Job with a higher purpose – Laura’s story on finding “perfect fit” of a job
Laura’s path in SEB started almost ten years ago, when she joined the Sub-Custody department. 2023 marks two years since she took on a new challenge and joined Foundation Services as a Senior Bank Operations Specialist to find not only a new team and responsibilities, but also a new purpose – making the world a better place by supporting our customers in charitable, educational and sustainable causes.
How did your journey in SEB start?
In summer 2013 I returned from my Erasmus program and was looking for a job. I had a background in accounting and considered banks as a potential workplace, so I applied for a vacancy in SEB in Sub-Custody department. To be honest, I was a bit afraid my work will be boring, but to my surprise it never was. What I discovered, was a new world to me. Understanding the way financial world works from within, being involved in processes and looking for solutions was exciting. I had a wonderful team and on top of learning a lot, we had great team spirit and liked to spend time together after work as well. I joined the cycling team and we had a great time cycling in summer evenings. Then I left for a maternity leave and took a little break. Before returning I found out that there is a position in a new team that seemed interesting to me. As I already knew the manager, I reached out and soon got the job in Foundation Services.
Title: Senior Bank Operations Specialist at Foundations Services, SEB Global Services Riga
Education: Master of Economics, University of Latvia; Bachelor of Business Administration, University of Latvia
Personal Interests: bicycling, yoga
And what was it that seemed interesting for you in this position?
We work with non-profit organizations and charitable trusts that give grants and make donations to organizations, institutions, or individuals for charitable purposes such as scientific research, education, culture, healthcare and social help.
We support different foundations by handling requisitions, international payments, daily accounting process, preparation of financial reports, audit, tax, salaries and much more. So basically, I witness how our customers strive to make the world a better place and helping them makes me feel like my job has a stronger sense of purpose to it. It corresponds to my personal values as well, as I believe everyone can change the world for better with the actions we take each day.
How has your perception of SEB as a workplace changed over the years?
Before joining I had a general perception that working in a bank could be monotonous. That was not the case for me. I love to learn, love the dynamic environment and opportunities to get involved in processes and make a difference.
The learning culture that I found here is really encouraging and growth oriented. I have learned a lot and now I am helping colleagues by mentoring them and sharing my knowledge, so they can grow and pass the knowledge further.
I think I am also very lucky to have my team, because I consider work to be my second home and it is really important with whom you spend the time and what is the atmosphere, what makes you want to go to work every day with a smile!
And what are those things that make you go to work with a smile?
Aside from the job that helps me feel like I fulfil my purpose, we also have our own initiatives in the team.
For example, we started a sustainability activity so that everyone can get involved and see the impact they make on the environment. We created a list of small sustainable steps we can make – walk instead of taking the elevator, use regular mugs instead of plastic, car sharing with colleagues. We took notes of all actions we did and shared the results, and it was very inspiring! This topic is also important to me personally – to reduce my ecological footprint I have been biking to work almost every day for the past 13 years, even during the cold weather. It also keeps me energized from the early morning.
We also have a volunteering day, which we spend together as a team. Last year we visited Ulubele pet shelter to help improve the living conditions of abandoned animals. We have a good time together both at and outside work, so I always have something to look forward to.
What else do you think makes you successful as a team?
I think we are a group of very diverse people with the same goal – to provide an excellent service to our customers. We have a supportive culture and I think it comes from our manager, who really takes time to support everyone and help develop our strengths and talents. We are inspired and motivated by our customers and Swedish colleagues. Some of them have been working with the same clients for over 25 years. We share different client stories internally and I think it contributes to feeling proud about what we do, because at the end of the day we are here and able to do this work thanks to our clients. Their long-term commitment is a remarkable example in this fast-changing world.
How do you recharge your batteries after work?
I love cycling in my free time. Last year I discovered yoga and now cannot imagine my life without it. I also like to keep my mind occupied, so I read about self-growth, how to build good habits and other topics that I believe help me become the best version of myself.
Speaking of new – soon you will be moving to the new office. How do you feel about that?
I am quite excited to work in the new environment and having all colleagues under one roof. But I guess I am most excited about the possibility to spend time on the roof terrace on a sunny day with my team and enjoy the view.
What would you say to someone considering joining SEB?
There are many things I appreciate about working here – the learning culture and many possibilities to stay curious, supportive management and team members and dynamic environment that is never boring. If you want to experience it all and find a purpose in your work, I am sure you can find it here.