From a young age, I was always passionate about doing something in uniform. So much so that at the age of 12 I joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets, a group that promotes and encourages interest in aviation and provides solid foundational skill building. At the age of 18, I enlisted into the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be trained as an officer.
I came from a large, close family in South London with four sisters and a brother and had many close friends from school. Leaving all that behind and essentially starting over in quite an austere environment with a hard regime of training, was a jarring experience. To add to this difficulty, I was one of the youngest in the academy at the time, as most usually join after University. Thankfully, my years of playing rugby and swimming in school suited me well for the physical fitness side of things.
Throughout my 17 years of service, I was able to see and do so much. From serving with the United Nations (U.N.) during the Bosnian War in 1995 and again years later to help nation build, to deployments in Germany, Cyprus, Jordan, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and the United States. My experience with the U.N. was tremendous, seeing militaries from different countries work together, bringing different perspectives to work towards a common cause. I was also thankfully able to obtain an Information Technology degree and later an MBA during my service.
Although the MBA prepared me well for transition back into civilian life, it was still a daunting task because your life up to that point had been well planned and supported in all aspects. Helping me through that process was the Career Transition Partnership, a military program that helps veterans’ transition into the next phase of their life. Through that program, I met hundreds of people and explored a variety of internship opportunities, ultimately deciding on an internship with BNY Mellon within Asset Servicing Technology. I was lucky enough to have a dynamic manager here who recognized the transferable skills of the military and supported me in fully embracing my role and growing within the organization.
Today, I’m a Technology Risk Manager, supporting Investment Management, Wealth Management, Pershing and Corporate Shared Services. I love my role but more importantly I love the culture here. Since joining BNY Mellon, I have truly seen our Passion for Excellence value displayed every day. Every time we do anything, we always try and do the best job possible. And I think that resonates with my military background - whatever the situation, however tough it got, you still made an aim to give it your all.
Naturally, I also made it a point to join VETNET, within BNY Mellon’s Employee Business Resource Group (EBRG) serving as a resource, advocate and network for our veterans, military spouses, family members and their colleagues. I think you’ll find that most veterans look for ways to serve in other capacities after their military service, and for me, VETNET is one such way. I've made so many connections and networks outside my core line of business because of the veterans’ network, and met so many wonderful people and made lifelong friends in the organization. And when you have that connection, suddenly the work itself becomes much easier and much more productive too. I cannot overstate how fantastic that is.
Outside of work I still enjoy running (a habit from the military I just can’t seem to shake) and have done several marathons, including the London and South Downs Marathon. When I get the chance, going back to Scandinavia (I’m half Danish) and swimming in the sea is always a treat. I’m also a keen squash player; suffice to say I still enjoy keeping my motor running at full speed. Speaking of motors, I’m a big fan of old, vintage sports cars. Not that I own any, but I do love them. If I had my pick of one? I’d go with a Jaguar XK 150. It’s a beautiful, elegantly designed car.
While the car is out of reach (for now), I do have a lot to be thankful for at the end of the day. From my loving family and friends, to my amazing military experiences and my current career with BNY Mellon. All have been rewarding in different aspects and I am now in a privileged position to be able to give something back, which is exciting. A life of service to others is a life well lived.