How does going on a bike ride—a real outside bike ride—in the middle of a hot summer day in Texas sound? To most people, it would sound something like, “absolutely not.” But to one Schwab employee, it was a no-brainer due to the destination: A local bagel shop.
Rebecca Redman, a member of the Data Analytics and Insights team, had learned the shop was hosting a fundraiser for a non-profit and she thought, “Bagels + Helping Others = Sign Me Up!” But this isn’t a tale about bagels; it’s about a former math teacher finding ways to put her unique skillset and drive to help others to use in her new career.
Connecting with the community
Through some undisclosed method, Rebecca was able to rally a group of her colleagues to join her on a short ride that hot day using the company bikes to get to the fundraiser. Her colleagues playfully said the outing was, “such a Rebecca thing to do,” as someone who always goes out of her way to help others.
When the group made it to the shop, they began chatting with some patrons that inquired about the Schwab-branded bikes they arrived on. Through conversation Rebecca learned one woman she was speaking with manages Career and Technology Education (CTE) programming for a local school district. Being the person that she is, Rebecca had a lightbulb moment about the potential to team up. She asked the woman for her information and promised to be in touch to discuss partnership opportunities between Schwab and the school district.
Changing careers without losing sight of what matters
Prior to joining Schwab three years ago and going on bagel bike rides, Rebecca was a teacher and educator for 12 years. While she loved teaching, her personal circumstances had led her to need to pivot in her professional life. But Rebecca didn’t want to leave behind the tangible impact she was able to make for others as an educator. As she began to explore different career options, it was one of her biggest concerns.
“I think a lot of teachers feel guilt,” explained Rebecca regarding switching fields. “In the classroom you know what you are doing is important, and you see it through the students. I didn’t want to lose that.”
But Rebecca quickly learned she wouldn’t need to worry about losing that part of herself at Schwab. During her new employee training, she recalled hearing a story of a client who indicated they didn’t have a lot of money, and therefore, “didn’t expect to matter.” But instead, the client expressed that they were pleasantly surprised when the company went above and beyond to help them.
“That’s when I made the connection,” recalls Rebecca. “In the classroom, kids come first. And at Schwab, people come first — whether it’s a client on the other end of the phone, or a local charity that would benefit from a partnership.”
Getting back into the classroom
During a networking event in her new role, Rebecca was sharing about her past experience as an educator when a member of the company’s Community Services team overheard her. He let Rebecca know about Schwab’s Community Ambassador Program and asked if she would be interested in serving as a champion for the local school district—the same district she had worked at. Feeling the stars align, Rebecca accepted the offer.
Since then, Rebecca’s been getting back into her educational roots and finding ways to strengthen the company’s connection with the school district. She’s organized financial literacy classes for parents, has been partnering with the charitable arm of the district and is looking forward to hosting an event with over 200 high school students at Schwab’s headquarters this fall.
“It was a really natural place for me to plug in,” explains Rebecca. “I already knew many of the people I work with in the district, so it made those connections easier, and I get to continue having an impact in schools.”
To learn more about how Rebecca navigated a career transition to Schwab, check out Schwab’s Careers Blog.