Trainee experiences with Danske Bank

Danske Bank’s Large Corporates & Institutions business annually recruits students interested in financial markets and corporate banking for the Capital Markets and Corporate Banking Trainee programme. 

Trainees work in teams with bank specialists and support the teams in their daily tasks. Places are available in teams specialising in areas such as equity research, debt capital markets and sustainable finance.

The internships are aimed at students in their 3rd year and above. Applications are invited once a year and places are available in both spring and autumn in Helsinki.

We interviewed trainees who started in early 2023 about their experience at Danske Bank. Lotta Laakio, a Master’s student in Finance from Turku School of Economics; Tatu Hämäläinen, a Master’s student in Industrial Economics from Aalto University; and Sonja Tiesmäki, a recent graduate in Economics from KU Leuven.

Why did you apply for the traineeship?

Lotta: I wanted to get to know the bank’s Large Corporates & Institutions business, and I had heard good things about the trainee programme and the possibility to be part of more than one team during my traineeship. 

Tatu: I used to work in the industry in derivatives and risk management. I wanted to deepen my knowledge of the subject and applied to Danske to get a perspective on the derivatives market.

Sonja: Danske Bank is one of the most international banks operating in Finland. I wanted more international experience, because as a person who is aiming abroad, I think it will be useful for me in the future.

What are your current responsibilities?  

Lotta: I work in both the Corporate Advisor and Sustainable Finance teams, where I have had the opportunity to assist analysts in their work, doing modelling and various reports and other background work. 

Tatu: My tasks include pricing and trading of currency derivatives. I am also responsible for ad-hoc projects related to the preparation of sales materials and the development of risk tools. 

Sonja: I work in the Fixed Income Sales team quite close to the client interface. Mainly I handle tendering and trading related to the issuance of municipal bonds. In addition, I support my team members in analytical tasks related to clients’ loan portfolios and interest rate hedges.

What new things have you learned? 

Lotta: I’ve gotten familiar with companies’ financial statements, annual reports and sustainability reports. I also have a better understanding of what sustainable finance means in practice and how much it relates to all of the bank’s activities. 

Tatu: I have learned a lot about derivatives pricing, interbank derivatives trading and macroeconomic drivers. I have also learned how to program in VBA. 

Sonja: Before the traineeship, I knew almost nothing about the bond market or my team’s key concepts such as yield or yield curve. So I went out to rather uncharted waters. Fortunately, I am surrounded by very knowledgeable people who patiently support my learning and are happy to answer my questions. Overall, the atmosphere is encouraging and my supervisor has actively guided me out of my comfort zone, which has helped me to develop.

How have you enjoyed your time at Danske Bank? 

Tatu: I’ve really enjoyed it because the work is interesting, the working environment is fast-paced and you get a lot of support and new lessons from your colleagues. 

Lotta: There is a good atmosphere here. I started my studies in 2019, so my previous internships and summer jobs have been during the Covid19 closures. So I have never worked in a place where you can be in the office with a large number of people at the same time. It has been nice to experience this kind of working culture.

What advice would you give to those thinking about applying for a traineeship?

Lotta: I would recommend Danske Bank’s internship programme to anyone with any interest in banking and motivation to gain work experience! It’s worth preparing for the interview, but there’s no need to be nervous beforehand.

Tatu: If you are interested in the banking sector, feel free to apply for a traineeship, even if you are not studying finance. I myself have colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds. In your application, bring out your relevant skills and your own interests and be yourself. 

Sonja: The preliminary tasks and the interview were suitably challenging. You should prepare for the interview by reading up on current financial topics and news. Don’t worry if your background is not a perfect fit for the banking industry – it wasn’t for me either.

What was your recruitment experience like?

Tatu: The process was very quick and included a video interview round after sending the application, as well as an on-site interview at Danske’s office. 

Lotta: In my case, they were flexible and allowed me to participate in the interview remotely as I was abroad at the time. I found the atmosphere supportive, even though I was challenged with many different questions.

What are your plans after the traineeship?

Sonja: This trainee programme is my first contact with the banking industry, where I also want to stay.

Tatu: Graduation and the search for a permanent job are starting to become an actuality for me. After my internship I have a good understanding of finance, banking and macroeconomics and based on my experience I see Danske Bank as an outstanding potential employer.

For more information about Danske Bank’s internship and career opportunities and current recruitment, please visit