Finding Your Next Mission
Schwab is proud to have partnership and alliance with , an organization dedicated to connecting the military community with civilian companies in order to create a strong and diverse workforce. Every year, Hiring Our Heroes hosts an to present awards to recognize companies who have provided exceptional support to our nation’s heroes. “Awards are presented to companies and individuals that have developed and applied best practices for addressing the employment challenges faced by America’s veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses.” Last year, the event was held in Washington D.C. in November and Schwabbie James Simon, a VP, Financial Consultant in Schwab’s Alexandria, VA branch, was able to attend and represent Schwab with his wife.
James has been in the army for seventeen years. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008 and spent fifteen months there as a platoon leader. He was mobilized again in 2009 and 2010 as well. James says he has always loved serving in the military and has had the good fortune of meeting many great people who have supported him along the way. James came to Schwab in Orlando in 2010 and was mobilized again shortly thereafter. When he returned after a year of deployment, he checked his mail and found a personal letter from Schwab CEO Walt Bettinger thanking him for his service. James has this letter framed in his office and describes it as emblematic of his experience with Schwab ever since when it comes to its support of the military. James jumps on the opportunity to support military recruiting for Schwab and was thrilled to be able to attend the Hiring Our Heroes gala in November for this reason.
“Going to the event was unbelievable,” James says. He and his wife had fun finding a new dress for her to wear to celebrate the occasion; she also thoroughly enjoyed the experience. There were many high-ranking government individuals in attendance, senior political leaders, and of course well-known companies who partner with Hiring Our Heroes. James says the message of the event overall was of support, not only for military members, but also spouses. “Spouses are just as important, if not more important, because they go on a hell of a ride with us,” James says. “It was great to hear that message at the event.”
When asked what it means to him that Schwab partners with Hiring Our Heroes and other organizations that help veterans and military spouses, James says this played a large part in his selection of Schwab—being with a company that has the same values that he has established from being in the military. “It’s important to me and a lot of veterans and current military members—we’re used to working in an environment of teamwork. Military members can be the best team members. Not only are they going to motivate you, but they’re going to hold you accountable. We’re pretty blunt sometimes about how we feel. We want to look out for you—if we didn’t say anything, we wouldn’t be looking out for you.” To James, it’s not about what a company says they’re going to do to hire and support veterans—it’s about the culture and the mission of the company.
"The partnership with Hiring Our Heroes is aligned with the culture of inclusivity ingrained in Schwab’s makeup from day one. The military is diverse from top to bottom… so with Schwab it was a great fit.”
James Simon, Veteran and Schwab employee
When asked what advice he would give to someone transitioning from the military and considering joining a firm like Schwab, James says, “Do your research. The first thing we do in the military—before starting a mission, task, operation—is gather intelligence. Learn about the organization and what their message is. Secondly, speak with someone at the firm. Ask questions. Ask the questions you really want to ask and make sure you feel you’re going to be a part of an organization that is a great fit. Military people want to be able to help contribute. It’s not about the money—it’s about the mission and what they can contribute.” James describes Schwab as a firm that cares about their clients and employees equally and that this is something you don’t just hear from the company, but from the clients as well.