to form the narrative around the stocks.

Furthermore, being part of a major organisation as Nordea implies that you both get to learn from and work with some of the best people in the industry, while utilising the network it entails. As a junior, I find this to be a great funnel to meet everyone from investors and industry leaders to experts in different niches – something I highly value.

Any piece of advice to people who might be considering a career in finance, and perhaps as an analyst?

Hopefully, you have got some sort of idea of how a day as a research analyst looks like at Nordea. However, I want to emphasise that despite the somewhat longer hours than the classic 40-hour week, the work also entails a great deal of flexibility, and you can often easily plan your workload. On the other hand, there is no limit to what you can do when it comes to research, in which the most valued research is often not done behind the computer screen.

      Don't be afraid to ask questions.
No one expects you to know everything

Whether you feel inclined to pursue a career within equity research or not, I personally find this to be a highly stimulating job where you get to learn more broad-based about companies and market trends, financial analysis, alongside meeting a great variety of industry experts to learn from.

The most important advice I would give to a student (on the back of my short tenure as an analyst) is to always be curious and not be afraid to ask questions. No one expects you to know everything.  

If Gustav’s blog caught your interest to pursuing a career at Nordea LC&I (Large Corporates & Institutions), you can find more inspirational career stories in our Meet Our Talents blog. Coming up is a blog by Bettina Roness Berg, telling about her job as Trader in Markets.

Keep an eye out for the next application round to join our tailored graduate programme in LC&I. We’ll keep you posted. Meanwhile you can always visit the Vacant Positions site.

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