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Celebrating Veterans at DTCC

Nov 12, 2018

The Veteran Advantage
Clockwise starting at the top left: Dionzia F., Mario M., Paul D. and Martin H.

Each year on Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in the UK, military veterans are remembered and honored for the courage and service they have given their countries. In this special Veterans edition of “Our Stories”, we’ve invited four DTCC employees - Martin H. from Wrexham, Paul D. and Dionzia F. in Tampa and Mario M. of Jersey City - to share their experiences on their transition from military life to the civilian sector, the skills they’ve gained in the military and what it’s like to work for DTCC.

Q: What brought you to DTCC and what is your current role?

Martin: In 2014, I wanted a career change and to work locally in Wrexham, I was pleased to find an opportunity with DTCC. Today, I am the Global Security Management (GSM) Manager for EMEA, looking after the physical security of all DTCC locations in Europe including Wrexham, London, Dublin, Netherlands, Stockholm and Frankfurt.

Paul: I joined DTCC four years ago and am currently a Director of Enterprise Test Engineering. I’m responsible for testing the Global Trade Repository (GTR) services, along with my global team members.

Mario: When I joined DTCC in 2015, I started as a contingent worker. I was recruited by a staffing firm focused on placing veterans within organizations like DTCC. By 2017, I became a full-time employee. Today, I am a Senior Test Engineer for the GTR-ESMA jurisdiction and am focused on executing service testing, identifying any issues and training my peers. I work on the same team as Paul and Dionzia.

Dionzia: As a military spouse, in 2012, my family and I transferred from England to Tampa as part of a permanent change of station. I first worked with DTCC in 2013 on the GTR connectivity team, but my desire was to become a software tester on the project. I was presented the opportunity to come back and work on the GTR testing team in 2015. As Mario mentioned, we are part of the same team, and I serve as a Senior Test Engineer. I’m responsible for all non-automation test tools and project progression metrics.

Q: What were the challenges you went through when you were a new civilian employee?

Martin: I have worked closely with civilian agencies/contractors and non-governmental organizations throughout my military career, so my transition was quite easy. The only issue I had was some of the military terminology or acronyms that slipped out in conversations and I had to explain what I meant!

Paul: It’s kind of funny, but my first challenge was what to wear. In the military, I was mostly wearing flight suits – I didn’t have to think about what I needed to wear or what was appropriate in a corporate environment.

Mario: For me, it was adjusting to the different working environment and communication methods, because in the military, it was a very different ball game. Adapting to the ways of civilian world was sometimes a challenge for me.

Dionzia: One of the biggest challenges that I had was changing my perspective on being ‘fluid’. In the Air Force, we had strict adherence to the plans and deadlines of the mission, and that was engrained in me. When I joined the civilian sector, I found that I was also very rigid when it came to changes or deviations. I remember almost having a panic attack the first time I missed a deadline in the corporate world. I was so used to the structure of the military environment.

Q: What's the unique skill you gained because of your time in the military and how has it helped you with your current role? Can you site an example where you displayed that skill?

Martin: Coordination – getting different departments talking, to improve a process or to overcome an issue. It’s about taking a big picture approach to your role while staying focused on the day-to-day things we need to accomplish, while understanding what impact your department has on the wider organization.

Paul: First, I would say attention to detail – in the military, if you don’t pay attention or do something specific as defined, you could end up injured or dead. Second, teamwork. In the airplane, we learned a concept called “cockpit resource management,” or how to effectively work with the team, for example, who made the decisions and individual roles. I’ve carried this skill with me, and it has helped me to efficiently manage my team.

Mario: Adaptability. I’ve held many different roles within the military, which have prepared me to hone my skills and effectively change my approach for any task that may be assigned to me or to any situation.

Dionzia: Technical expertise. I have a very high aptitude for learning new technologies. When I joined the military in an IT role in the mid- to late-90s, we had to build on each other’s technical knowledge and get up-to-speed quickly. I’m thankful that I can put this skill to use at DTCC.

Q: What do you like most about working at DTCC?

Martin: I have not lost the team mentality at DTCC. All departments are doing the right thing to achieve the business goal. Whether for a Business Professional Network (BPN) event or for business continuity management – you know that employees, with or without military background, are working together to try to resolve an issue to the quickest possible time and best possible outcome. We have had incidents like storms and floods, and staff at all levels work through the issues to ensure business continuity. This is very similar to the military. Working at DTCC means having the whole team come together to achieve a mission or goal.

Paul: What I like about DTCC is our ability to change quickly and frequently to adapt to the needs of our clients. It’s always fun and challenging to try to make things better.

Mario: Apart from the camaraderie among the BPNs, there are a lot of career opportunities here at DTCC that can help you progress in your career goals.

Dionzia: It’s a very interesting and inclusive organization. People here are from all walks of life, and yet everyone works well together, collaboratively and as a united team focused on achieving results for the firm and for our clients.

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