#FridayFollow: Meet Kathy Hobbs, a proud Military Spouse Fellow!

2023 applications close tonight, learn more and apply.

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Kathy uses her AFC to work as a Community Readiness Specialist at the Military & Family Readiness Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She helps military members and their families prepare, adjust, excel, and transition through their military life.

How did you learn about the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship?

My husband forwarded me an email he received at work about the fellowship and captioned it as, “Ha!  Imagine you… a financial counselor?!?”. You see, we weren’t the worst but not the best at managing our finances.  He thought it was a dig at me… I thought it was an interesting opportunity.

Why did you decide to apply and pursue the AFC?

At the time I learned of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship I had been a stay-at-home mom for almost 10 years.  I left a career as a cartographer in Civil Engineering firms to raise our sons and deal with the frequent moves and challenges associated with our military lifestyle.  The fellowship offered a bridge back into the professional workforce and a portable career that would be compatible with our family’s needs.  I perceived my husband’s teasing me as a challenge to better myself and push forward for a better life for my family.

What was something that you got out of the program that you didn’t initially anticipate?

Becoming a FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellow comes with hundreds of strings attached.  But those strings are amazing!  Being accepted into this fellowship means that you are no longer alone.  You are now connected to a network of professionals that want nothing more than to support and see you excel.  We connect through regional meetings, Facebook groups and love getting to spend time together at the annual AFCPE Symposium.  I thought I was applying for a career enhancement opportunity and ended up with a family.

How did the AFC enhance or add to your existing professional skills (your toolbox)?

After being out of the workforce for many years I was researching ways that I could re-enter doing something that I found interesting and helpful to my community.  To return to my previous career would have required going back to school and almost starting from scratch as the technology and profession had changed so drastically.  The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship was exactly the opportunity I was looking for.  It opened the door to a profession I had never considered before yet found fascinating.  The first day I volunteered at Fort Monroe, VA Army Community Services and began earning my practicum hours I realized I had just embarked on the most amazing adventure.  This profession has not only empowered me and my family and how we manage our finances (we’re much better with money than when my husband forwarded me that email), but I have counseled and educated thousands of military service members and their families to do the same.

What has been the most meaningful or important aspect of the AFC in the work you are currently doing?

In my current role as a Community Readiness Specialist at the Military & Family Readiness Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base I assist Service Members and their families with all aspects of military life.  Of particular importance is my work with members who are transitioning out of the military.  The AFC gives me credibility and assurance to my clients that my interest lies in empowering these members and preparing them for life after military service.  When a member comes in apprehensive about the way forward and then leaves optimistic about their future, I am affirmed that applying for this fellowship was the best professional decision I ever made.

What is the best way to connect with you (social links, etc.)?  

Connect with Kathy on LinkedIn.

The 2023 FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship application deadline is TODAY, April 14, 2023. Apply by 11:59 ET.

If you are interested in applying, go HERE to learn more.

If you are connected with a military spouse or the military community, help us spread the word! We’ve created an easy TOOLKIT for you to use!

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