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Fisnik Zahiti

From working with youth to being a Member of the Swedish National and Olympic Team in Wrestling, AP Manager at Northvolt and BSc in Business & Economics alum Fisnik Zahiti has always enjoyed a challenge. After graduating from SSE, he is relishing the opportunities to grow that come from the start-up world, using his patience, grit, and creativity to solve whatever comes his way.

Can you describe what you do at Northvolt and what your day-to-day looks like?

I am a manager of the accounts payable team and related functions to ensure exceptional service to internal customers, vendor relations, and minimize related financial risks for the company, while closely managing the payable component of working capital. This includes supporting and leading team members to create and maintain an engaged, productive, and experienced organization: performance measurement, skill assessment, training, and team-building.


What excites you about your work at Northvolt? Where do you think your role/field is going in the next 5-10 years?

Although expanding quickly, Northvolt is still a start-up, and therefore one of the best parts of the job is the diversity. No day is the same and you have to be creative and flexible to solve what comes your way. Working at a start-up gives you the opportunity to really make a difference, to be there from the beginning, participating in an amazing journey providing you several chances to grow and to learn. The future is green for sure, and the field of sustainable energy will only expand become a natural part of the discourse.


Can you explain a little bit about the work you’ve done with youth?

I've worked with youth in many different contexts: in schools supporting children with different concentration variations and as an afterschool leader creating and managing different projects to help kids have a meaningful free time. The area I grew up in, Rosengård, is a low-income area, known as a million-dollar-project, where most of the inhabitants had, just like me, come to Sweden as refugees. I came to Sweden because of the Balkan conflict in 1992. Few parents in Rosengård had jobs or even spoke Swedish. It was both economically and socially excluding. Many suffered from bad support systems and poor school results led to young people giving up on their own futures at an early age. Working to give these kids purpose and hope is one of the most meaningful things I've ever done.


How did you get involved in wrestling? What would people be surprised to learn about wrestling or being a member of the Swedish Olympic/National Team?

Growing up, sport organizations were plenty in my area, and I tried almost every sport there was before falling for wrestling. It was a combination of a difficult physical challenge and an amazing community. Wrestling gave me the chance to travel - first all over Sweden and later all over the world - and this has given me so many experiences and so much knowledge. A great intertest in meeting people and learning new things, cultures and ways of thinking grew from the travelling and is a part of me that I use and appreciate daily.

One of my favorite stories to explain Sweden's view on athletic achievements compared to most of the world is when myself and some other wrestlers discussed what winning a medal at the World championships meant. The Turkish guy explained how he would receive a monthly payment for life, the wrestler from Cuba bragged about fame and fortune, whilst I mumbled a bit embarrassed that someone from the Swedish Wrestling Committee might greet me when arriving back in Sweden with some flowers…


How have athletics affected your professional career?

In athletics it’s all about training, preparation, and patience. Nothing ever comes for free and giving up is never the solution. One of the greatest lessons from being an athlete that I'm so glad I have with me in my career is that failure is ok. Fear of failure never motivates my choices or limits my life.


What was so appealing about the BSc in Business and Economics program at SSE when you were deciding where to study?

For me, studying wasn't always a part of the plan. When my athletic career was coming to an end, I needed a new focus and a new challenge. Of course, I wanted that challenge to be the hardest and the best possible. I also wanted to give myself a way forward with as many possibilities and opportunities as possible. The BSc in Business and Economics program at SSE was, according to me, that challenge and the platform I needed.


How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on?

A big part of the guidance came from classmatesm, hearing about their plans and dreams. To realize the infinity of career choices and possible ways forward. I think one of the greatest lessons was the importance of finding something you are passionate about and going for it. At the same time, dare to challenge yourself on the way. Your first job might not be your dream job, but use the experience and move patiently towards your goals. As I come in contact with different parts of my company's departments, I realize how much use I have from even the courses I disliked at the time and that I felt might be of no use to me. To have a broad experience of running a business, of technical terms in different economic areas and a familiarity with all parts of the business concept is an incredible advantage.


Following your time studying, do you have any words of wisdom or advice you would like to share with our current students?

Be patient. Take the opportunity to collect all kinds of knowledge and experiences because they will all be useful in time.


What are three words that sum up your time at SSE?

Patience. Friendships. Knowledge.