| 28.03.2024

Alumni interview with Martina Abrahamsen: "Success is not about money but feeling good about yourself and your values"

Martina Abrahamsen
In our new Alumni interview series, we meet Martina Abrahamsen, who has worked in the banking industry for 17 years. Her career has taken her via Frankfurt and Paris to Zug in Switzerland, where she has now been working for six years. Throughout her career, Martina has found that her Hanken degree has given her a solid foundation and many useful skills.

Martina Abrahamsen was preparing for the entrance exam in law when she suddenly realised that this was not something she wanted to do. Instead, she started studying statistics at Lund University, however  she did not enjoy her time  there and therefore applied to Hanken in 2001.

“I chose Hanken because it felt so familiar and cosy, but at the same time international. I wanted to study something interdisciplinary, so I chose management and organisation as my major. It's a subject where  there are a lot of discussion  in class and the lectures felt personal," says Martina.

Martina felt that the years she  studied at Hanken were the best years of her life. Even though she studied quickly and graduated in 2004, she still managed to gain important contacts and create a network.

"At Hanken, networking is easy  because it is such a small university. I am still in contact with some of my fellow students, but even if you haven't been in touch since your studies, it still feels like you reach out to them when needed.

After graduating in 2004, Martina started working at Swedish Handelsbanken where she learnt the basics for her career as a banker. She underlines that you don't need to  study finance to build a career in the financial sector – on the contrary, it can be useful to have studied something else.

Her job at Swedish Handelsbanken brought her to Frankfurt and then to Paris. From there she moved to Switzerland for a job at Crédit Suisse. For the past two years, she has been working as a Relationship Manager for the investment bank UBS, which means she has daily contact with almost every department within the bank.

"Even though I have a great career in finance, I don't see money as a measure of success, but rather that you get to work according to your own values and are satisfied with yourself.

For students currently studying at Hanken, Martina wants to emphasise the importance of networking. According to her, every job in business is about people and relationships.

"Studies at Hanken provide a good base because they include so much group work. It is important to learn how to get along with different people. Remember that you are an ambassador for yourself all the time - in a few years, you might be greeting your old study buddy in the corridor at your job!"

In her spare time, Martina likes to take full advantage of the beautiful nature in Switzerland. There are many ski resorts near her hometown Zug, and in the summer she enjoys hiking and going for picnics up by the mountains with her family.

Martina Abrahamsen spoke at Hanken's Alumni Insights event on 21.3.2024. The next Alumni Insights event will be arranged in autumn.

Text and photo: Marlene Günsberg