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Citigroup Veteran Hiring: Program Spotlight

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Citigroup is a leader in the financial sector when it comes to military veteran initiatives.

It knows the value of forming veteran employee networks, engaging with the veteran community, and setting up dedicated veteran hiring teams.

Citi has even partnered with Military.com to launch a veteran transition app, which provides checklists and advice on resumes, education benefits, relocation, the job search and more for veterans as they approach their transition date and shortly after.

What Employment Programs Citi Offers

There are various programs that contribute to Citi's military-friendly image. For example, its Military Veterans Employee Network works across 15 locations in the U.S. and one abroad to provide formalized peer-to-peer support for more than 2,000 veterans. The network supports recruiting, mentoring, leadership and community outreach programs.

The Military Officer Leadership Program is a strong training and recruitment tool. It includes rotations through different work assignments over an 18-month period, with training, coaching and mentoring.

Citi has been part of various veteran hiring initiatives, including the Chase-managed Veteran Jobs Mission, which works to improve veteran employment and increase retention and career development of veterans in the private sector.

Along with its partner banks, Citi co-founded Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS). VOWS seeks to bring the very best of the financial services industry together to support and honor service members and leverage collective resources to improve the conditions under which service members transition to civilian life at home.

Through Citi's dedicated Veteran Recruiting Team and Citi Salutes, the company is working to promote a veteran-friendly culture and employment opportunities, and help military members and spouses with the transition process.

We had the opportunity to speak with Citi's Christopher Perkins about his experience hiring veterans. Perkins is managing director for Citi Futures, Clearing and Collateral;  and Global Head, OTC Clearing. He is also the business sponsor of the NYC Military Veteran Network, and served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Here's what he had to say:

Q: Where does Citigroup see the value in hiring veterans and offering veteran programs?

A:  At Citi, we recognize the strengths and talents veterans bring to our firm, and their qualities are a great fit within our culture. Veterans distinguish themselves through their work ethic, attention to detail, focus on teamwork and commitment to achieving excellence. They know what it means to serve and thrive in challenging environments and are experienced in solving difficult problems while managing risk. That's why, in 2012, we formalized Citi Salutes, our firmwide initiative led by Citi Community Development, to support veterans, service members and their families.

Q: What can a veteran do to stand out in the application process?

A: We want veterans to find careers at Citi -- not just a job. Therefore, it is very important for veterans to make the right decisions as they make the transition. The best way to do this is to network with veterans at Citi before beginning the formal application process. At Citi, we have a military veteran network with a presence in 16 locations across the world. This employee network is designed to help recruit, retain and mentor transitioning veterans. The mentoring provided is invaluable during the transition process, and really helps candidates stand out.

In addition, Citi has a dedicated veterans recruiting team, which provides special job placement counseling to prospective veterans.

Q: Have you seen veterans face any specific hurdles, either in the application process or the first few months on the job? How were they able to overcome these hurdles?

A: Veterans enter our firm with many unique skills and qualities but, as with any job, they need to learn the technical skills required for their particular business. Through hard work and dedication, there are many ways to increase technical proficiency. These qualities are the hallmark of many of the veterans we hire.

Q: How would you describe the culture at Citigroup, as it compares to military culture?

A: Both Citi and the military have a culture of excellence, innovation and excitement. We help solve difficult problems and understand risk management. Citi and the military both operate on a global scale; I've traveled the world during both my military and Citi careers. Teamwork, leadership and ethics are valued at both. For these reasons, support of our veterans and recognition of their unique talents are a huge part of our culture at Citi.

Q: Can you share any success stories of veterans at Citi?

A: Our commitment to hire veterans is rooted in the invaluable traits veterans bring to our firm. At Citi, support of our veterans can be found at all levels and senior leaders take a very active role in the development and career trajectory of the veteran employees.

One example of a success story is Sunny Li. Sunny was a Marine infantry officer who was combat wounded and honorably discharged as a captain. After two years at Citi, he now works on the Fixed Income Derivatives team, advising and executing trades with corporations in the Healthcare, Chemicals, and Middle-Market Cap space.

Q: Do you have any other advice for veterans looking to land a job at somewhere like Citigroup?

A: Network, network, network! The most important step in the transition is leveraging an existing veteran network. Meet a diverse array of veterans across a number of different firms and leverage networks like VOWS to learn about opportunities at financial institutions. Many former service members who have successfully navigated the same transition stand by eager to help. These experiences are invaluable as veterans begin the transition to exciting new careers. To learn more, visit www.citi.com/citisalutes.

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