Wall Street Values Veterans
Internship program helps military alums apply their skills to the private sector
Like many veterans, former U.S. Army Sergeant Kimberly Taylor faced a difficult return to civilian life — and the working world. Easing her transition: NYSE Euronext’s Veteran Associate Program. This summer, Taylor and 14 other alums of the U.S. armed forces participated in the inaugural session, which helps equip service men and women with the hands-on training, experience and resources needed to obtain future jobs. One of few in the industry, the initiative aims to address the 23.5 percent unemployment rate among vets ages 18 to 24 by allocating 20 percent of all NYSE internships to military veterans.
“Our heroes returning home can also be stars in business, as their training, skills and discipline translate extremely well to the private sector,” says NYSE Euronext CEO Duncan Niederauer. “We hope to educate them about our company, the financial markets and the business community, and enhance their employment prospects.” The Exchange hopes other companies will follow its lead and is offering to advise corporations that are interested in launching similar programs.
During their eight weeks at the NYSE, participants took part in educational sessions, carried out assignments, and received guidance from sponsors via the NYSE Veteran Employee Resource Group, whose members have served in the armed forces and/or support the cause.
At a roundtable discussion, NYSE Euronext Deputy Chairman Marshall Carter — a former Marine Corps officer and Purple Heart recipient — told this year’s interns that their military background has given them “technical competence, adaptability, and the ability to communicate both up and down the chain of command” — three key leadership traits that benefit employers.
Lucas Mohr, a former Army supply sergeant from Racine, Wis., spent the summer working in the Global Listings group. “Vets don’t want handouts; we want opportunities,” he says. “This experience takes me an extra step toward my future career.”