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Career Development: Les S. Builds a Diverse Career at Schwab 

By: Beau H., Content Manager

At Schwab, we prioritize the growth and development of our employees so that they can build impactful careers. When you join our team, you get the benefit of working in an environment where leaders champion your success and diverse job opportunities abound.  

In the bustling world of finance, adaptability and perseverance are key to one’s success. Les S., a Sr. Manager in Digital Product Management, is well aware of this fact. Over her nine years at Schwab, she’s combined her professional interests with the skills she’s acquired at our firm to effectively transition between many different roles. Now, she’s directly helping employees in our Innovation Accelerator Lab maximize their potential through career coaching, personal development planning, and dedicated mentorship.

Keep reading to learn about her journey from our marketing team into digital product management, the advice she has for navigating internal mobility, and why she thinks joining Schwab is essential for people looking to grow in their careers.  

Tell me about your career history at Schwab and your new role in our Innovation Accelerator Lab.

"I have been at Schwab for around nine years and started out as a content strategist on the marketing side, with our creative agency. I’ve had the ability to reinvent myself many times at Schwab since then, which is one of my favorite things about working at this firm - there’s advancement opportunity everywhere.
I eventually began managing the very same content strategy team I started on, but during this time, I discovered my true passion was in coaching others to help them succeed professionally. I followed that instinct and got certified as a coach, which led me to move to an organizational development role in the agency."

"I then transitioned into learning development for Digital Services employees, where I helped people push out their expertise or work with them to create a program to help scale their knowledge. After some time there, the Innovation Lab Manager position opened up and I decided that it could be a great way to reinvent my career again."

"In my new role, I work with product managers and user experience practitioners in the Innovation Accelerator Lab, where teams are focused on ideating and testing to get insights that can inform product roadmaps. This process ultimately helps the business further its work and create new, innovative products for our clients."

"In this role, it’s my hope to create an environment where people feel they have support – whether that means being a sounding board, getting them what they need, or helping them build their careers."

You’ve had quite a diverse career so far - do you feel that working at Schwab gave you the opportunity to move into new roles?

"Yes, I do. A big part of that career flexibility was due to having amazing mentors and leaders at Schwab. For example, when I found that I wanted to pursue career coaching and move into organizational development, my manager and the rest of our agency leadership completely supported me during that transition. I feel incredibly grateful to be in an environment that has such amazing people, and where managers are open to my ideas."

"Schwab has also been very supportive of my outside work, too. I do career coaching for women in corporate America, and everyone at Schwab was incredibly supportive when it was time to pursue my other passions outside of the firm. In all, I’m very, very lucky to work at a company that's given me so many opportunities and continues to let me expand on them."

What advice would you give people about internal mobility and how they can network to find new roles within their company?

"The biggest piece is the relationships you build. I was lucky early on to be in a role where I worked with a lot of cross functional teams, so I had the opportunity to get to know people across the firm. Any time I was curious about other areas of work, I would set up meetings with relevant people in that area and learn about their work. That's one of the generous things about our culture at Schwab; people are always willing to set aside 15 or 30 minutes to help you. It’s in that effort to form relationships that you start to really understand how many career possibilities there are within our company."

"In Digital Services, we also have recurring events called Breaking Silos that are designed to connect the dots between your work and what other groups are doing. Going to those gives you the ability to learn about other roles, and it also allows you to find the right people to reach out to and say “Could we get together for 20 minutes? I'd love to pick your brain about your career and your journey here.”

For those interested in taking the next step in their career – why should they join the team at Schwab?

"One of the first things that comes to mind is the ability to grow and change with the company. As Schwab expands, the amount of opportunity for us as employees is only getting bigger."

"It was also surprising, and refreshing, to discover just how mission-driven Schwab really is. The people here are really focused on trying to make clients’ lives better. In terms of finance, I was one of those people who found it mystifying; what inspires me is that at Schwab, we are addressing the inherent discomfort and fear people feel when it comes to their money."