Veteran Employee Story – Matt Nicol

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company  |  On Your Side  |

Published in the January/February 2012 issue of print Search & Employ®  |

Matt Nicol’s colorful career began as a claims customer service rep at Nationwide in 1995. He spent his first four years in various claims positions and the next six years in a technical telecommunications support role for the claims call centers. He is now an account executive at Nationwide.

He also has 22 years of military service – 12 in the Army and 10 in the Air Force. He enlisted in the Army Reserve in 1990, and went to Warrant Officer Candidate School and pilot training in 1994. He flew UH-1 Huey and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters until being accepted to the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot training program. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in 2002 and graduated from pilot training in 2003. He is currently a pilot in the West Virginia Air National Guard.

Nationwide Insurance and Financial Services has been operating since 1926. The company has grown from a small mutual auto insurer owned by policyholders to one of the largest insurance and financial services companies in the world. Nationwide specializes in property and casualty, umbrella, and life insurance.

Nicol said that his military background has been a huge benefit. “My military experience helped me advance into several positions prior to having earned my college degree, as it showed maturity, work ethic, accomplishment, and perseverance,” he said. “Nationwide has always supported my military career during periods of needed military leave for training or serving overseas.”

Nationwide realizes how valuable employees with military experience can be. “Veterans are proven at being assigned difficult tasks with often little or no direction and completing this with the utmost professionalism and precision,” Nicol said. “They are tested, put through the toughest of challenges, and able to demonstrate desired skills such as dedication, analytical skills, decision-making ability, leadership, technical ability, communication skills, and the ability to complete multiple complex tasks. Veterans are tested in many ways others are not – and that makes them valuable to organizations.”

He advises servicemembers who are getting ready to leave the military to start thinking about their next step as soon as possible. “Plan early, decide where you would most likely want to work, and be realistic where you feel your skills will be most desired and attractive,” he said. “There are a lot of people out of work and searching for not only jobs but career advancements. Competition is fierce and it could easily take three to six months of interviewing for positions you are well qualified to perform.”

As for finding a job at Nationwide, Nicol suggested finding a connection. “Find someone in the organization who knows the culture, how to navigate Nationwide,” he said. “Someone who can advise you on areas where your talents may be best suited or connect you with a recruiter for the area in which you would be most qualified. Invest time on your resume. It is the first step to selling yourself and to getting an interview.”


About the Author

This article was written by Jay Myers