Erica Tyree unexpectedly landed an opportunity in college that not only became a lifelong career, but also introduced her to the Sailor with whom she would later build a life.
Erica was pursuing an accounting degree when she first learned of an opening at Bank of America. She started with the company as a part-time teller, and over the course of her 20-year career worked her way through the ranks to become a senior vice president. But, it was at a location in Jacksonville, Florida, when chance connected her to Gabriel Tyree, a Sailor preparing to deploy. The two began dating, sharing a passion for the careers they were building, even if that meant hard decisions ahead as they navigated military life.
Benefits of finding an established company
The couple transitioned across four duty stations, grew their family, and worked to balance the ambitions of their professional lives. Luckily, Bank of America afforded Erica the opportunity to stay with the company during the family’s many relocations. She says it is a benefit of choosing a company with a broad presence.
“I think about, I had a girlfriend who was a hairstylist and she actually did it out of her home a lot of times, but every time her husband got relocated, it’s like she had to build her book all over again. So, she was at square one every two to three years,” she said. “And so, when you work for a firm that is as large as Bank of America, or has a footprint like what we do, it does make it easier. A lot of times you’re able to transition to the next place, maybe not in the same role but in some capacity.”
Bank of America also has an employee resource group that connects employees who have a military affiliation. Erica currently serves as co-chair of the Military Support and Assistance Group.
“… when you have that camaraderie, you have a group of people you can reach out to and network with to help you get connected in the next area you might be moving to,” she explained.
Keep lines of communication open
While some aspects of the military lifestyle do make maintaining a career seem impossible, there are options in the toolbox that can ease hardships for spouses. For instance, if a service member is deploying and child care is limited, talking to a supervisor about flexible work arrangements may reduce stress. Or, if PCS orders are on the horizon, approaching management as early as possible will increase the chances of working out a solution, like remote positions or job opportunities at a new location.
“I’ve always shared with everybody, make sure that you’re open and honest with your direct leadership team, or whoever it is that you work with. As soon as my husband knew he was in the window to start looking for orders, I would start communicating that to my leader,” Erica shared.
She adds leaning on them as a mentor can also help a spouse get ideas about next steps for a career path.
Brag about your military spouse connection
In recent years, a push to support the military community has encouraged employers to adopt hiring initiatives for veterans and spouses. Erica advises applicants to highlight their role as a military spouse rather than shy away from it.
“Use those strengths that you built as a military spouse—resiliency, ability to juggle multiple things at one time—much like what we share with veterans when they’re trying to transcribe their military career into the benefits that they’ll bring to the table, it’s very similar for a military spouse. We got to be courageous enough to say, ‘yes, I am a military spouse and I may have to move in a few years, but here’s what I’m dedicated to providing in the time that I’m here with you. Here’s my work ethic, here’s what I bring to the table’. Help them see why you’re worth investing in as a member of their team,” Erica said.
Bank of America is one of many large corporations committed to hiring military spouses and veterans. Visit Hiring Our Heroes for more information about participating companies, and to find a hiring event near you.
How many Bank of America locations exist?
4,400 retail financial centers.
What are the main positions that exist at the company?
When people think about jobs in the banking industry, they tend to think about the staff they interact with as bank clients, such as mortgage lenders and branch tellers. However, we have many different types of positions ranging from marketers and risk analysts to product managers, and, as banking becomes increasingly digital, information security consultants.
What is the rough estimate of your workforce?
If known, what percentage is made up by veterans? We have more than 200,000 teammates around the globe, which includes thousands of veterans and military spouses. Since 2014, we have hired more than 7,500 service members as part of our goal to hire 10,000 veterans, guard and reservists over the next several years.
Does Bank of America utilize remote work arrangements?
We offer a variety of flexible work arrangements that are designed to support employees who need to manage life and work schedules.
Please describe career progression opportunities at Bank of America.
Our focus is on creating an environment where all of our teammates have the programs, benefits and support they need to be successful, which ultimately helps our customers and clients succeed. We offer a number of career development programs designed to help employees realize their career aspirations. We also offer programs such as tuition reimbursement and academic advising for teammates who want to further their education as part of their career goals.Read comments