Fighting financial crime
Mette Viddal Øi (25) works on preventing and uncovering money laundering. ‘Banks manage substantial assets and are responsible for making sure these assets are not used in a criminal capacity.
'The most important thing for me, is that I spend my life doing something that feels useful. Everyone who has worked in a bank has had some training in combating financial crime. When the opportunity to work in this field came up, it felt very useful and appropriate for my skill set,’ says the former NHH student.
Mette Viddal Øi had graduated with a degree in business economics in summer 2019, with a master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration. She now works in anti-money laundering in Nordea.
International team fighting crime
‘All banks have a social responsibility to prevent financial crime. We are working on developing solutions to protect customers’ financial interests and contribute to fighting money laundering, bribes and terrorism financing,' says Øi.
Although based in Oslo, she continuously cooperates with colleagues in all the countries where Nordea operates. She normally works as part of a Nordic team, responsible for defining and prioritising work tasks for a larger international team.
‘One of the most important things a bank can do is to know their customers. It’s all about banks having good procedures for screening new customers or processing large transactions. If we know our customers, it's easier to prevent and uncover financial crime,’ she says.
From part-time to full-time
The former NHH student worked part-time for most of her studies, first at DNB and then Nordea. However, it was by no means a given that she would pursue a career in the banking sector.
‘I was convinced that I wanted a job in the non-profit sector, or in a company working on sustainability,’ she says.
During her studies at NHH, she was engaged in challenges related to food security. She first delved into the topic at a summer course at CBS. Later, she took part in an internship in Food Forward in South Africa, as part of the summer programme in social entrepreneurship. She has also written a master’s thesis on food security for the FOOD Research Project at NHH.
Øi sees several similarities between the role she has today, and her wish to work for a non-profit organisation. She says both are about exerting a positive influence on society.
‘Nordea is Northern Europe’s largest financial group, and we manage substantial assets. It’s important that we ensure that the money coming in has been earned legitimately, and that the money going out does not contribute to financial crime,’ she says.
‘Going my own way’
Øi says that her time at NHH was both exciting and eventful. Øi believes that as a business economics graduate, you get the opportunity to specialise in particular areas, as well as acquiring more general knowledge.
When she applied to NHH, she was very unsure of what she wanted to do. It was important to choose an education that provided many options.
‘At NHH, I have been able to choose my own way. It was important for me to have the opportunity to take ECTS during the summer holidays. It gave me the opportunity to work beside my studies, be active in the student association at NHH, as well as turning my passion into part of my degree,’ says Øi.
‘My best advice to current students is to have the courage to test out what interests you, and take the opportunities that arise.
'Do what's really meaningful to you. What you have done will reflect who you are, and the skills you possess. That is important for future employers,’ says the NHH student.