As a kid we knew what we wanted to be when we grew up. Well, we had to have an answer – we were asked the question all the time. Although, in my case, I didn’t know. Not until I was about 30 years old.
I married my husband in college and was thrust into military life right after we graduated. I only worked for about 18 months at the beginning of his career. Then we relocated overseas and within three years I had two beautiful children. This was my life. Mom, wife, military spouse.
When my husband started training and gearing up for long deployments, I knew I needed to get involved. So I started volunteering. Within two years I knew I wanted to support other military families. There was a need, and I loved it so much. It was a perfect fit.
When the FINRA Military Spouse Fellowship applications opened through the National Military Family Association in 2010, I applied. Having an undergraduate degree in psychology, I thought the idea of financial counseling sounded very interesting. After finishing the program in about 11 months, I realized that not only did I have a passion for supporting military families, but I loved financial counseling. So, here it was—the career I always wanted with the passion I already had.
With our relocation to the National Capital Region, I found a position with the Consumer Federation of America as the Military Saves Coordinator. Now, I am in charge of a program that affects military families on a broad scale. I am able to use my knowledge as a financial counselor, military spouse, and all those years as a volunteer to support military families’ financial well being.
The FINRA Military Spouse Fellowship was instrumental in helping me develop a successful career path. Opportunities like this for military spouses are priceless. I am so thankful for organizations like FINRA Foundation, National Military Family Association, the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, and the Department of Defense that tirelessly work to provide these opportunities.
As we move to our next location, the skills and experience provided by the Fellowship give me confidence to pursue a mobile career—a welcome advantage in meeting that challenging feat.
The 2013 FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Military Spouse Fellowship Program is now accepting applications. Learn more about this opportunity and apply today!
Posted by Andia Dinesen, AFC ®, Military Saves Coordinator, FINRA Military Spouse Fellowship Recipient, military spouse, and mother of two