Katie Lavin served for 8 years in the Royal Artillery and now works at UBS, having been successfully recruited onto the UBS Ex-Forces Associate Recruitment Programme.
What did you learn from the career transition process?
Uncertainty in transition is inevitable; there are so many variables to consider including location, salary, lifestyle, role, sector, family……the list is endless. It’s important to understand what matters to you. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Do you want to travel or be at home?
Once you understand what it is you want/are good at you have to be able to translate what you did in the military in relatable terms to the person who is interviewing you. You may have been in charge of a platoon, but what does that mean for your skills in the workplace? It takes hard work to polish interviewing skills but take advantage of the opportunities provided by organisations such as OA to have answers prepared. Recruiters also provide much welcome help; at the UBS insight day there is an opportunity to speak with HR professionals who are willing to assist and also offer advice on CVs.
What advice can you offer to those considering a career in finance?
• Do your research. Although the transition to finance is considered a ‘well-trodden path’ for many of us, pathways into the financial services industry can be just as varied and complex as the industry itself. I attended numerous webinars and insight days and soon realised that the breadth of roles within the financial sector was vast.
• Networking is critical. Everyone that you have already spoken to about transitioning has probably said the same but there’s a reason for that. It’s true.
• UBS has an established Veterans Network able to provide guidance and an invaluable support network. I was able to land my first job in the City principally based on the assistance, guidance and coaching of fellow veterans who had already transitioned. Much like the mess you serve with, the organisation you apply to will have its own culture and its own unique identity.
Tell us about your experience so far at UBS
I’m thrilled to be one of the first UBS Ex Forces Associate Programme hires. When I left the Army, after 8 years in the Royal Artillery, I wanted the security of a full time position whilst still having the opportunity to explore different roles, departments and teams. The UBS programme was unique in this regard. Having a role that enables me to rotate throughout the business for the first year helps ensure that I’ll find a role best suited to my skillset whilst building a holistic view of the business. So far, the programme has comprised best-in-class training with a challenging front office role; and there’s plenty more in the calendar to look forward to.
For those considering a career in finance I’d strongly recommend you attend the UBS Insight Day on 31st January register here.
The event launches the second iteration of UBS’s Ex-Forces Associate Programme (EFAP). The EFAP is uniquely positioned to offer Front Office roles within UBS’s Investment Bank to service leavers looking to start a fast-paced career in finance. This year, 5 places will be offered across the business (3 in Global Markets, 2 in Global Banking). Both programmes will culminate with a decision on the most appropriate desk and the candidates will be assigned permanent positions within these teams. The EFAP differentiates itself by offering a full-employment contract from the start, multiple desk rotations and bespoke mentorship to its recruits.