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Ida Sultan

Meet Ida Sultan – Analytics Manager at Klarna in Berlin and BSc in Business & Economics alum.

Describe your role and what it is that you do overall and on a day-to-day basis.

I’m currently based in Berlin working as an Analytics Manager at Klarna, with a focus on Market Expansion. More specifically, I work to identify ways to help our largest and most important merchants to grow their business with us in new markets. My day-to-day involves a combination of data analysis and stakeholder management. At Klarna it’s never about just identifying opportunities, you must also make sure that they get acted upon. And to do that you need to engage colleagues from all over the world. It is not unusual for me to start my day interacting with our APAC partners, then transition to our European markets, and finish with our North/South American markets.

What interested you about the field/company/role you are currently in? 

I have worked within market expansion since I graduated SSE, first at H&M and now at Klarna. Initially I chose this line of work because I wanted to have an international career, which a focus on market expansion offered. Thus far I’ve lived in China, Japan and Germany. The reason I ended up specializing in analytics rather than something more operational was because I find that looking at financial data is one of the best ways to quickly understand an organization, as well as to identify business opportunities. Additionally, you often work on projects that are shaping the company and its competitiveness long term, especially in an industry that is quick paced and constantly transforming. Being involved in strategic decision making is challenging but stimulating, and although I can't pretend that I knew all of that when I started, that is what keeps me interested in my profession.

Why did you choose to study your subject area at SSE? How did your time/education at SSE help guide you to the career journey you have embarked on? 

Studying International Business & CEMS was a natural choice for me as I had a strong drive to create an international career for myself and I couldn't (and still can't) see a better program to prepare you for that. Through it you attain the hard business skills you need for a successful daily working life. More importantly, the program is structured to constantly challenge your comfort zone and force you to reflect on your place in the world as well as your responsibility for it. This might seem intangible but I cannot emphasize enough how much it has helped me to be able to apply mental frameworks on culture, diversity and subconscious biases when I work with my colleagues around the globe. To know what you don't know and to know that you can't fully relate is often more valuable than being an expert on a topic.

What path did you take from graduation to where you are now?

  • H&M's International Talent Programin Hong Kong & Beijing: 1 year
    Talent trainee program rotating between three functions and two departments in China.
  • Expansion Controller for North East Asia at H&M in Tokyo: 2 years
    Focused on financial steering and controlling as well as business analysis to guide H&M’s expansion efforts in Japan and South Korea.
  • Regional Head of Expansion Controlling for North East Asia at H&M in Tokyo: 1 year
    Was involved in regionalizing our teams in Japan and South Korea, opened 20+ stores and navigated the team through the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.
  • Analytics Manager at Klarna in Berlin: Since 2022
    I joined recently and my current focus is to identify ways for Klarna’s most important merchants to grow in new markets.

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

  1. While studying, embrace each new course with an open mind and try to learn as much as possible from it even if you don't see the relevance of the information now. Most of the courses will teach you something that you will use further down the line.  
  2. When you are about to graduate, start by figuring out what you want your life to entail. Then choose a career and career field that enables that. If your personal life aligns with your professional life you are going to be a great deal happier, do a better job and advance more quickly.