BTU #39: Frank Van Buren – Blackhawk pilot to 18 years in Financial Services at Wells Fargo

“What I’m saying is that when there is nothing at stake – you’re not being paid for it or receiving credit – what are you interested in? If you can figure out what you’re genuinely interested in, and you can combine that with what your natural strength is, you have the foundation for planning your future. Until you do that, you’re just spinning in the wind. If you ever leave a job without understanding those two things, you’re just tossing the dice.”
 – Frank Van Buren

Frank Van Buren lives in North Carolina and works at Wells Fargo in their High Yield Sales & Trading Group. Frank started out at the Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, where he did Army ROTC, after which he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the National Guard/Reserve, and then decided to become a Chief Warrant Officer on active duty in the US Army, where served as a Blackhawk pilot for six years. After his transition from the Army, he earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked at Wells Fargo for the last 18 years, first as part of their Investment Banking group and then as part of their Fixed-Income Sales & Trading groups. He also runs the site,

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • How to decide between Investment Banking and Sales & Trading
  • An overview of the Financial Services industry and where you might fit in
  • What Frank has learned from over 18 years in Financial Services
  • How to find your dream and uncover what you might want to do for a career
  • And much, much more…

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Scroll below for links and show notes…


Show Notes

  • 1:37 – Frank’s background
  • 3:30 – An overview of Frank’s role at Well’s Fargo
  • 8:40 – Frank’s day-to-day life
  • 15:05 – Frank’s lifestyle in sales & trading (as compared to Investment Banking)
  • 17:45 – Frank’s journey from pilot to life as a civilian
  • 28:00 – How to find your dream and uncover what you might want to do for a career
  • 36:00 – How to decide between Investment Banking and Sales & Trading
  • 45:30 – Bad habits that veterans need to break when they leave active duty
  • 54:00 – Frank’s final words of advice to veterans