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Military Experience Serves an Agent Well

From Protecting his Country to Protecting his Community

Former U.S. Army Corporal Nghia (Nick) Huu Nguyen explains how his military experience serves him well in his new career as a New York Life Insurance agent.

Nick Nguyen learned a lot in the military about self discipline, working hard, and serving others.  When it came time to transition to a civilian career, he chose to continue protecting people’s lives — as a life insurance agent in New York Life’s Greater San Francisco Office.  Here, Nguyen explains how his military experience has helped his transition to a new career, and why former military should consider serving others as New York Life agents.  

NYL: What branch of the military were you in, and what were your duties?

Nguyen: I was a Corporal E4 in the U.S. Army, I was stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. I was the supply specialist, so I was in charge of the supplies room and the arms room. Then, I was put in charge of transportation, delivering vehicles to Iraq.

NYL: How long were you in the Army?

Nguyen: I served almost four years active duty. I joined the Army in July 2003, finished active duty in January 2007 and served in the Reserve in 2008 and 2009.

NYL: Why and how did you become a New York Life agent?

Nguyen: Around May 2010, I ran into a New York Life agent who was also former military. He was an old childhood friend. He invited me to check out New York Life. It seemed like something I would enjoy doing. I started taking New York Life classes that May, and joined full time in July 2010.

NYL: What skills did you learn in the military that have helped you as a life insurance agent?

Nguyen: A lot of discipline and hard work. The military got me used to that. There are also parallels in serving — when I was in the military, my mission was to protect the country. Now, my mission is to protect lives in the community I serve. It’s kind of along the same route.

NYL: What would you say to someone who is either former military looking for a job, or in the Reserve looking for a second career?

Nguyen: I think every former military, when he/she gets out, has to start over again. A lot of times, I felt like I was behind compared to my peers who had already graduated from college and were working at their careers. In the financial industry, and at New York Life in particular, you have the potential to go out, work hard and establish yourself. If you work hard, you can make a lot of money — a lot more than an entry level job, without necessarily needing a college degree.

It’s a good career where you feel like you’re doing something meaningful every day. If you like helping people out, I think this is a great choice. And again, in this economy, it’s a lot more financially competitive than other opportunities.

NYL: What are some common traits in successful military personnel and successful New York Life agents?

Nguyen: A desire to always better themselves. I think that’s the reason I joined the military in the first place: To do something challenging and try to better myself, compared to a lot of people I knew at home who were choosing the “safe route.”

Being a New York Life agent can be challenging, but with all the training and support available, I feel like I’m getting better every day.

An Outstanding Opportunity

Are you looking for a second career that can build on the training and experience you received during your time in active duty? Consider serving your community as a life insurance agent.  You don’t need previous sales experience or a college degree — just the commitment and courage to succeed.

To find out more about life insurance career opportunities in your area, visit New York Life online at or call your local New York Life office.

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Military Experience Serves an Agent Well

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