By: Susan Sledge with Sean Bailey, Director of University Recruiting
Entering the USAA 258 acre compound in San Antonio gives you an immediate respect for the financial institution established with strong military roots. Five guardedgates allow access to various buildings and it seems, during morning rush hour, that all of San Antonio is migrating tothis one location. The Visitor Center sits in the middle of the largest building housing 16,000 employees and the walk from the parking lot is an impressive tropical garden. This building is the 2nd largest footprint in America behind the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. with 4.2 million square feet. Amenities include five cafeterias, two company stores, a wellness clinic and four fitness centers. Also, of note, USAA has the largest grossing Starbucks in the nation and it is evident when you have reached its location because it gives you the feeling of command central with its intentional nooks and crannies used for team meetings.
I have never visited a company with a clearer sense of mission.
USAA’s mission is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates, and their families through provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services; in so doing, USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community.
Every activity initiated is centered on their dedication to military families and a supreme sense of duty to providing excellent service. To be hired at USAA, you must demonstrate a personal connection to their mission. They are the only civilian organization allowed to display medals of honor among other museum quality displays within the building.
The immediate and most pressing hiring need for USAA is technology talent. Although I wasn’t allowed access to the Innovation Lab, I was shown through a glass wall a massive group working on technology solutions to aid members worldwide. If you use a mobile app to process deposits by taking a picture of a check, this is a patent held by USAA. They created this so family members in service could make deposits without sending funds in the mail. The “Patent Tree” on the wall outside the lab displays hundreds of patents they hold. USAA functions are primarily held within this compound but they have built a large facility in Plano, Texas for technology efforts. There are other regional offices in Phoenix, Colorado Springs, Tampa, England, and Germany. Students wanting to work for USAA will have an advantage if they want to ultimately work in San Antonio. The recruiter mentioned that the Plano office is popular, but they value those who want to live and work in their corporate offices at some point. Remembering their military roots, they expect candidates to move when a need arises; but, to balance this, they have tried to consolidate all its functions to one location so their employees won’t be asked to move (especially since so many are retired veterans).
Veterans and their spouses make excellent employees for this company. TCU students with military experience will be given preference over other candidates. In roles of family support, they particularly value spouses.
The intern program is developing for USAA and definitely the way in to their entry level position. In 2013, they had 250 summer interns. For 2014, they have offered positions for 400 interns. The vast majority of interns are employed during the summer. All positions are paid and half of the intern are technology positions. Candidates are screened from college campuses and flown in to San Antonio for individual interviews with hiring managers. Functional manager conduct all interviews and make hiring decision in a “war room” atmosphere that sounded much like a draft. Departments will negotiate for their top candidates and this is viewed as full-time hiring should everything go well during the internship.
TCU now has a connection to USAA recruiting and resumes will be accepted through our offices and guaranteed for review. I do not recommend simply applying online as they cannot filter through the number of applicants they receive and many remain unnoticed. You will definitely have an advantage applying in response to our call for resumes or a posting in FrogJobs. Financial, actuary, technology, engineering, and accounting majors are of most interest at this time. Accounting internship is in the summer with only 5 positions Jan-Mar. All positions are paid with the highest amount going to technology interns at $20/hr+. Full time salaries range according to position with Human Resources at $32-36K to Technology salaries at $60-70K. Salaries do not include the employee profit sharing bonus paid each February which has been 15-20% of salaries for the past 5 years. They also receive a Christmas shopping bonus (approx. $2000).
TCU will coordinate with USAA each September with a resume book highlighting their target majors and veterans. In addition, USAA will notify us of last minute openings for the 2014 internship class for a chance to fill.
If you want to know more about USAA, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recruiting Video: Fortune 2013 – 100 Best Companies to work for http://bit.ly/180Etyu