So, within the next year I will be separating from the Navy after 10 years as a linguist and intel analyst. A few years back I met some bankers in Dubai and after a few drinks and apparently helping them on a deal they convinced me I would do well in banking. I did the first step and finished my undergrad in finance and i'm applying to a few MBA programs this year. I have done a lot of research, but am still curious about a few things.

  • Has anyone worked with prior military?
  • Do most firms offer good healthcare plans?
  • Average expected starting salary for an associate outside of NYC?
  • Any general advice is also greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Comments (9)


General advice: If I were you, I'd try to put your experience as a linguist and intel analyst for the Navy to good use when trying to land that first job in finance. This means either focusing on investment banks with offices in the region that you covered while in the Navy or boutique banks that specialize in defense industry deals.

Good luck and thank you for your service!

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I'd assume your ability to work under pressure and in a team, as well as your lingual and analytical skills would help you. You'd probably have to avoid going through the usual online applications which might screen you out on the basis of spending 10 years out of finance and network like hell, but I'm sure you're better set than most people who did something else for 10 years! Just find a way to show how you really want to do IB and how your army life has set you up well.

Complete guesswork (not in the US, not an associate, not in a regional office etc) but something like 30-40% less than an NYC associate? Maybe $80-100k after bonus? Again, complete guestimation on my part.


From everything I've read and heard I think associate positions pay more that 100K all in, even outside of NY.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali


There's a ton of info on this site that can help you out. Use the search function. Also, some of the top users on the site are former military guys. Snoop around a little and you should find them no problem.


Thanks for all the responses. I figured my best chances were focusing on the linguistic and analyst work experiences. I studied Chinese (Mandarin) and farsi/Dari, but spent most of my career focused on the Middle East. I figured that would be my best bet. I know I need to try and draw the focus from no previous finance work, so I will have to work on that. I spent most of the day searching around other posts and there's been a lot of helpful information. Thanks again for the advice!


If you're not looking to work in NYC but are fluent (business fluent that is) in Mandarin, go for HK! Maybe even Dubai considering your past experience.


Former CTI here, sent you PM.


Yeah, I love Dubai so i thought that route would be perfect, just trying to sell it to the wife and kids will be the hardest part. After 7 years, she is still the only person I can't negotiate with. :) Will larger banks conduct the interviews here or are they looking for someone overseas already? Is there a preference for native speakers, or would a non-native like myself have a good shot as well?


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