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She left, only to return

Jurgita Zimmermann’s career keeps gravitating towards Danske Bank. What is it about this place?

It was 2009 and Jurgita Zimmermann was bored. 

A couple of years earlier, the young Lithuanian banker had invested a lot of her time and commitment to becoming a certified currency dealer. Yet, she was now in a completely different job that required a lot of paperwork, and she did not like it at all. However, an ambitious plan was taking shape in her head: She wanted to become a currency trader with her own money!



I applied, got a job, but had no idea what to expect
It was then Jurgita read that a bank she almost knew nothing about was opening a Shared Services Centre in Lithuania. The job ad did not say much, just that a wide variety of skills were being sought: account management, trade finance, currency trading, payments, etc.

“The ad appealed to me, because it emphasised diversity and multidisciplinary assignments. A broad range of competencies was required, and I didn’t want to be stuck in one narrow area. There were opportunities to grow, to be part of building a company,” she says.

The bank was Danske Bank.

“I applied, got a job, but had no idea what to expect!”

I had never worked with payments investigations before, but it was so interesting. I found myself being in the right place at the right time. We were a lot of young people with very diverse competencies, and everyone was eager to achieve something and grow.



Theme Fridays and trips to Scandinavia
Jurgita’s career at Danske Bank turned out to be far from dull:

“I had never worked with payments investigations before, but it was so interesting. I found myself being in the right place at the right time. We were a lot of young people with very diverse competencies, and everyone was eager to achieve something and grow.” 

The social life was great, too: Theme Fridays, employees taking turns to bring food and snacks, and Jurgita was also able to go on training trips abroad and get to know Scandinavian culture.

“I had the feeling of being part of a huge organisation with a long history,” Jurgita says.

“When I left, I told my team: I will come back one day”
However, all good things come to an end, and after roughly 5 years with the company, including one and a half years as a team leader, Jurgita was ready for new opportunities – not only outside Danske Bank, but outside Lithuania, too.

“I wanted to try an international career and develop myself as a leader who could thrive on diversity and working with people from different cultures. I felt my time at Danske Bank had prepared me for this challenge – I was used to collaborating with colleagues from different countries and different parts of the organisation.

However, before she left to work and live in her neighbouring country, Latvia, she made a promise:

“When I left, I told my team: ‘I will come back one day! But first, I want to acquire additional skills and a thicker skin,’” she says.

Blue book

At Danske Bank:

  • Head of Fund Services LT from February 2021
  • Team leader for Payments Investigations & Banking Partners LT 2016-2017
  • Senior Payments Investigator 2012-2016

Outside Danske Bank:

  • Team manager positions in the payments, customer and fund transaction areas 2017-2021
  • Trade finance associate, markets associate and sales consultant from 2007-2011 

Education:

Kaunas University of Technology: Bachelor's degree in Mathematical modelling of Business Systems 


Covid-19 triggered the decision
After a couple of years in leadership roles in Latvia, Jurgita returned to Vilnius in Lithuania, working for a competitor. She followed Danske Bank from afar and kept in touch with her old colleagues and staff.

“It was when Covid-19 came to Vilnius that Danske Bank started to shine!” Jurgita explains.

“Compared to other workplaces, Danske Bank seemed to take such good care of its people when dealing with working-from-home issues. Everyone wondered how Danske Bank managed to adapt to the new reality so quickly. At many other companies, staff couldn’t or weren’t allowed to have such flexible and safe working conditions. For me as a manager in another company, that difference was difficult to explain to my people,” she says.

When the right job with the right level of empowerment turned up, Jurgita applied to become part of Danske Bank once again. It was not an easy decision:

“Normally, you don’t leave and then come back. But I knew so many people there, I was sure I would quickly feel at home again. The opportunity to build up the Centre of Excellence for Funds in Vilnius was too great an opportunity to miss.”

Surprise: She returned to a different bank
To Jurgita’s surprise, it was not at all the same bank she returned to: Systems had changed, tools were different and, just a day before she arrived, a new organisational change was introduced… 

Nevertheless, she found the empowerment and the independence she was looking for.

“The bank I have returned to is more agile, more open and encourages more empowerment. There is a great feeling of ‘we’. I really like the bank’s new cultural commitments: Own It, Team Up, Be Open. We all seem to be part of a change agenda, which is what makes the environment so interesting to work in!”