My Transition Story
Matthew Raeside

Posted: 16th Jan 2020

"Former Royal Navy officer Matthew Raeside shares his transition story and how he decided on his new career, with the help of the OA."

Former Royal Navy officer Matthew Raeside shares his transition story and how he decided on his new career, with the help of the OA.

Leaving the Royal Navy at the 6-year point and moving to the City had always been part of my ‘master plan’. What I hadn’t accounted for was how quickly the 5-year point would come around; at which stage I still had no clue what my next career would or even could be. In a sea of insight days one really stood out – UBS.  They held their first Armed Forces Insight Day in January 2019. I was impressed by their professionalism, enthusiasm for ex-forces recruitment and one particular position on offer called ‘Front Office’ (read: client facing).

UBS’s Ex-Forces Associate Programme (EFAP) appeared to tick all of my boxes. The role on offer was fast-paced, dynamic and looked to provide a real opportunity to showcase my military talent. Not only this, but their transition programme promised to provide a solid foundation in Financial Services (FS), an opportunity to achieve key qualifications and unparalleled access to networking opportunities. All of this with the added benefit of a permanent position (which seemed hard to come by in the world of FS).

After some excellent advice from the OA, including a tune-up of my CV and cover letter, I sent off my application in February 2019. The subsequent interview process was rigorous but slick. Luckily, I made the cut through each subsequent round and was offered a position starting in October 2019.

The programme to-date has been just as fast-paced and exciting as I had expected. I’ve received first-class training across a spectrum of subjects and I’ve been surprised by the warmth and generosity of the team. Despite this being the first recognised Ex-Forces programme at UBS, there is a rich Veteran’s Network already in place – as evidenced by this year’s Street Poppy Appeal where UBS, once again, came out as the highest contributing corporate firm in London.

Aside from learning the intricacies of trading and the financial markets I have been able to carry out a wide array of outreach opportunities during my first few months. These have ranged from coaching disadvantaged young adults to attending a breakfast club at a local primary school. A business is only as strong as its culture, and my advice would be to consider this a high priority when thinking about and selecting your future employer.

My top tips for optimising your transition:

  • Explore a broad range of career options and attend as many Insight Days as possible
  • Identify your key skills and the aspects of your current role that you enjoy the most
  • Utilise the selection of webinars on the OA’s website and YouTube listing
  • Thoroughly research companies prior to interview and don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Dream big and don’t be intimidated by competitive career paths

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