In these difficult times, we are all living and working in new ways.
Our new Day in a New York Life series offers a look into the daily lives of New York Life’s employees, particularly those who are giving their time and expertise to our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). ERGs are voluntary, employee-led groups that help foster a diverse and inclusive workplace and are aligned with New York Life’s mission, values, and goals.
Jason Hite is a Senior Associate in Institutional Life who works in Business Process Improvement. His main project right now is working on part of New York Life’s IT modernization effort, building new capabilities into the company’s infrastructure.
He is also co-lead of the NYL-VETS ERG group. Here, he shares his typical day, working from home.
Around 5am, the dogs usually come in and wake me up. And we're not talking small dogs. I've got a Rhodesian Ridgeback that’s almost 100 pounds and a Great Dane that’s about 140 pounds – they make themselves known in the morning. So I let them out, feed them, and feed the cat. Once the pets are settled, depending on the weather, I might go kayaking, do some biking, or take a walk. Pre-COVID, I would meet up with some old friends on the post –I live near a military installation –and play Ultimate Frisbee.
Working to a tight schedule
After I have breakfast with my wife and drop my son off at school, I get back to work.
The first thing I do is review my calendar. I look at my tasks for what I have to do carried over from the day before, and new tasks for the day ahead.
Currently, I’m working on the new processing system, but I'm also assisting with two of the other testing efforts for both Salesforce and Tableau. So it's kind of like Tetris – some days I have more whitespace than others.
Working with the ERG
I was getting ready to retire from the Army about three years ago, and somebody had mentioned the Hiring Our Heroes corporate fellowship.1 The way it works is the military allows the service member to do training with industry – in my case, it was New York Life, for 11 weeks. It's kind of like an 11-week interview process. I got to determine if I liked it, and they got to determine whether or not they wanted to hire me. And it worked out well for both sides.
The individual that brought me on through this program is retired Army also. He was the co-lead for the NYL-VETS ERG at the time and I started working with the local NYL-VETS-ERG in the Kansas City area. We started helping with the Veterans Community Project, which built 49 tiny homes for homeless veterans and a 5,000- square-foot center to provide medical assistance and dental assistance--they even have a veterinarian there for homeless vets that have pets with them on the streets. The Veterans transition from those tiny homes into a more established lifestyle and hopefully move into an apartment and improve their lives. That's one of the aspects that we've done locally.
How the NYL-VETS group helps
At NYL-VETS, we share the experience of being a Veteran. For example, we've got a manager whose son is in the Army, but he’s a civilian. He's got kind of a broad sense of what his son does. But we are able to express to him some of what his son is doing that his son doesn't necessarily tell him about. We can tell him some of the things that we experienced in the Army, and give him that perspective.
We talk to people that have absolutely no military affiliation or know about what the military does, or understand how individuals and their families are affected when they transition to civilian life. We show them that a Veteran is just a civilian that took time out in their life to serve their country, and they've got a lot to offer when they come back.
The purpose of NYL-VETS is to provide mentorship, professional development, and networking opportunities for employees who are veterans and those who support our armed forces. We also assist New York Life in becoming a magnet for talented individuals with prior military service.
Goals and objectives.
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