My V.I.E. story: Baptiste Keller, former international trainee at Alfred Berg in Sweden
There are more than 200 international V.I.E. trainees in the Nordic countries. This trainee program allows any type of company to send young talents to expand abroad. Here is the story of Baptiste Keller, former V.I.E. trainee in Sweden for Alfred Berg (BNP Paribas Investment Partners in the Nordics).
In which company did you perform your V.I.E.?
I joined Alfred Berg in Stockholm, the Nordic Asset Manager of BNP Paribas Investment Partners. The company also has offices in Oslo and Helsinki. With around 100 employees, this is a great place to learn and it offers the opportunity to meet and interact with almost every department and everyone in the company. This last point is important to start creating a business network right after your studies.
Which role did you play in the company and what was your main contribution?
As an Investment Specialist on Nordic Equities and Emerging Europe funds, I had a transversal position between the Portfolio Managers and the Sales.
I was in charge of funds reporting material, marketing materials, answering Request for Proposals, and I was also part of clients or fund selectors events.
Very curious and desirous to learn, I always asked my colleagues if I could help them on something when I had time. And since it is was a small team, they were very happy to get some help. Thanks to this, I started to have more and more responsibilities and won the trust of my colleagues.
At the end of my V.I.E., the Nordic CEO who also did a CSNE (ancestor of V.I.E.), introduced me to the Inspection Générale (IG) of BNP Paribas, where I got accepted right after my V.I.E. I then pursued there for a little while before coming back to Sweden.
How did you experience Sweden during your V.I.E.?
The V.I.E. program was a great opportunity to discover a new region. And what a region! Even though I arrived on a cold and dark November month, I got caught by Sweden and its way of life. On a personal point of view, I was amazed by how good almost everyone’s English is and how easy it was to interact with the local people!
In the working place, it was great to discover how well being is promoted and I remember how amazed I was when my college Jorgen showed me the “nap room”. I appreciated so much the way of life, that after my V.I.E. I came back to Stockholm permanently, after just a few months in Paris.
Which message would you like to send to futures V.I.E. to convince them to come in the Nordic countries?
The Nordics offer a very different work environment compared to other European countries: you might have to start a bit earlier than in France, but everyone leaves work around 17:00 and then have time to join some friends at the beach (during summer), or on a boat for a few after-work drinks!
Winter might seem a bit long sometimes, but you might have the opportunity to practice new winter sports, and it’s always nice to go to the sauna and then skinny dip in a (cold) lake!
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