The Groundwork for Success
NEW YORK COMMUNITY BANCORP, INC.
With assets of approximately $48.7 billion, New York Community Bancorp, Inc., is the holding company for New York Community Bank, a New York State-chartered savings bank serving customers throughout Metropolitan New York, New Jersey, Florida, Ohio, and Arizona; and New York Commercial Bank, a New York State-chartered commercial bank serving consumers and businesses in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, and the counties of Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester – all in New York.
The roots of New York Community Bank go back to 1859, when it was chartered by the State of New York in Queens. Since then, the company has grown from a single branch in Flushing to 242 branch offices in five states.
New York Commercial Bank traces its roots to the mid-1920’s, when the Atlantic Bank division was established to meet the needs of consumers and small businesses in the city of New York. Today, New York Commercial Bank has 30 branches, including 18 that operate under the name Atlantic Bank.
The company has 260 locations that feature 24-hour ATM banking, and 227 of its Community Bank branches are open at least six days a week. The company also offers customers 24-hour access to their accounts with online banking, and the ability to bank 24/7 by phone.
New York Community Bancorp has opportunities for veterans in risk management, information technology, employee development and training, financial services, and mortgage servicing, as well as positions in retail branches. NYCB’s Human Resources team has recruited veterans from multiple resources, including RecruitMilitary.com, enabling the company to hire experienced personnel with excellent skills in multiple disciplines.
Veterans make excellent employees because they are generally reliable and dependable, and they have learned to function well as contributing members of teams. Many veterans bring a strong work ethic, coupled with a high level of experience and the ability to perform well under a variety of conditions. NYCB is a good fit for veterans, due to the very nature of banking. The discipline and structure veterans acquire in the course of their military service can readily be put to use in the highly regulated banking industry.
A VETERAN SUCCESS | KEVIN KAUFMANN
Kevin Kaufmann served four years on active duty in the Navy and two in the Navy Reserve, separating as a petty officer 3rd class. He spent most of his time in the Navy working as a jet engine mechanic. Now, he is NYCB’s first senior vice president and director, security, responsible for the protection of people, assets, and property. He develops training for officers and other employees on their responsibilities under the security program, and reports annually to the board of directors.
Kaufmann joined NYCB in 2000 as assistant security officer, and advanced assistant director, then director. His area of responsibility expanded from one state to five – he now supports almost 4,000 employees.
The culture of Kaufmann’s first job after the military made for an easy transition. “In my first civilian opportunity with the New York City Police Department, the structure of the military, particularly discipline and chain of command, related well to what was required,” he said. “I easily translated that to succeed in my daily duties, as the structure of the police department is very similar to the military.”
He said it pays to be flexible when considering post-military employment. “If I were to give advice, I would say be very open to opportunities outside your military role,” he said. “Upon my discharge, there were few civilian jet engine mechanic jobs. My career path has been very rewarding, but very different than my role in the Navy.”
The military prepared Kaufmann for success in all aspects of his life. “The skills I learned in the Navy prepared me well and gave me confidence,” he said. “Those skills included discipline, following through, and critical thinking. Also key was learning to make a decision based on information available; I was told a bad decision is better than no decision and learned to articulate why I made a given decision. My duties as jet engine mechanic taught me the value of precision and following instructions.”
It is also important to be able to work with people – and be somebody that people want to work with. “Group dynamics can serve us well if everyone understands the mission’s objectives and commits to getting the job done,” said Kaufmann. “I also learned the value of being reliable and trustworthy.”
Because the work ethic is similar to the military, Kaufmann recommends his company as a place to work for fellow veterans. “NYCB is excellent for veterans because we respect the military service our employees provided to the country,” he said. “We’re always looking for people with the kind of work ethic military service typically brings. It’s a pleasure to work with those who share the commitment to perform well in the job. Service in the military usually yields a well-rounded person who can easily understand or learn because of the experience they have gained.”
When in doubt, veterans should lean on what they learned in the military, according to Kaufmann. “Don’t forget what you learned in the military, no matter what your job was there,” he said. “Those same types of skills and dedication should be used in your career going forward. Use those talents to your advantage as you enter civilian life.”
As for working at NYCB, Kaufmann recommends doing some research. “My advice for anyone seeking a job in our organization is that you can be taught to do a job,” he said. “You must be willing to do it, accept responsibility, and learn what is taught. It would be helpful to learn about the banking industry. It’s interesting work and a good field because it is varied, whether in security where we do investigations plus physical security, or any other area – HR, accounting, information technology, facilities, or compliance. Don’t discount what you learned in the military, especially the discipline; and drive to do a good job. Those traits truly lay the groundwork for success.”