Continue your service in a rewarding environment.
Marketing Manager, Southern New Jersey
Currently a Staff Sergeant (Gunnery Sergeant select) serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserves attached to HMLA-773 as an Airframes Mechanic and Maintenance Controller on Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters and Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopters, Sarah began her military journey shortly after starting college. Within a year as a Reservist, Sarah went through boot camp, Marine Combat Training, and MOS schools in NAS Pensacola, Florida and MCAS Camp Pendleton, California where she received helicopter mechanic training. Sarah’s first deployment took her to Africa for six months where she was stationed aboard HNLMS Rotterdam of the Royal Netherlands Navy. As a beach loving New Jersey native, Sarah felt at home on the sea, enjoyed the new experience and visited nine countries in Africa, beginning and ending her journey with two weeks in Rota, Spain.
Back home, in New Jersey, Sarah decided she needed a job and aimed to find an opportunity that fit in with her Reserve Drill schedule of service one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer. Sarah jokes, “I didn’t look for banking; banking found me. I went to a local pizza shop and asked for a job application. While I waited to get the paperwork, a customer approached me and said they worked at a local bank and would hire me as teller since I had previous experience handling cash.” Sarah pursued banking opportunities when she moved to Pennsylvania and TD was the first bank to contact her to interview. “I feel fortunate as a Reservist to understand both military and civilian life, so I felt prepared to launch my career in banking. As a Reservist you quickly transition from your civilian job to your military service. There’s no time for recovery, you need to continually jump in and out of both worlds seamlessly.”
Sarah is proud that her TD leaders are accommodating of her Reserve service obligations. “Early into my TD career, the Marines needed my helicopter mechanic training and asked me to spend four months working on a base. Happily, TD allowed me to serve. During the eight years that I’ve been employed with TD, I’m proud of the organization’s continued focus on how to support Reservists, whose needs aren’t always considered by civilian employers. TD is proud of all military colleagues and offers beneficial resources to offer support.” “I appreciate the flexibility and ease to make charitable donations to causes that are import to me. Through TD’s United Way campaign, I’m able to donate to both Wounded Warrior and Horse Rerun (a charity that rehabilitates retired racehorses).
In addition to her work as a Marketing Manager at TD and being a Reservist, Sarah is pursuing her MBA at Rutgers University. To find balance in her busy life when not working or studying, Sarah pursues her lifelong passion of equestrian sports, specializing in dressage. “I obtained my C-2 in the United States Pony Club and have my life-time membership with the United States Dressage Federation and The United States Equestrian Federation. I’ve spent several years as a working student under various Dressage trainers including Gail Osterlund, Sharon Best, Barbara Ebner and Shannon Stevens. I love riding young horses and Thoroughbreds and I am currently working towards my USDF (United States Dressage Federation) Bronze Medal which rewards riders as they move up through levels.”
Sarah began riding horses at age five. “In high school, I got up very early to care for my horse before class. The responsibility of knowing a horse relies on you for care gave me the maturity to handle responsibility and structure which helps me navigate my work in the military and at TD.” Sarah continues to get up daily at 4:30 am to care for her horse and appreciates that her manager allows her the flexibility to schedule her work around veterinary appointments as needed. When not caring for her horses, Sarah enjoys hiking, running, paddle boarding, working out and enjoying an overall healthy lifestyle.
Director, Corporate Cash Management, TD Securities, New York, New York
Paul found the transition from the Army to banking was one that went well but was not without its challenges. After 8 years on active duty as an officer and Apache helicopter pilot that included two tours in Iraq and 18 months in South Korea, Paul made the decision to attend business school to help with his transition. “Pursuing an MBA at New York University Stern School of Business after completing my service helped me transition from the Army to the civilian world. As my undergraduate degree is in Finance, it seemed natural to focus graduate work in finance and leadership.”
Still, it was difficult to translate his career in a way that was understood by recruiters and hiring managers. Also, to understand that after your time in service that included 2 years in company command, leaving the service meant starting over to a certain degree. It is also hard to talk about what you did. “In the Army you were taught that we succeeded as a group, so it was hard to talk about your own individual accomplishments. When I talk to new veterans now, I say to speak up about what you did.”
After more than 10 years in banking, Paul is currently a Team Leader in Corporate Cash Management selling US and Canadian cash management solutions to Fortune 500 companies. He is involved in a number of veterans organizations including being one of the leaders of TD’s Veterans Business Resource Group. “When I first made the transition there were a number of people who were integral to my success, and I want to pay it forward to other veterans. There are more developed organizations and better resources now but it’s still needed work.” He also highlights that being involved in these organizations gives the comradery of individuals with the shared connection of military service. He feels TD is a great environment for veterans and one where their experience and service is recognized. “Since joining TD over 3 years ago, I have seen how veterans are recognized and that they continue to grow the available resources both for employees and clients of the bank.
Regional Vice President, Commercial Banking, Southern New Jersey
When we think of military service people and veterans, their lives of service as well as the sacrifices they make for our country and our freedoms, we can’t forget their family members. Military spouses are often supporting and sacrificing in untold ways. As a military spouse whose husband is now serving in the Air Force Reserve, Chantal knows firsthand the difficulties of adapting to a single-parent lifestyle while her husband is away. “He has been deployed eight times and is currently the Commander of the 76th Air Refueling Squadron and a KC-46 pilot instructor pilot. Transitioning from military life to the civilian world is not always easy. To help our veterans find gainful employment, TD offers programs and recruitment initiatives that are also extended to military spouses. We recognize spouses also can struggle to adapt to life during or after military service, when they may be challenged with frequent moves or finding childcare.”
Despite most U.S. households needing two incomes to stay afloat financially, more than 20 percent of military spouses are estimated to be unemployed. TD is hoping to help change that with a new relationship with the Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP). MSEP includes more than 500 employers, including TD, which connects spouses targeting employment opportunities. Chantal understands the emotional toll of constant worry for your spouse’s safety and the need to comfort the children and reassure them in spite of your own real-world concerns. “I think the MSEP partnership shows how much TD cares, recognizing that our military families (spouses and children) also make sacrifices for our country. We hold down the fort at home and support our loved ones in uniform to keep all Americans safe and our freedoms intact. The MSEP partnership is one more example of TD’s sustained commitment to veterans and their families, and to diversity and inclusion throughout the organization.” Chantal believes “military families understand each other. They look out for one another, check in on each other, and are always available for support. This is the spirit upon which the MSEP partnership was built; one of respect and understanding, of community and connection.”
One of the most significant challenges of being a military spouse is when their partners return from long deployments and must reintegrate their lives. “I must remind myself I’ll never understand the emotional toll my husband endured while deployed and to always remain supportive. TD’s support of Veterans and their families shows the workplace can be a safe place, where it’s possible to find a colleague who knows exactly what someone is going through and can provide that all-important support to help them get through the tough times. The liberties that every American enjoys are paid for by the brave service people of our nation’s armed forces and the families who love them. TD’s commitment to supporting our military families is one meaningful way we give back and share our gratitude for the freedoms their service and sacrifice have afforded us.”
When connecting with military spouses who are looking for new jobs, Chantal encourages them to utilize all available resources provided by the military to make their job search easier. “As active military can move around the country three to four times during their career, Chantal advises military spouses to be open about their situation with employers. “Your manager can’t help you if they don’t understand your unique circumstances as a military spouse. If you’re the only parent at home, you’ll need to leave work to pick up your child from school when they are sick. Be transparent about your spouse’s deployment and the support you need during this time and join Veteran groups within your organization to network and get advice from colleagues who’ve shared your experience and are happy to help you.”
Financial Advisor, TD Private Client Wealth, New York City, New York
As a child growing up in New York City, the September 11tth terrorist attacks affected Luis deeply and convinced him that he should someday join the military. In 2015, Luis realized his childhood ambition and enlisted in the Army to focus on carpentry and masonry services. Another ambition was to pursue an MBA, so Luis applied to Hofstra University during his Army service. While Luis was deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait, he was able to continue his studies. “Balancing deployment and graduate studies helped me focus on what was important while gaining valuable leadership experience. During the challenging time of deployment, I remained positive by reminding myself that my hard work would give me momentum to launch a successful career when I returned home.”
Excited to start searching for a civilian opportunity when he left the Army, Luis was initially disappointed that despite pursuing many jobs, he didn’t receive the interviews and job offers he’d anticipated. Looking back on this time, Luis now realizes he allowed his worries to dominate his thoughts throughout his job search. “Upon leaving the Army, I worried that I hadn’t interviewed in over six years, and I might not effectively promote my skills and experience to a prospective employer. I worried that some recruiters may not want to pursue people with military backgrounds. I worried that employers would not want to hire people going to school part time. My worries took over my thoughts and I became scared and preoccupied with fear that I would never find a good job.”
Luckily for Luis, his skills, experience, strong communication skills and tenacity impressed a TD hiring manager. “During my interview with TD, I thought the job sounded like a great fit, the culture seemed inclusive, and I was excited for the potential opportunity. Despite my enthusiasm, I was nervous I might not stand out as the right candidate for the role. I was transparent and shared that as an Army Reservist, I’ll need one weekend off per month and two weeks off during the summer. I also shared that I was pursuing my MBA on a part time basis and occasionally may need to leave work early for class. To my surprise, the hiring manager, said this would not be an issue. What I thought would be a deal breaker turned out to be fine as long as I communicated my needs in advance to my manager.” Luis realized that TD was similar to the military in that they wanted him to be himself and not fit a mold; they valued his unique experience and allowed him to excel and grow in his career. “When you work hard and are open to opportunity, there’s so much potential, TD wants you to be successful.”
Looking back on times when he was filled with worry and fear that his career would never launch, Luis understands the anxiety but encourages people to start with work that will appreciate your unique experience. “With so many organizations short staffed today, it’s a great time for Veterans to roll up their sleeves and work hard to get noticed.” Luis also encourages Veterans to look for ways to meet people upon joining an organization. “As a new hire, my manager suggested I join TD’s Veterans Resources Group. “I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m glad I joined the group. I continue to meet Veteran colleagues throughout the bank and work with Recruit Military to help Vets seeking job placement. I’m always happy to help a solider who was in my position of worrying about looking for civilian employment. Luis’ efforts with the Veteran Resource Group led to him becoming Co-Chair of Metro New York Veterans Business Resource Group. He is currently a frequent participant in metro New York City Veteran job fairs. “The Veteran Resource Group values any level of participation. Anyone can contribute, we value everyone’s efforts.”
Senior Governance & Control Analyst, Framework Execution, Greenville, SC
TD celebrates the dedication and bravery of all military personnel. We have a growing community of veterans who bring a unique perspective to our business and a passion for going above and beyond. Our mission is to build upon our commitment by creating a community where all active duty, reserve, former military and services members can share their experiences, grow their careers and raise awareness of veteran matters to our colleagues, customers and communities.
During her 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, Malaika Townes, a chemical specialist, did a tour in Iraq, where she helped farmers clean land contaminated with buried weapons. She learned how to coordinate with fire departments and other organizations to protect civilians in case of potential chemical attacks when she returned to South Carolina.
Those skills and experiences have proven vital in Malaika’s work at TD Bank, where she started more than seven years ago as a team manager at a TD Contact Center before being chosen as one of 10 in-house veterans to be trained for project manager roles. Her supervisor had suggested she consider the training program because of her earlier experience. “That was a great opportunity,” said Malaika, now a Senior Governance and Control Analyst for Shared Services Governance and Control in TD’s Greenville, South Carolina office.
It makes sense for the bank to look to veterans as promising project managers, given the expertise they developed in the service, according to Malaika.
“I could see why TD Bank decided, ‘You know, this is a great opportunity to use military people.’ I had to understand how to set up and plan with other organizations that were not military,” said Malaika, who was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 2008.
The military background, combined with strong family role models, had prepared Malaika for success. The Army experience strengthened her confidence, leadership, and belief in doing things the right way rather than taking shortcuts.
“The leadership, the morale and the work ethic are engrained in me. I bring it with me every day,” she explained. “It taught me how to use challenges to my advantage, to learn and grow from them,” she said.
“Having that will to go out and learn, that’s another thing as well. That’s a big benefit here. Did I know how to do project management the TD way? No, I didn’t. But I had the will to learn, to embrace it – that drive for learning,” said Malaika. Malaika’s manager can’t say enough good things about having veterans on his team.
Malaika looks forward to spending Independence Day with her husband’s family, who have strong military roots and seeing the fireworks at night in her hometown of Greenville. One song always played that day has a meaning for her. “They start the Star-Spangled Banner toward the end and that gets you pretty emotional about the reasons why we celebrate the Fourth of July, for those freedoms and rights the country fought for,” she said. “It’s a very emotional experience, even if I hear it right now. You think about what you did and what you went and served for. It makes me feel proud about serving for my country.”
No doubt some of Malaika’s drive was nurtured by a strong family. Distant relatives adopted Malaika and her younger brother and sister – who are both retiring from active-duty military service this year. Malaika’s birth mother asked the family members to take them in when they were about to become foster children. Her adoptive mom and dad guided the siblings.
“Those are the ones that gave me the strength to start building the foundation and getting on the right path,” she said. “They were willing to do that. They took that step for us so that we could have a better future for ourselves.”
Malaika became the first woman from her birth family to graduate from high school. “I was raised by a lot of strong women in my family,” she said. Her dad, who also had a military background, “was definitely strong, and hard as well. That parent instilling that structure” helped as she went into the military.
Enlisting in the Army Reserve allowed her to stay close enough to home to support her siblings while venturing away from her parental safety net. She wanted to prove to herself she could do something on her own.
She also wanted to set a higher bar for her siblings. “It wasn’t about rising above expectations,” she said. “It was about setting new ones and going farther than our parents had.”
Malaika has also derived strength from her relationships at TD, where she enjoys support and guidance from colleagues she considers to be her very own “executive board” – a professional network of trusted mentors, sponsors and peers, men as well as women.
She earned an associate degree in electrical telecommunications from ECPI University while in the Army and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in project management from Strayer University, with support from TD’s tuition assistance benefit.
Mom to a 15-year-old son and 24-year-old stepdaughter, her “bonus daughter,” Malaika is actively giving back by serving as the TD Bank’s Veteran Business Resource Group co-chair, president of TD’s Toastmasters Greenville chapter, member of the Black Employee Network and the Individuals with Diverse Abilities (IwDA) community, and as mentor to other women across the bank.
“We can get so caught up in pushing forward that sometimes we don’t stop to pull each other up,” she said. “We need to be deliberate about growing each other, there is always something you can teach or learn from someone else.”
Diversity Sourcer, Veteran & Individuals with Diverse Abilities, Coopersberg, PA
A member of the Army Reserves from 2010-2020, Rob was an Ordnance Officer who transitioned to Information Operations and ended his military career as a Captain, Ordnance Officer. Rob was deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan in 2013, and Jordan in 2018 where he trained Jordanian Marines on U.S. Intelligence strategies.
Prior to joining TD, Rob worked for the Washington Nationals, MLB Network, and Major League Baseball where he held different positions ranging from, Retail Manager, Production Manager and a Program Facilitator. “In my role as a Program Facilitator, I created a program supporting Veterans who wanted to start a career in sports, which was sponsored by Major League Baseball. It was then I realized my true passion of supporting the military community, which led me to TD and my current role as a Sourcer who identifies talent in the Veterans and Individuals with Diverse Abilities communities. TD has given me the opportunity to support the military community in new ways and I look forward to increasing the impact we as a bank can have with helping Veterans find rewarding career opportunities.”
Rob joined the Army Reserves in his mid-20’s, “while my career trajectory was going well, I never got past my passion to serve my country. There were some crossroads in my life where I knew it was now or never, so I made the decision to join the Army Reserves, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made.” Rob’s military journey was unique as a Reservist. Following a year of constant military training and completing military schooling, Rob returned to civilian life. After completing his military activity, Rob’s life was transformed and following his time in uniform, he wanted to join active duty. “Unfortunately, I could not get out of my Reserves contract so that was not an option, however I was able to volunteer on many stateside tours where I oversaw training and traveled domestically. Once I completed my time and decided not to continue my service, I knew I wanted to serve those who served our country.” As a Reservist, Rob was familiar with civilian work, so transition from the military was not challenging. “My goal was to combine my military training and education in my civilian career, and I found it hard to find opportunities that easily combined my two experiences. Applying and receiving an Apprenticeship from Major League Baseball Network helped me not only break into a field I never would have been able to otherwise; it allowed me to be an ambassador for all Veterans. Working as an advocate for Veterans helped me find my passion.”
When guiding Veterans interested in finding civilian work, Rob suggests finding Recruiters and Sourcers on LinkedIn who specialize in Veteran talent. “When you find a job that interests you, reach out directly to the Recruiter. Veteran Recruiters and Sourcers love to connect; it makes our job easier when people reach out to us directly.” Rob also wants Veterans to utilize all available resources to benefit their job search. “The Department of Defense has many job hunting resources from resume writing to interview tips that will guide Veterans through each step of a job search.” Rob also suggests Veterans ask an organization about their commitment to supporting the military to learn more about values and culture.
“Since joining TD in 2022, Rob helped launch a program for new hires, We are TD, which offers Veteran new hires introductions to colleagues from the military, information on how to join the Veteran Business Resource Group and tools that will help them successfully navigate their new work home. “I enjoy helping Veteran new hires learn about our Business Resource Group as it gives them an opportunity to help the military community, network to meet colleagues and leaders who could lead you to potential future opportunities, and most importantly, reconnect with those who wore a uniform.” Since joining TD’s Veteran Business Resource Group, Rob has been a featured speaker at a Veterans Day summit, organized conferences for Veteran colleagues and conducted focus groups with Veteran colleagues to gather their feedback on a variety of work-related topics.
Tina Marie Rispinto,
Vice President, Senior Manager, Organizational Effectiveness, Organizational Development & Governance, Charlotte, North Carolina
As the oldest of seven siblings, Tina could often be found working in her family’s Italian restaurant in a small town near Pittsburgh, PA. Always one to wonder what was in store for her future, at seventeen, Tina wasn’t yet aware of her career aspirations. Curiosity and a love of learning about new cultures led Tina to accept an invitation from an Army Recruiter and National Security Agency (NSA) representative who engaged her because she studied Latin for 6 years. She completed Army Basic Training while still in high school. Following graduation, Tina was sent to Presidio Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterrey, California. Tasked with mastering the Russian language, Tina then progressed to attend the Goodfellow Air Force Base Signals Intelligence program where she was trained to listen to Russian communications and analyze key points to the NSA. Tina was stationed with the 513th MI group at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and was sent on an eight-week Reforger assignment to Egypt. Tina enjoyed the work but found the culture difficult for Women soldiers.
Tina’s military career progressed to include relocating to the 533rd MI Battalion in Frankfurt, Germany for three years and managing a team of Russian translators. The team’s complex work always varied and ranged from focusing on translating documents for Chernobyl Incident to the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. While in Afghanistan, the work was not safe, especially for a Female Soldier. Not wanting to shirk away from her leadership responsibilities, Tina led her group but was detained and captured when they realized she was a female soldier. “I’m not sure how long I was held hostage in a cave. I was not treated well, and was hog tied which caused many disabilities. While I’m grateful to be free and alive, the biggest lesson I learned it that as a leader, it’s not about your individual skills or how you protect your team, you need to ensure your efforts are what’s best for the whole team. In trying to do my job, I lost sight of the mission and what was most important to my team. The biggest lesson I took to my civilian career is to focus on your team and customers rather than yourself.”
While Tina received accolades and medals for her military work, she spent many years feeling she didn’t live up to expectations. In time, Tina was able to heal and recall her military journey with pride and use lessons from this period in her civilian career in organizational effectiveness and development. The same curiosity and love of learning that led Tina to join the military when she was seventeen is alive and well in her today. When advising Veterans transitioning and considering civilian employment, Tina feels “you can’t sit back and think you know everything in life, ask questions, be curious and enjoy learning. The military was a godsend to me, I learned the Russian language, earned a bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees and gained wonderful professional experience. Veterans must always remember their accomplishments; as they transition from the military, some people can lose their sense of purpose. Look for organizations that mirror your values and the standards you enjoyed in the military. When I joined TD, I knew I’d be ok because I could see the organization’s purpose and values and they were similar to mine.”
Head of U.S. Contact Center, Executive Lead of TD Salutes, Charlotte, NC
Paul served in the Army for 16 years where he spent 12 of those years as a Commissioned Officer. He coordinated the deployment of his unit to Saudi Arabia and served in the Middle East for a year in support of Operation Desert Storm. Paul received the Bronze Star for service while in theater.
After the Army, Paul transitioned into Banking and specifically, Contact Centers where he spent more than 23 years at Wells Fargo, eventually leading their National Contact Center Specialty team with over 5,200 colleagues. He joined TD in 2020 and has worked on transforming the TD U.S. Contact Center into a world-class team servicing millions of customers every month.
Paul considers himself a Servant Leader, which means he shows up to work every day ready to put the needs, growth, and wellbeing of his colleagues first. Being the Head of the U.S. Contact Center, he has thousands of Colleagues relying on his support and guidance. But his dedication to employees extends beyond his own team. Because of his firsthand experience navigating the corporate world as a Veteran, he leads our TD Salutes Business Resource Group, and he has a special interest in helping other Veterans in the workplace succeed. He believes that any team will be better off with Veteran representation.
“Veterans offer discipline, leadership, loyalty, and many other qualities to our diverse workforce—all of which help make TD a great place to work. We know the skills Veterans develop in the military such as collaboration and decision-making agility are exactly what we want in our team members and our leaders. It’s imperative that we as an organization leverage these skills to strengthen our teams and help each other succeed.”
Once you are transitioned out of military life and into your career, Paul strongly recommends all Veterans to take advantage of the workplace offerings, resources, and programs specifically for Veterans. Taking advantage of these programs can give you exposure, build your network and increase your success in the workplace. Paul’s passion for helping Veterans succeed in the workplace has translated into his work as the Lead of TD Salutes, TD’s organized communities for Veterans and those looking to support their Veteran Colleagues.
“Our mission is to help give all active duty, reserve, former military and service members, as well as their families and friends, a community where they can share their experiences, grow their careers and help us to promote education and awareness of Veteran matters.”
To mention just one of the many benefits of joining TD Salutes, each quarter, there is a speaker’s series where our colleagues can hear career advice from Veteran leaders, both inside and outside the bank. We offer advice on best practices to advance your career at a corporation, the importance of self-identifying as a veteran, and how to use your military experience to shape your success.
“My advice to Veterans in the workplace is to use your training to stand out among your peers. Act as a leader in any position you hold. Everything you do, the way you carry yourself and respond to even the most seemingly minor things is critical.”
Elinet Congleton Military Spouse,
VP Group Manager, New Jersey
Elinet has been a military wife for over 20 years, and an employee with TD bank for 15 of those years. “As a military child, all I know is the military life and I am very proud to say that I have sacrificed my life to make things better for others. We frequently moved to different states and countries to make sure my husband completed his duties as a Navy Chief and we as a family have sacrificed time, relationships and careers.” Elinet understands in the military change is always certain, so she knew deployment meant a move was inevitable. “The most difficult part of the change was telling my children they will have to leave their friends and start over again, that was tough. Packing everything you own and beginning again in a different place every couple of years was not fun, but we made it an adventure. This was not an easy task at all we lost many things and had to begin to establish our lives every single time, but we came through.”
At the beginning of military life, Elinet struggled with constant change but with lots of support and teamwork from military coordinators (ombudsman) she learned to be organized and have a plan. “Have a plan and work your plan. As a military wife you always want to be organized, prepared, and be structured which all have been how I became successful. Being resourceful and asking for help made things easier but I learned the hard way.” Elinet realized she needed a team of supportive people who can encourage you to succeed and be available to guide you when you make mistakes. “I have also learned that you are a family in the military and that you depend on others, no one stays behind. No one stays behind has made me successful in team settings and in my performance within leadership, my team understands that I will work as hard as they do and sometimes right next to each of them. If they fail, I fail, if they succeed I do as well.” Elinet will always be grateful for the discipline she gained from her military family. The military has also brought Elinet and her family wonderful opportunities to meet new people that become like family. “My favorite military network event was the Christmas parties, where all the families would get together and share food and gifts as a family as well gather gifts and donate to those families in need. Volunteering time and helping others has always been my favorite networking event with the military. I always like to help the new spouses and families when deployment is about to happen.”
Elinet’s husband left for Italy for a tour of two years while she stayed in New Jersey with her son and family while completing (and absorbing the cost) of her college degree. Elinet began working at TD as a Teller. The flexible schedule and friendly, inclusive culture made Elinet feel at home. “I moved through the east coast and had several customer services positions and when I moved back to New Jersey, I knew I wanted to come back to TD.” Elinet joined the Contact Center in a Customer Representative position. “During my 15 years with TD, I have held 8 different positions within the Contact Center. My most recent positions were the Interim Group Manager for Day to Day and Team Manager for the Bilingual Team in Day to Day. My current position of one year is a Group Manager within TD Card Services.”
Project Manager ISales, Support & Project Management
Natalie’s last military role in 2003 was an Operations Supervisor for an 850 personnel multi-service Infantry Brigade, where she managed a team of 34 and was responsible for the review and execution of daily operational instructions. Natalie has master’s degrees in Transportation and Logistics from the American Military University and in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate degree in International Business from Walden University.
It’s challenging for anyone to summarize their career story into a stunning two-minute pitch. Natalie found it overwhelming to encompass seventeen years of military skills and duties into a brief career defining summary.
As Veterans transition from the military or apply for a new civilian role; it’s beneficial to focus on how their specific skills align for the job you want rather than crunching their military history into a quick sound bite.
“If you’re interested in a Project Management role, focus on your strategic experience and skills. Concentrate on what the job needs and translate how your experience fits.”
Military life is very focused on communication style.
Veterans frequently need to connect with people to help them use less acronyms and military jargon. “It’s important for Veterans to realize that all industries have their own language made of shorthand, slang and acronyms and it takes time to translate. Always be aware of how you translate your skills and experience, so an employer relates your experience to their opportunity. Take the time to elaborate and don’t assume people understand your experience without more explanation.”
There’s a military decision process that helps you identify risk at an early stage which is useful to develop a plan without skipping an important phase. “Military training helps you identify everything upfront, dive in sooner rather than later and save time on the back end and know your limitations and assumptions. I frequently use these military learned skills on the job at TD Bank.”
When interviewing, ensure you understand civilian titles. “Veterans shouldn’t only consider entry level opportunities. Ask questions about job descriptions, titles and grade levels which can be confusing when you’re entering a new industry.”
Preparing to find a new role following her military career, Natalie found networking was important. “You have to make the effort; it’s who you know to get to where you want to be”. Noticing Veterans were under represented on diversity pillars, Natalie connected with other Veterans throughout the organization and got involved with meetings. Natalie became a representative for TD Bank for Vets of Wall Street and is a founding member of a Veterans chapter in Charlotte, SC. Networking and forming strong connections have exposed Natalie to an array of new opportunities.
For Veterans worried about how corporate workers view the military, remember that “education diffuses myths; understand the skills vets have and take your time defining your experience and how it relates to the role you want. Get to know recruiters and help them understand the nuances of a Veterans resume. Educate hiring managers on how your professional experience will benefit their team.” Demonstrate the value you’ll bring to a team with lots of relevant examples of your work. “As Veterans show you before they tell you, remember to translate how your skills are transferable and the qualities and skills that go into a military title. Ask about resources that organizations provide Veterans and how they promote mental health initiatives.”
Community Development Manager
Rob spent eight years of progressive experience in the Marines. His most recent role in the Marines was a Staff Sergeant Recruiter. Rob has a BS in Education from Liberty University and a MS in Education with the University of Virginia. He is certified in HR Management and Project Management and is pursuing a doctorate degree in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University.
When pursuing civilian work, Rob feels networking and volunteering are great methods to connect and learn about new opportunities.
Rob’s story starts with his father, a 20-year Marine veteran who served two tours in Vietnam in 1965 and 1968. As a military brat, Rob moved every three years and lived in California, Texas, and North Carolina. While a freshman in college, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and served as a combat engineer and after five years was a platoon sergeant in charge of 37 men. In 1991, his unit was activated to support Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. After college, Rob went into active duty for two years in the Marine Corps and was assigned to recruiting duty and was promoted to Staff Sergeant and separated in 1995.
The jobs of a combat engineer are to support infantry forces by removing obstacles using explosives for the demolition of structures, and to clear and other engineering roles – sometimes under enemy fire. “The skills I learned involved precise calculations to properly use explosives, but also, I learned a lot about improvisation and adaptability. Leadership is a learned skill, as I oversaw the welfare of men from diverse backgrounds and I was responsible for millions of dollars of weapons and equipment.” Other skills that easily transfer from the military to civilian work include communication, flexibility, teamwork, integrity, planning, and problem solving.
To stand out to a civilian employer, Rob suggests Veterans discuss their ability to adjust at a moment’s notice in high-pressure situations and share examples of how the military taught you to be proactive. “Veterans receive leadership training and know when to take and when to give orders and collaborate. Veterans are highly skilled and technically trained and receive continuous education and training to keep up with proficiency… we are great learners.”
After leaving the Marines, Rob worked in retail management and then pursued opportunities in banking. He applied directly for a role at jobs.td.com and was hired in 2014 as a Store Manager and was promoted four years later to his current role as a Community Development Manager of Central and Northern Florida. Always seeking viable new opportunities, Rob is open to pursuing Community Development and Diversity & Inclusion roles in the future.
When pursuing civilian work, Rob feels networking and volunteering are great methods to connect and learn about new opportunities.
“When looking for civilian employment, check out your local Chambers of Commerce, small business development centers and colleges/universities which have a veteran department and host networking events.” Strengthen your connections through veteran online nonprofit organizations and connect with them on LinkedIn.
Veterans are a tight group, but also a modest, quiet group. “The military trains men and women to work as a team and individualism is downplayed. Many Vets believe it is their duty to serve and that it’s not a big deal. Vets are very proud of their service, but they do not boast about their service. In the workplace, we will work hard and keep our head down. TD Bank’s culture of inclusivity can amplify the skills of a Veteran and advocate the Veteran’s performance.”