Chris Isola, head of veterans affairs at the global financial services firm UBS and former U.S. Marine Corps officer, knows how challenging it can be to make the transition from military to civilian life.
“When I left active duty in February 2005, there were few programs in place for transitioning service members, especially on Wall Street,” explains Isola, who was stationed in both Iraq and Afghanistan. “Helping our transitioning military population find their way into new, meaningful careers is beyond rewarding for me. It’s therapeutic.”
Isola’s firm helps veterans move forward through mentoring, career development, and placement. He calls it a win-win.
“Hiring veterans is good business,” Isola explains. “The leadership, teamwork skills, quality of character, and discipline they imbue is unparalleled, and further improves our culture. I couldn’t be more proud of UBS and how the firm has not only embraced our veterans programs, but also built them into some of the most competitive and comprehensive programs for veterans on Wall Street.”
Diverse programs, diverse opportunities
The Veterans Associate Program (VAP), a 20-week rotational internship program for veterans with college degrees, has been a part of the firm for the last four years. Veterans intern in various positions within Wealth Management Americas, Investment Bank, and Asset Management, then interview for full-time employment.
With a focus on veterans without college degrees, the Enlisted Veterans Apprenticeship Program (EVAP)entails a two- to three-year apprenticeship as a full-time employee, along with supplemental tuition assistance so that veterans can pursue their college degree while employed at UBS.
Since partnering with American Corporate Partners (ACP) in 2013, UBS employees have mentored more than 1,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan for at least one year, while the UBS Veterans Network focuses on veteran-related initiatives, programs, and events.
In addition, the Military Family Support Group (MFSG) provides UBS colleagues, whose spouses, partners, or family members are active duty members of the military, with the supportive community, information, and resources they need to help make military life more sustainable. UBS also offers a West Point (USMA) summer internship.
Changing lives, building futures
“I’m building a career I love, and I couldn’t have gotten here without this opportunity at UBS,” says Kareem Paschal.
Paschal served 10 years as an operations supervisor in the U.S. Army. Today, while participating in EVAP at UBS, he is now a client service associate in the UBS Wealth Advice Center in Weehawken, New Jersey, and is completing his undergraduate degree. Paschal also plans to attend business school.
“EVAP is one of several programs demonstrating the commitment UBS has made to helping our nation’s service members succeed as they transition back to civilian life and the post-military workforce,” says Isola. “The firm’s programs are diverse and provide a range of additional opportunities and services.”
Making a difference
“UBS’s commitment to our veterans is something you see at all levels of the company, where our shared mission is to strengthen the relationship between UBS and the broader veteran community by supporting those who’ve served our country,” says Isola.
The Veterans Network and colleagues across the firm are committed to providing active and returning service members with opportunities to grow their professional networks and build successful careers in the civilian workforce.
“I’m proud to report we’re executing more so than ever against this objective,” adds Isola. “Each and every one of us, here at UBS and across this great country, enjoys the freedom and liberties made possible by our servicemen and women. Their commitment to defending our freedom is a debt that can never be repaid, but supporting and honoring them through programs such as VAP and EVAP is a great place to start.”
Veterans interested in applying for either VAP or EVAP programs may do so at ubs.com/careers (search “Veterans”).