Bridging Military and Financial Service - Bob Woodruff Foundation

Bridging Military and Financial Service

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Transitioning from service to the workforce isn’t easy, with veterans facing many unique and unforeseen employment barriers. They’re often forced to ask vexing questions, like which skills gained from military service can they use in a corporate role? Which employers use recruitment efforts to hire veterans? Most importantly, which industry should they look into? 

One ideal answer to these questions: consider a career in financial services.   

“Financial institutions are great places to work and they have a wide variety of different roles where veterans can make an impact,” says Nick Schumann, a 19-year Army Reservist working in a senior role at HSBC. “Please don’t think that you need a degree in finance or an MBA to work at a bank.” 

A career in the financial services sector may seem like an implausible pivot after service, but Wall Street is actually a diverse and dynamic industry filled with veterans looking to help fellow service members join. 

“Don’t discount your transferrable skills!” urges Jasmine Sturdifen, a USMC veteran serving as Assistant Vice President at BNP Paribas. “If, like me, you hope to make a transition that may seem unintuitive at first, think creatively about how to translate your experiences to your new industry.” 

Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) Offers Career Advancement for Veterans Nationwide 

Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) is a multi-city initiative that gives veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses the resources and insider knowledge to start their journey into the financial services sector.  

VOWS, along with the women veteran-focused Women Veterans on Wall Street (wVOWS), work to ensure veterans are connected with educational services pertaining the industry, career development resources to pinpoint and utilize the many skills from gained service, networking for exclusive job opportunities, specialized workshops such as resume crafting and practice interviews, and much more.  

Through yearly events like the VOWS Symposium, veterans hear from leaders in the financial services industry, meet with employers looking to recruit veterans, and build professional relationships with fellow veterans in the sector. 

Wall Street is Coming to a City Near You 

Don’t be misled by the name; VOWS began on Wall Street but isn’t confined to it. The program is expanding its reach and impact with new chapters in several major cities:  

If there isn’t a VOWS chapter in your city, don’t worry! New chapters are opening each year, including one in Chicago launching this September. Additionally, select VOWS events can be accessed virtually – so you can connect with veteran peers in the industry from anywhere. 

Explore Your Options at a VOWS Event This Year 

VOWS and partners like Citi, HSBC, and UBS organize a series of specialized events throughout the year with the goal of bridging the gap between veterans and the financial services sector. From full-day seminars filled with industry knowledge to casual meet-and-greets for networking, each event serves as a strategic waypoint for those looking to turn their service into a rewarding career.  

Take a look at the upcoming VOWS events in 2023: 

  • Mar 3: VOWS Miami Happy Hour 
  • Mar 6: wVOWS Women’s History Month Event – New York hosted by Societe Generale Bank 
  • Mar 16: wVOWS Women’s History Month Event – Chicago hosted by AmeriVet Securities Bank 
  • Mar 30: wVOWS Women’s History Month Event – Miami 
  • Jun 5: wVOWs Women Veterans Day Event – San Francisco 
  • Jun 19: wVOWS Women Veterans Day Event – Dallas 
  • Jun 26: wVOWS Women Veterans Day Event – Charlotte 
  • Jul 20: VOWS Miami Event 
  • Sep 14: VOWS Chicago Launch 
  • Oct: VOWS Miami Symposium 
  • Nov 2: VOWS Symposium  

For more information on VOWS events and where to connect with VOWS resources, visit the VOWS website or contact Emilee Gates at [email protected]. 

To hear more from veterans working in the financial services industry, check out Veteran Spotlight on the VOWS website.