Nationwide graduate and Royal Air Force (RAF) Reservist, Ryan Jones, reveals what life's like knowing he could be called upon to serve his country at any time and how Nationwide supports his Military commitments.
Full-time Graduate, Part-Time Reservist
Becoming a RAF Reservist a year and a half ago saw me join my base at Northolt where I was taught the necessary skills to survive in a military environment. I also learnt camouflage and concealment skills, first aid, and undertook nuclear, biological and chemical training as fitness became part of my daily routine. If events necessitated deployment, I could now be called upon to join the RAF and serve anywhere in the world.
“ Spending 27 days every year enduring intense training with your squadron isn’t something that most of Nationwide’s employees participate in. However it's real life for me having chosen a military career alongside my civilian career. ”
What made you become a Reservist?
Whilst the idea of becoming a ‘Regular’ was appealing, joining the reserves has given me the best of both worlds; continuing my professional career alongside a military career. The military lifestyle offers a vast array of transferable skills such as time management, teamwork and communication. The stand-out skill that I really want to develop are my leadership skills, which I hope to do through my pursuit of becoming an RAF Reservist Officer.
Away from the military, on a day-to-day basis, I work in Nationwide’s Treasury department, as part of my Graduate Scheme.
“ As an economics graduate, working in finance was a natural step to take but Nationwide stood out for two reasons: The first being the unique culture of the Society as a mutual, and the second being their support for the military. Working at Nationwide means I will have the support to serve my country as well as working in the financial services sector. ”
Do Nationwide support your role as a Reservist?
As a Reservist, Nationwide offer me ten days’ additional leave as well as lots of networking opportunities. These include the Veteran Reservist Community, the military employee network, and external military events promoting the British Armed Forces to the wider community. They've also hosted a conference for business leaders from the South West on how best to support military personnel within organisations. The event was attended by one of the most senior ranked Reservists within the British Armed Forces - Major General Crackett - who gave an insightful account on the benefits of employing Reservists.
“ In light of the support Nationwide offer former and serving armed forces personnel, Nationwide were recently awarded the Employer Recognition Scheme’s Gold Award by the Ministry of Defence. Our commitment is further underlined through supporting charities including the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA) and the Royal British Legion ”
Currently there are 40 ex-military personnel and Reservists in the Business Transformation department alone, and over 100 additional ex-military personnel across the Society. Our award-winning Military Transition Programme highlights Nationwide’s commitment to supporting the armed forces community, and we also signed the Armed Forces Corporate Covenant in 2014.