Alumni of the week

From football to finance

Samir Fazlagic


Account manager

DNB

Bachelor of Marketing 2011 and Executive Master of Management 2017

“I got to feel how fragile a football career can be.”

Samir Fazlagic has fond memories from several big football clubs, but regards his career change as the smartest transfer of them all.

‒ Honestly, it was just amazing. I don’t miss running around on the training ground in minus 10 degrees. At the same time, it felt natural. I was fed up with football, says Fazlagic.

He was only 30 years old when he decided to retire in 2013, after more than 200 appearances for teams such as Stabæk, Skeid, Strømsgodset and Kongsvinger. A lack of motivation, various smaller injuries and an uncertain future made the former Tippeligaen player consider a new career.

Chance led him into a position in DNB, where he is currently working as an account manager and financial advisor with a portfolio of more than 600 business customers. It was the friendly environment at work and the rewarding tasks of the job that drew him towards finance.

What made everything even better, was the fact that he got to use skills he acquired playing football.

‒ You work in a team and cooperate, you are supposed to perform, they assess you, and, as a former captain in Kongsvinger, you learn how to take responsibility so that everyone pulls in the same direction. There is so much that is transferable to what I do now.


Norway’s best

He might have handed over his captain’s armband, but still remains proud over the fact that his employer has selected him and his colleagues as Norway’s best in their segment for several years running.

His favourite part of the job is the people he encounters, especially when out meeting with clients.

‒ There is a lot of different people and you do get that connection with them. It is very rewarding when you can help them out and contribute to their growth. That is when I really feel like I am making a difference.

When starting out in DNB, he already had a bachelor’s degree from BI, but a colleague inspired him to opt for an executive education at the same school. Today, he has completed his Executive Master of Management.

Looking back, he has only nice things to say about both his employer DNB and BI for how they arranged for him to combine his job with the studies.

‒ You get such a great breadth and depth in your knowledge, especially when you can relate what you learn to practical workplace situations. My education has affected how I think and reflect, both at home and in my job.


Not finished learning

In hindsight, he is not regretful of the choice he made five years ago. The sport gave him a lot, but there were also negative aspects.

‒ I got to feel how fragile a football career can be, in regard to injuries, not being good enough and things not going exactly as you planned it. That is why I was so intent on having something else to show for myself.

Even after getting his bachelor’s and master’s, he refuses to consider himself done developing his knowledge, particularly when working in a company he describes as very committed to innovation and transformation.

‒ If you feel finished learning, you are basically done for. The skills you have today, are not necessarily the same you will need in a few years. That is why it is important to continuously absorb new things and always remain curious.