Two Fordham students were among a group of veterans who rang the closing bell on July 5 at the New York Stock Exchange, commemorating the launch of the NYSE Euronext’s Veterans Associate Program (VAP).
Jayson Browder, a rising senior at Lincoln Center, and Manuel Aguilar, a rising senior in the Gabelli School of Business, are among 15 student veterans who comprise the first cohort of the VAP, an internship program specifically for veterans.
The eight-week program provides the interns with specialized training and experience in the financial services industry in order to equip them for future employment.
“The program places us in private round table discussions with senior executives from the NYSE’s different departments for executive educational series,” said Browder, an Air Force veteran now double-majoring in sociology and Latin American and Latino studies. “This gives us the opportunity to network and learn form the best and brightest.”
Browder, who is working in the NYSE’s Corporate Communications and Media Relations Department, said that he has already gained invaluable professional experience during his internship.
“We’ve been given the opportunity to showcase our professional skills learned from the military and gain new specialized competences at the highest levels in the financial industry,” said Browder, who is working toward a public affairs career in the financial industry.
Aguilar, a veteran of the Marines studying public accounting, said that program teaches both technical and interpersonal skills critical to the industry.
“The NYSE VAP has reinforced my decision to go into accounting and financial services,” Aguilar said. “I’ve realized there are many opportunities available within the industry—it all depends on how you decide to apply your skills.”
The program was launched in July in response to startling unemployment statistics—the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate for veterans ages 18 to 24 averaged 30.2 percent in 2011, compared to the 12.7 percent among all veterans, and 7.7 percent for civilians.
The VAP is designed to draw on the skills that veterans developed in the military in order to prepare them for their careers.
“Our heroes returning home from military service can also be stars in business, as their training, skills, and discipline translates extremely well to the private sector,” said Duncan L. Niederauer, CEO of NYSE Euronext. “Through our Veteran Associate Program we are trying to help aid this transition by providing a truly unique learning experience about our company, financial markets, and the business community.”
— Joanna Klimaski