Financial Services

The Jacksonville region is a key location for many financial services companies, including FIS, Dun & Bradstreet, Deutsche Bank, Bank Of America, CIT, Florida Blue, SoFi, Vystar Credit Union, Black Knight Financial Services and more. As finance organizations grow and expand their operations in Northeast Florida, the region has seen significant growth in jobs and capital investment to grow this already well-established industry. Jacksonville is filled with advanced career options for those interested in Financial Service Support, Back Office, Investment Banking, Front Office, Fintech and Financial Security Software.

Nearly 62,000 employees work in Jacksonville’s finance industry, it is one of the largest segments of the region’s economy. Some of the positions in the Jacksonville area are Finance Manager, Underwriting Manager, Finance Analyst, Financial Associate, Investment Specialist, Credit Analyst, Operations Finance Manager, Employee Compliance Analyst, Finance Control Specialist, Financial Advisor, Financial Representative, Claims Specialist, Mortgage Loan Officer and Wealth Management Advisor

The Jacksonville area is also a critical part of the fintech ecosystem, one of the fastest-growing areas within financial services. With two state colleges in the region awarded $3.6 million in grant funding for the Northeast Florida Fintech Initiative, the talent that Jacksonville plans to produce will strengthen the industry. The grant fosters the development of curriculum, employment and business recruitment programs to be powered a business and industry leadership team (BILT) of fintech companies that will help identify the skills, competencies and credentials that employees need to excel in these jobs.

If you are interested in a career in financial services, please take a look at its Career Pathway and also explore some of our resources that can help you understand the next step in your career. Jacksonville needs more financial services professionals and a career in this field can lead to an exciting and lucrative career.

Resources

Financial Services Industry Report

Industry Deep Dive

Fintech Industry Report

Financial Services Overview

Financial Services Companies in the Region

I had an interest in STEM but wasn't sure which career pathway I wanted to pursue.

Kendall RileyBusiness Analyst, Citi

The financial services industry is evolving and there are many opportunities if you have the drive to learn.

Lindsey ThomasDigital Experience Program Analyst, VyStar Credit Union

The VyStar Academy of Business provided me the opportunity to gain work experience that I couldn’t learn in a classroom.

Gabrielle BokretsionSenior Business Process Analyst, VyStar Credit Union

Use experiences to stretch and expand your skill set, as it will open other doors. Take opportunities to expand your network with professors and industry professionals.

Shannon ColesSenior Vice President Business Management, TIAA Bank

It goes beyond chasing the dollar.

Kenneth McAllisiterDirector of Business Services, JAX Federal Credit Union

With the training and experience I have gained through school and internships, I feel very confident in my skills and abilities and look forward to future opportunities throughout my career.

Sean O’NeillIntern, Citibank and Deutsche Bank

I knew I wanted a career path to help others. As a loan processor, it is rewarding to help others achieve their goals.

Elmin SacicSenior Mortgage Loan Processor, Citi

Shannon Coles

Senior Vice President Business Management, TIAA Bank

Shannon Coles, current Vice President of Strategic Business Development at TIAA Bank, maximized her collegiate experience and has translated that experience into career success. Shannon leveraged her positive student experience into a clear career pathway. She’s worked for TIAA Bank in various roles for over 12 years. In addition, Shannon pursued her professional education by attending the CBA Executive Banking School.

A graduate of the University of North Florida in 2007, Shannon initially became interested in the industry after taking some accounting classes. Seeking the ability to infuse more creativity into her studies, she took a financial management class. She enjoyed it immensely, as it permitted application of rules and practices in different ways. Financial management presented flexibility within a specific framework — something that meshed naturally with her personality.

Shannon’s interest and aptitude were further cultivated through involvement in the Osprey Financial Group, a student managed investment fund responsible for a $500,000 endowment. Only 10-15 total graduate and undergraduate students are accepted into this program each year. Shannon was accepted after completing a competitive application and interview process.
The group involved competitions in which the team completed and presented projects to industry professionals and leaders. This work, in addition to her course load, taught Shannon valuable skills in written and oral communication, teamwork, accountability and conflict resolution. This experience provided real skills and resulted in heightened confidence and empowerment.

Shannon also participated in the Finance & Investment Society, as well as Students in Free Enterprise, additional activities that supplemented classroom learning and made her a more valuable hire. Her advice to others seeking this career pathway is to use experiences to “stretch and expand your skill set, as it will open other doors. Take opportunities to expand your network with professors and industry professionals.”

Ultimately, Shannon is an example of how an individual can successfully select a career pathway, pursue education in that pathway, and obtain gainful, fulfilling employment — all right here in the Northeast Florida region.

Kendall Riley

Business Analyst, Citi

While a student at Jacksonville’s Mandarin High School, Kendall Riley thought about her future career and initially had an interest in writing code for biomedical research. That changed when she discovered her enthusiasm for information technology by taking part in Citi’s “Women in IT” internship program.

“I had an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) but wasn’t sure which career pathway I wanted to pursue,” said Riley, a Business Analyst for Citi, Personal Banking & Wealth Management Technology (PBWMT). “This initiative has helped me grow my career in so many ways.”

Riley, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of North Florida in 2022, completed four Citi internships – two in high school and two at the college level – before transitioning into a full-time employee. Riley discovered working in technology at Citi has laid the foundation for an exciting career path.

“The program offers wonderful, valuable information about the working in the world of technology, which offers many different opportunities for career growth,” Riley said.

Citi’s “Women in IT” program was launched by employees from Citi’s Jacksonville division to inspire more high school and college women to consider careers in technology and in response to troubling statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, since 1984, the percentage of female computer science graduates has dropped from 37% to 24%. While women make up more than half of the U.S. workforce, they hold just 25% of the jobs in technical or computing fields.

Michelle Carrico, Senior VP/Program Manager for Citi, PBWMT, has been involved with the “Women in IT” program since its inception. Program leaders were exploring innovative ways to identify, mentor, and hire talent while supporting the bank’s commitment to gender diversity. They wanted to invest in and develop a pipeline of female technology professionals.

“We have been working hard to address this talent gap and to encourage women to consider a wide range of roles in technology,” ” Carrico said. “Even though coding is important and foundational, there are many other roles in technology that don’t require you to work with code every day.”

In Citi’s “Women in IT” program, high school interns are introduced to technology skills, meet technology professionals and explore more about what it means to work in tech. The curriculum is designed to build confidence, inspire students to learn more and reduce the misconception that "IT is not for me."

Both high school and college-level interns are placed on a variety of technology teams, including project management, software development, data science, business analysis, design, architecture and more. Along with mentoring and networking opportunities, they develop a strong understanding of the industry and the skills that are in demand. The experience is designed to show students the career possibilities in technology and link their interest to various roles offered within the field.

“I am grateful for this program, which has helped me grow my career,” Riley said. “I got my first taste of professional networking and working with mentors.”

Now Riley is serving as a mentor to new Citi interns.

“Watching Kendall’s growth and professional development since she started the program has been phenomenal,” Carrico said. “Our interns have the opportunity to work on different teams and they are so well-rounded after they complete the program. When they transition into a full-time position, they bring all of that knowledge into their new role at Citi.”

Gabrielle Bokretsion and Lindsey Thomas

Vystar Credit Union Business High School Branch Program

VyStar Credit Union puts significant energy into its VyStar Academy of Business High School Branch Program. Company leaders started the program to bolster student financial literacy and have also enjoyed the opportunity to develop students both personally and professionally. This internship has not only contributed to building young professionals, but this has ultimately helped students decide on what career path they will pursue and have equipped them to be strong candidates with marketable skills fresh out of high school. Colleagues and Academy alumni Gabrielle Bokretsion and Lindsey Thomas launched their careers in the financial services industry as high school students nearly a decade ago.

“The Academy was such a positive experience,” said Thomas, a Digital Experience Program Analyst at VyStar Credit Union and 2012 Fleming Island High School graduate. “It offers an excellent opportunity to gain practical hands-on experience and interact with company executives. It allowed me to develop relationships that have helped shape my career.”

“The Academy provided me with the opportunity to gain work experience that I couldn’t learn in a classroom,” said Bokretsion, a Senior Business Process Analyst at VyStar Credit Union and 2013 Jean Ribault High School graduate who participated in the Academy the first year it was offered at Ribault.

The VyStar Academy of Business is an academic and internship program for high school students. Students participate in an engaging real world experience that brings their learning to life while focusing on the inner workings of financial services, growing technology and essentially what it takes to run their own business. The cornerstone of the academy is an operating VyStar branch run exclusively by students and available to everyone on the high school campus. With the exception of lending services, the 18 high school branches stretched across eight school districts have everything other VyStar branch locations have to offer.

Both Bokretsion and Thomas got their start at VyStar working as tellers at their high school branch locations. After high school, Thomas attended St. Johns River State College and also worked in the VyStar Contact Center. After one year, she transferred to Harding University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations. She returned to VyStar in 2017 as a Senior High School Branch coordinator before receiving a promotion to her current position, which focuses on VyStar’s digital banking experience.

“The financial services industry is evolving and there are many opportunities if you have the drive to learn,” Thomas said.

Bokretsion attended the University of Florida before transferring to the University of North Florida. She returned to VyStar in 2015, working part-time as a Teller Specialist while she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. After graduation, she joined VyStar full-time as a Marketing Specialist and advanced to Mergers & Acquisition Marketing Specialist before receiving a promotion to her current position.

“The opportunities for continued growth at VyStar are exciting,” Bokretsion said.

Although Bokretsion and Thomas did not graduate with financial services degrees, both are experiencing career advancement and success as a result of their initiative and employability skills.

“Our professional skills – communicating and problem solving – are critical and have helped both of us advance in our careers,” Thomas said.

For those considering applying to a VyStar Academy, Bokretsion offers this advice.

“It’s excellent work experience, even if you don’t pursue a career in this field,” Bokretsion said.