NIB summer trainees

1 Sep 2016

Learning by doing: NIB’s summer trainees

From left: Hannes Larsson, Petra Hurri and Kenneth Nilsson. Photo: Pamela Schönberg.

Every year around springtime, a pool of fresh-faced young professionals enter the gates of NIB. Most of them are current students or recent graduates who are hired to support the departments they are placed in while also gaining a unique understanding of the inner workings of an IFI.

Between NIB, NDF and NEFCO, around 20 trainees are employed each year. Most of them work full time over the summer. The trainees are typically in their twenties, which is a couple of decades younger than the average NIB employee.

“During the summer, many departments are in need of extra resources, and offering a summer traineeship benefits both NIB and the students. It offers an opportunity to introduce young professionals to the Bank and vice versa”, says HR Business Partner Joanna Södergård.

Working at NIB means working in an organisation with explicit goals other than maximising profits, and that is very appealing to budding NIB staff. When asked about what attracted them to NIB, several trainees mentioned the Bank’s mission.

“The competitiveness and environment of the member countries are important issues to me. I care about our region and think it is important to advance it, so it makes me proud to work for an institution that has goals other than maximising financial returns for the owners”, says Kenneth Nilsson, a finance student at Hanken School of Economics and a trainee in Lending.

Petra Hurri, a summer trainee in Legal, agrees:

“It motivates me that we are doing something that is important and not just about maximising profits. We are making a difference.”

With its multinational staff and status as an international governmental organisation, NIB also offers a special working environment.

For Petra Hurri, a native Finn studying law at the University of Helsinki, this was a big bonus.

“Working at NIB has definitely reinforced my desire to work in an international environment”, she says. “The Bank is international while still in Helsinki, which makes it convenient for me, as I can advance in my studies while gaining valuable work experience.”

For other trainees, taking up employment at NIB means going to work abroad.

“I had never been to Helsinki before coming here for my interview. On the day of the interview, it was raining when I came and when I left, so I did not get a very positive first impression. However, since moving, I must say that I really enjoy it here. Helsinki has a more compact core compared to Stockholm, which makes getting around and exploring very easy. Wherever you go in the city, you are also never far from the shoreline”, says HR trainee Hannes Larsson, who moved to Helsinki from Sweden.

By definition, a traineeship is a learning experience. For many trainees, it is a chance to get acquainted with tasks or fields they are not familiar with in practice. To Hannes Larsson, gaining a broad perspective within HR and learning as much as possible were the main goals of his traineeship at NIB.

“My supervisors are very open to getting me involved”, he says. “One of the best things about working at NIB is the accumulated experience and knowledge that people are open to share if you are willing to learn. As a young professional, that is one of the most important things in any work environment.”

For trainees who are mainly familiar with their field through university studies, the practical experience gained at NIB carries major benefits.

“I definitely feel like I have learnt a lot since I started here, about how lawyers work in practice and what being a lawyer in an IFI is like“, says Petra Hurri. She continues: “Already as a trainee, you get to be very involved, and I have had the opportunity to work in very different fields of law. The practical aspect has also helped me improve my understanding of the topics I have studied. Instead of just reading books and trying to understand something in theory, you learn how it is actually done.”

For Kenneth Nilsson, a traineeship at NIB meant taking up accounting, something he did not know much about.

“As an economist, you are expected to know accounting”, he says. “It complements my education. You cannot learn everything as a university student, and the accounting skills as well as the insight into debt markets I have gained through working at NIB have been great for me.”

Article written by Iben Hjorth,
Communications’ summer trainee 2016