Rupert Stevens – Transitioning from the Military to Metro Bank

Rupert's Story

After nine years in the Grenadier Guards, undertaking numerous overseas deployments, Rupert recognised it was time for a new challenge.

During a 12 month stint in the MOD in London, Rupert used the opportunity to find out more about life outside the Army. After plentiful research and networking, he was successful in securing a direct opportunity with Barclays and so left the military in December 2013 to start civilian work in January 2014. Rupert spent 5 ½ years with Barclays before moving to Metro Bank for a Lead Mortgage Product Manager role.

How did you find your transition? Any top tips for others?

I used my time in London to network continuously.  It seemed trying at times and it is normal to go through stages of feeling like some meetings will be a waste of time. However, it is a genuine statistics game – the more people you see, the more opportunities you will have to learn. The best advice given to me was: as it is impossible to know all the roles, jobs and sectors out there, before choosing what industry you may like to pursue, turn it on its head.  Identify areas you do not like and cut them out, leaving the remainder open in your mind and reducing the field that way.

You are a Lead Product Manager with Metro Bank – how do you use your military skills and experiences in your civilian role?

  • Mission purpose
  • Effects based planning
  • Communicating plans to a variety of audiences so they understand their role in achieving it.

These are key military strengths and not widely practised in large corporations where they haven’t benefitted from this specific training and experience. It means military personnel are very good at delivering results and keeping teams and groups focused on the task at hand, while not getting distracted by minor events that may be going on concurrently.

"Cold call and email – building your network is vital!"

Rupert Stevens

Metro Bank is actively recruiting, with many senior live roles. Why are officers a good fit for the business?

Metro Bank hires for attitude and train for skill – so no need to have a series of technical finance qualifications (except for some specialist roles). The proactive and focused mindsets, driven personalities and problem-solving approach that becomes embedded in officers are hugely beneficial, regardless of industry and job role. This combination ensures officers are effective agents for delivering tangible actions and workloads.

Any top tips for people wanting to navigate the industry?

Cold call and email – building your network is vital! As an industry Financial Services is pretty onside for ex-military, so if someone suggests a contact worth speaking to, it’s worth following up. Even if you feel it may amount to nothing, they may know someone who knows someone who is looking for a hire. Also, don’t worry about whether the initial role is perfect or not. The industry is huge and supports internal moves to retain talent, so if after a couple of years there is another role or area in the business you think you’d prefer, that’s fine!

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