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For veterans, a path to Wall Street

Last fall, Kimberly Taylor, a U.S. Army veteran who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, attended a New York Stock Exchange workshop for service men and women interested in bolstering their resumes and developing job interview techniques. She stayed in touch with a senior human-resources manager and was quickly offered a position in a new summer program for veterans interested in working on Wall Street.

Taylor, who is pursuing an online MBA, is currently working to help develop the NYSE Euronext’s new Veteran Associate Program, in which she also takes part. The program provides service members the unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the fast-paced world of finance though an eight-week paid internship.

“I’m taking what we’re doing and strengthening it for the future,” Taylor said.

Taylor originally planned to focus her MBA course work on the health-care industry, but noted that her experience on Wall Street has encouraged her to shift her attention toward finance. As she put it, “I’m really getting addicted to this new field. It’s very quick-paced, which makes it a lot like the military.”

Taylor takes Northeastern’s online classes from her Jersey City, N.J., home. She graduated with a degree in veterinarian science from North Carolina State University, and then served in the Army from 1999 through 2007, at which point she retired as a sergeant.

She worked as a munitions specialist in the Army, conducting airdrops of supply pallets in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then she shifted career paths, working next as a respiratory therapist in the U.S. and training members of the Army reserves, both at home and on short overseas missions.

“I wore a lot of hats,” Taylor said. “For now, it’s just constant networking.”