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These Recent Grads are Reinventing the Financial Services Industry

Alyssa Greenfield
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Published on November 30, 2017

Sam, Emily, and Liam work on various teams across Capital One, including the credit card division, operational risk department, and human resources department. Those may not initially sound like places where innovative ideas are the status quo, but their stories might just change your mind.

To give us a peek behind the curtain, these three recent grads took us inside their jobs at Capital One.

Sam S., Product Manager and Emory University Grad

What do you do at Capital One?
I’m a product manager in the credit card division. My team determines a customer’s risk level when they apply for a credit card.

What’s one thing recent grads should know about working there?
Capital One puts a lot of time into caring about recent grads and preparing you for your career here. They have development programs and experiences designed specifically for recent grads, like the Analyst Development Program that I was hired into.

How have you and your teams made Capital One a more innovative place?
I’ve only been on my new team for a couple of weeks, but on my last team, I was a product manager in consumer banking. While on that team, we worked on a few website features to help Capital One become a place where customers can do everything related to banking online no matter where they are. Before, we had separate websites for all lines of business. I worked on a project to bring all of those together, and doing that required working across the company to update the technology, features, and design.

How does this job compare to what you expected from a job at a bank?
Before researching Capital One, I thought of banks as old-fashioned, big companies where it’s hard to move things along. But Capital One was founded with the mission of disrupting the credit card industry. They’ve put a huge emphasis on being a technology-first, nimble company that innovates, tests, and pushes the boundaries. There’s a huge focus on pushing the envelope here.

Any advice for landing a job at Capital One?
Don’t worry if your major isn’t the perfect fit for a job—apply anyway! I work with people who have an engineering background and a teammate who got his masters in Sanskrit, and I myself majored in physics and economics. Capital One will hire smart people no matter what their background is.

Emily M., Associate Project Manager and James Madison University Grad

What do you do at Capital One?
I came through our Management Rotation Program which allows exposure to many different projects and teams. I work in the operational risk management department as a project manager, risk manager, and scrum master. I work on large, regulated internal projects and initiatives and help our team meet deadlines to make sure all our lines of business are protected.

What’s one thing recent grads should know about working there?
I chose to work at Capital One because the people are phenomenal to be around. I work on a team of six women, and we all have specialized roles. The way we work together and support each other is so unique. Yesterday, I had an event that I completely project managed myself and they came to support me. Even though none of the work pertained to them, they knew it was huge for me and that I’d been working on it for the past couple of months. I was super nervous about speaking in front of 450 people at the event, but having them there made my nerves go away.

How have you and your teams made Capital One a more innovative place?
My first role here was in human resources, where we brought in a tool to help about 20 different HR teams track their work and make it more effective and efficient. Then, I helped lead the migration of about 250-300 associates to the new platform. It was one of the coolest projects I’ve worked on because it challenged me to learn a tool I knew nothing about, and ultimately through that journey I became a subject matter expert at the company. Now, the HR system is being expanded to international partners and I’m using the experience I gained to work on a similar project for my current team.

Any advice for readers considering a job at Capital One?
You don’t have to know right away what you want to do. Having confidence in my abilities and clearly communicating what I’m interested in has helped me out a lot here. Through your rotation program, you can rotate to different roles in different organizations to grow as an individual. It’s okay to try different things, it’s okay to fail, and it’s okay to explore new things.

Liam D., HR Rotation Program Senior Associate and Georgetown University Grad

What do you do at Capital One?
I’m getting close to finishing the HR rotation program, which includes three rotations at different parts of the company over two-and-a-half years. My final placement will be as an HR technology consultant, which means I’ll be a liaison between our technology and human resources teams.

What’s one thing recent grads should know about working there?
Every day, I see how much Capital One respects associates. They place a heavy focus on diversity and inclusion so everyone can be themselves at work. I didn’t realize how important that is and how quirky teams can be as a result. People at all levels at the company are making sure conversations are happening so employees feel comfortable joining different business resource groups, sharing their identities, and relating to each other.

How have you and your teams made Capital One a more innovative place?
I like to focus on innovation from a cultural perspective. We’re always told: “Don’t go where the puck is. Go where the puck is going.” The cool thing about my program is the ability to rotate through different roles and pull from your experiences during prior rotations. Because of my rotations, I’ve learned to be comfortable saying “this isn’t relevant anymore and we need to tear it down and rebuild or tweak it significantly to stay relevant”.

Why should someone apply to a job at Capital One?
Think about the teacher and not just the class. The work you’ll be doing here is important, but it’s equally important to know that you’ll be doing that work with great people, and that you’ll have space to be yourself, create, and innovate.

See yourself at Capital One? They’re hiring now! Head over to WayUp to explore their open positions.

Alyssa Greenfield WayUp Staff

Alyssa is the Senior Branded Content Editor at WayUp. A writer who loves sharing career advice, she helps the WayUp community learn about all the great companies that are eager to hire talented students and recent grads.

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