Located in Denver, Colorado, Paul Bowen has worked at Charles Schwab for nearly five years. Previously a CSR (customer service representative), Paul offers a closer look at what it’s like to work for the award-winning firm, which offers wide range of investment services, including brokerage and retirement accounts, ETFs and online trading. Keep reading to learn more about Paul’s phenomenal professional growth at Schwab, and the transition from his law school-bound background into a rewarding finance career. employee experience at charles schwab
After completing his political science degree at age 31, Paul decided law school was the logical next step. But in an effort to avoid the unreasonably pricey tuition, he kept an open mind about potential career paths. A friend who’d worked at Charles Schwab for nearly 15 years referred Paul.
“I told him, ‘But I don’t know anything about finance,” Paul says. “He said, ‘Well, Schwab will teach you.’”
Hired on a few months later, Paul’s journey at Schwab began. He started as a CSR, tasked with basic password resets until he moved on to “bigger and better roles,” as he describes it.
The Employee Experience At Charles Schwab
Paul says the culture was what initially drew him to the company, as well as the open, diverse, fun community within Schwab.
“They really help you achieve your goals, whatever they may be,” he adds. “That includes inside the firm as well as in your personal life. They really value you as a person.”
To allow employees to explore different opportunities and set the groundwork to achieve the next goal, Charles Schwab encourages its “Schwabbies” to collaborate with other departments. Paul says this allows everyone to find their groove and offer guidance along the way.
One of Paul’s proudest moments during his career thus far at Schwab? Passing the Series 7 Financial Certification exam. The Series 7 provides an individual with the qualifications required to make trades with all types of corporate securities, except for commodities and futures. An employee must pass the exam in order to take many other principal licensing exams offered by FINRA.
“When I decided to pursue the Series 7 after I felt more comfortable with Schwab as a place of employment, I took the book home with me and studied,” Paul says. “I was at home on the weekends and in the evenings. It was tough.”
It took Paul four attempts to pass the exam — but it was a relief once he passed, and Schwab encouraged him every step of the way.
“Certainly after that third attempt, having to wait six months was very discouraging,” he says. “But at the same time, Schwab said, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing,’ and they were very supportive. There was encouragement to pass.”