Published in the January/February 2011 issue of print Search & Employ®
Since its founding in 1988, Capital One has become one of the country’s largest consumer franchises, with approximately 45 million customer accounts, and is among the nation’s ten largest banks based on deposits. Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses, and commercial clients.
Capital One has been widely recognized for its entrepreneurial culture and its community engagement. The company supports a number of community-redevelopment and youth-education programs in the DC area, including DC Cares, the DC College Access Program, and Junior Achievement.
David LaGassa is a managing vice president and the head of Capital One’s Consumer Lines & Loans business, which provides personal loans and unsecured lines-of-credit to banking customers. LaGassa joined Capital One in 1996 directly from the military, where he served as a nuclear submarine officer for five years. He earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.
Because of his experience in the military and civilian workplaces, LaGassa understands why veterans make ideal employees for Capital One. “Many of the existing skills that veterans have are either directly transferrable or closely related to those valued in financial services,” he said. “For example, service members must be good risk managers—thinking about the weak points in an operation and anticipating how to respond to breakdowns. Risk management is a cornerstone of financial services, as the recent downturn has proven all too well. Other such skills include analytical problem-solving, communications, and a strong focus on achieving results. The military is full of self-motivated professionals who can synthesize a wealth of information and then take the initiative to achieve goals. These abilities are valued in my industry as well.”
LaGassa also understands why the company is a good fit for veterans. “We are a great place to work for veterans because of our people and culture,” he said. “Capital One has hundreds of veterans among its ranks. We have actively recruited veterans for years, and many are respected leaders throughout the company. Capital One is also a very open culture—we strive to attract the best people and give them the opportunity to be great. An essential part of that approach is to bring together associates with diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences that reflect the customers and communities we serve.”
“It is also important to have a really good quality of life,” he said. “Capital One’s flexible workplace practices have enabled me to achieve success at work while still spending quality time with my family. Our flexibility extends to generous support of our associates while on reserve duty, which I did for a number of years.”
Capitol One is actively seeking veterans to fill its ranks and is a participant at military-to-civilian career fairs. “We have a wide variety of opportunities across many specialties and geographic regions,” he said. “Specifically, we have many roles open at our campuses in Mclean and Richmond, Virginia, and in Plano, Texas. Those include posts in analysis, information technology, human resources, banking, and the call-center and mortgage fields.”