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From Major to Manager: Clive's story

At Nationwide, we’re committed to supporting our Armed Forces. As a high-performing and purpose driven organisation, we value the skills and experience ex-forces personnel hold, helping us deliver the best outcomes for our customers.

We spoke with Clive, a veteran here at Nationwide. He tells us about his time in the Army and how his transferable skills and experience help him everyday in his role within our Whistleblowing function.

Please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Clive Robins and I lead the Whistleblowing function here at Nationwide. I joined the Society in 2019 and prior to that, I spent 32 years in the Army. I joined as a Private soldier and left as a Late Entry Major (Company Commander), serving in various locations around the world. I am passionate about supporting veterans and reservists in their transition from military to civilian life and dedicated to promoting awareness and understanding of the unique challenges they face. I am proud to be a part of an organisation that values and supports veterans and reservists and look forward to continuing to make a positive impact.

How many years did you serve in the forces and how did you find transitioning into civilian career?

I joined the Army as a 17-year-old boy soldier and left at 49, so 32 years in total. There is no doubt that with no life experience before joining the army, I became very much institutionalised. I knew nothing apart from the military way of life, and because of that, I approached my retirement from the military with lots of anxiety and trepidation. The recruitment process at Nationwide was great, their values of doing the right thing in the right way resonated with me and aligned with my own. Once I had secured my role I felt like part of a new family - Nationwide really does look after its employees. I did find the transition from military to civilian life challenging, but Nationwide provided me with the support and resources I needed to adapt. The company's commitment to hiring veterans and reservists made me feel valued and appreciated. Overall, my experience transitioning from the forces to Nationwide was positive and I’m grateful for the opportunities and support I received.

How can a high-performing corporate culture benefit from the transferable skills and experiences veterans hold?

Armed Forces Personnel are dedicated, well-motivated, and highly trained individuals who strive for the best and to be the best. They are effective managers and leaders and are used to making challenging decisions in demanding environments. Their experience in teamwork, adaptability, and problem-solving under pressure can benefit corporate teams. Additionally, their strong work ethic, discipline, and commitment to achieving goals make them valuable assets in any corporate setting. Their unique perspectives and experiences can bring a fresh approach to problem-solving and decision-making, adding diversity and depth to corporate culture. Overall, the corporate world can greatly benefit from the leadership, skills, and values that military veterans bring to the table.

How have you been able to apply your military skills and experience in your current role?

I spent my entire military career as a member of the Royal Military Police during which I gained some fantastic and relevant transferable skills, from the leadership and management of geographically dispersed teams to the hard skills around investigation management and oversight. These skills have been well used in my current role as I oversee a team dedicated to undertaking challenging and complex investigations. I have also been able to apply my experience in crisis management and conflict resolution to effectively manage high-stress situations. Additionally, my military background has instilled in me a strong sense of discipline, adaptability, and resilience, which has been instrumental in navigating the dynamic, fast-paced and high-performing nature of my current working environment. Overall, my military experience has proven to be invaluable in shaping my approach to leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making, allowing me to excel in my current role.

Are there any support systems or resources provided that have helped you in your transition from the military?

Being part of and co-chairing Nationwide's Veterans and Reservists Network has allowed me to stay connected to like-minded colleagues who have also transitioned from military to corporate life and faced some of the challenges that I experienced. I have also kept myself involved with some of the forces charities including Help for Heroes and The Royal British Legion. As the Poppy Appeal organiser for a local town, I also ensure Nationwide participates in supporting the Poppy Appeal. Additionally, Nationwide offers support for mental health and well-being, which has been crucial in my transition from the military. 

What advice would you give to other veterans looking to join Nationwide?

Believe in yourself and in the skills and experiences that you have gained throughout your military career. You have been exposed to so many different situations and challenges that your corporate colleagues haven't experienced. This will have helped shape you and undoubtedly prove to be invaluable at Nationwide. Be confident in the skillset that you can bring to the party. Remember though, the military has, to some degree, its own way of talking, which may not be understood by Nationwide colleagues. Spell out what you have done and avoid military terminology in your application and interview. Highlight any transferable skills that you have acquired during your military service, such as leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and adaptability. These are all highly sought-after qualities at Nationwide. Additionally, seek out resources and support networks specifically geared towards veterans transitioning into civilian careers. Lastly, be patient with yourself and the process. Transitioning into a new career field takes time and effort, but with determination, perseverance and the right support, you can find success at Nationwide.

Find out more about Armed Forces careers at Nationwide here.