With only 16 months remaining in the military my transition to civilian life is fast approaching. 16 months sounds like ample time, but I already have plenty going on, including:
- Completing a rigorous masters degree with Creighton University.
- Already being engaged in a full-time career with the U.S. Army.
- Planning on sitting for the CFA Level 3 Exam in 8.44 months.
- Going to Oktoberfest this weekend and spending the night in Munich.
Well, maybe #4 isn’t too demanding but it will still take time which is fast becoming a precious commodity as my transition looms. There are resources to assist transitioning soldiers such as TAP (Transition Assistance Program). I haven’t been to TAP yet, but I have not heard great things about it. The problem with TAP seems to be that it is a one-size-fits-all type program for all soldiers transitioning. I will still use TAP, because there will be some useful information for me. However, I don’t think it will be sufficient to help me achieve my goal of becoming a financial analyst.
This is why I need to network like a ninja and look at alternative programs to help me reach my goals.
Here are the five main resources I plan on using and my progress within each of them:
- Reaching out to my fellow classmates in Creighton’s MIMFA program (Investment Management and Financial Analysis). I am already speaking to one on a regular (quarterly) basis. I won’t reveal his name, or details to protect the innocent, except that he works within the fixed income world and has been an absolute Godsend for me. I plan on reaching out to a few more of my classmates in the near future.
- Reaching out to my professors from Creighton University and the Career services center. I am certain that my professors will have some sage advice for me and they always seem eager to help.
- LinkedIn. This is what LinkedIn is for, right? In particular, the Veteran Mentor Network group on LinkedIn seems especially active and useful. This is a good place to ask questions as there always seem to be tons of people willing to help out and point someone in the right direction.
- American Corporate Partners (ACP). ACP is a non-profit organization that helps veterans transition into corporate America. This program is awesome and it is much better than the one-size-fits-all program that the Army offers. Basically, you fill out a questionnaire, conduct a phone interview with the excellent people at ACP, and they attempt match you up with someone who fits what it is you are trying to do. I am currently the happy protégé of a veteran from a major financial firm. I was not sure what to expect from ACP, but I was blown away by the program. It really has exceeded my expectations. If you are a transitioning veteran I highly recommend ACP.
- The CFA Society of Cincinnati. This one is a bit difficult considering I am currently living in the middle of Bavaria. I currently have a student membership with the CFA Society of Cincinnati. They hold events on roughly a monthly basis. These events are usually luncheons with a guest speaker. I would love to go to any of these, but have not had a chance yet. The CFA Society of Cincinnati also sends out job postings which give me insight into what firms in Cincinnati are looking for. I have 16 months remaining to refine my skill set to better match what these job postings are looking for.
As you can see, I have much work to do. Time to get busy.