Salute to Service: David Kennedy
Our customers and communities benefit greatly from the perspectives, commitment, and drive to succeed that our veteran team members deliver – and we’re proud they chose Synovus for their post-military career.
From serving our country to serving our customers, we spoke with several of our Veterans Employee Resource Group (ERG) team members to see how they utilize the knowledge gained in the military in their roles.
Reporting for duty
“I guess you could say service to one’s country was instilled in me from a young age,” says David Kennedy, Sr. Director, Strategy and Implementation at Maast (Wholly-owned subsidiary of Synovus Bank). David followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. While David’s education prepared him for a career as an Army officer, a few years later, life taught him, as he puts it, “The plan is only good until the first shot is fired.” When his wife, a teacher, decided to start a small business, he recalls, “I realized moving us all over the world would not be the best way to support her.”
“If hiring managers offer a bit of training, they will see that veterans often have just the characteristics they are looking for in an employee.”
Unfamiliar career terrain
After bidding the Army farewell at Ft. Benning, near Columbus, GA, David began exploring project management opportunities in the area. He quickly had to make a few adjustments from the rigorously structured military life he’d been groomed to lead. “The way things are explained in the civilian world is just different from the rigid hierarchy of the military.” He observed a different approach to work-life balance, too. “In the military, the boundary between your work life and your personal life is more of a blur.”
A new mission, a new team
“Columbus is home to several great employers,” David says. “Synovus stood out among them as really caring about their mission of service.” Fortunately, the resume David sent Synovus found its way to a retired Army officer, who could translate David’s military experience and persuade the hiring manager that interviewing David would be time well spent.
Since joining the bank, David has made consulting with and recruiting fellow veterans his own mission of service through the Veterans ERG. “The ERG is a great way to get more plugged in to the company, whether you’re a veteran or not.” He encourages other hiring managers to think beyond the technical aspects of a job description when reviewing candidate applications from those who have served. “While veterans may often lack direct job experience, they can bring talents and skills that are far more valuable in the long run. If hiring managers offer a bit of training, they will see that veterans often have just the characteristics they are looking for in an employee: rigor, discipline, detailed planning, teamwork. Ask yourself not just what experience is required for the role, but what type of person you want to see in it.”
Veterans and Military
We’re committed to matching military expertise with our available career opportunities and providing an environment where veterans can expand their knowledge and skills in the financial services industry.