The path to a fulfilling career is rarely a straight line. At Schwab, we cherish the wealth of experiences and perspectives that our employees bring from their previous jobs – in fact, we believe it’s these unique histories that drive innovative ideas and support our culture of learning and professional exploration.
Meg M., a Schwabbie of sixteen years, is the embodiment of someone with a diverse professional background. Graduating as a Theater major from a small liberal arts college in San Antonio, she went on to hold a variety of different titles before joining Schwab and progressing into her current role of Senior Manager in Compliance.
Meg stopped by to give her insights on the value of trying your hand at different jobs and shares how she used these experiences to cultivate a meaningful, engaging, and diverse career at Schwab.
What jobs did you work before coming to Schwab?
When I was fresh out of school, I knew I didn’t want to do theatre for a living. So, after graduation, I dabbled in retail and was even an administrative assistant at several different places. These were roles that I deeply admired, but eventually realized didn’t capture my interest.
What I did know is that customer service was important to me, and it was something I felt I was particularly good at. I’m a very social person, so I decided to develop my skills in that area and took an opportunity as a dog trainer. I did that for a few years and loved it.
I then moved into banking as a teller, and the job had its perks. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a manager, a banker, or something else, but I did happen to notice that the job was leaning toward aggressive sales practices, which didn’t fit in with my idea of service to our customers.
What brought you to Schwab? Did you have any previous financial services experience?
After being a teller, I went over to a small 401k company and was on the phones with participants. The company was based out of Austin, Texas, and Schwab ended up buying us! So, I was acquired.
I was really pleased with the outcome of working at Schwab. The culture turned out to be a good match for me, and it also meant that there was more potential for growth across the board.
During your time in CS&S, how did Schwab’s training and development support your professional growth? How did you reach your current position as a Sr. Manager in Compliance?
I first moved into quality assurance, and then Schwab offered to pay for my Series 7. After obtaining my licensing, I took a role in Client Service and Support (CS&S), which was a new division for me. I viewed this transition as a great opportunity to grow my skills and learn more about the business itself, as I didn’t have previous experience coaching reps on technical and soft skills for retail. Over the eight years I served in this capacity, CS&S evolved quite a lot, which meant that I was able to have some variety in the role as well.
I then took advantage of a strengths coaching opportunity, and it was there that I met someone who worked in marketing and compliance. As we spoke, I realized that this type of work really interested me. Shortly thereafter, compliance had a position open, and I applied.
After transitioning into compliance, I was given the option to get my Series 24. Schwab paid for my exam, training, and test taking materials, as they had done for all my licenses from Series 7 onward. My previous bosses also let me take crash-courses to study and gave me the time to go complete my tests. The support I received was instrumental in me gaining these licenses.
It’s one of the things I appreciate most about Schwab; while I didn’t have a compliance background, I did understand the culture and my strengths and work ethic were recognized by my leaders. After going through the interview process, I eventually got the job. That’s why I’m still here – Schwab provided me the opportunity and understood my background, so I was able to move into this career path. I’m not sure other companies would have been as supportive of my interest in an entirely new field of work.
Where will you try to take your career in the next 5 years?
I try to keep my eyes open for roles that are available and grab my attention. My current job was not something that I had previously thought of doing, but I did the networking and kept myself competitive as a candidate. I love working in this field, and when I look to my future, I know that there will always be room for me to progress.
That’s the great thing about Schwab – there’s opportunity everywhere.