When U.S. Air Force Veteran and Lead IT Data Protection Consultant Marian Graves joined MetLife, she was thrilled to have found an organization that aligned closely with her personal values.
“From my experience serving in the United States Air Force, I learned the power of commitment, integrity, professionalism, persistence, respect and resilience. All of these attributes mirror my personal values and will always be a part of whatever I do and wherever I go in this life,” she said.
Graves found very quickly that MetLife’s focus and values go far beyond the company’s business objectives and client support. Six months into her MetLife journey, life threw Graves and her family a curve ball — one which resulted in the need to take time away to care for her husband after undergoing emergency surgery. It was through this experience that she saw MetLife’s culture really shine.
“MetLife has a family-first culture which leads to genuine care and work-life balance for employees. My leadership and team members helped alleviate pressure from what was already a very scary and stressful moment in my family’s life,” Graves said. “To have unwavering support, especially during moments in life that are out of your control, makes you want to always give your best at work.”
And since joining the company a little over a year ago, Graves has been focused on giving her all, and she cites MetLife’s genuine support and encouragement as a reason she’s grown both personally and professionally. She believes that when you are your best-trained self, you’re able to show up at your best.
“MetLife’s ongoing investment in me reaffirms the decision I made in joining the company as I continue to receive that same level of encouragement and support I did from the start.”
Built In learned more from Graves about her experiences since joining MetLife and how she hopes to grow with the company.
What is your role at MetLife?
I am a Lead IT Data Protection Consultant on MetLife’s global technology and operations data protection team. Our team is responsible for optimizing technical solutions and operational processes associated with security tools managed by the data protection and logging team.
What has pleasantly surprised you about working at MetLife?
Since joining MetLife, I have been pleasantly surprised by the organization's deep commitment and support for developing employees to meet their individual needs. Beyond mere words or marketing, our management and employees demonstrate this in their everyday actions.
When I joined MetLife, I came in with expertise in a data protection tool that was different from the one I would be using every day in my new role. While both tools accomplish the same goal, I had a lot to learn and was eager to get started. I remember feeling very refreshed to hear from leadership, “We want you to be your best self, Marian. You let us know what training you need to get up and running, and we will support you.”
As a cybersecurity professional, opportunities for continued growth can often times come at a stiff cost to an employee’s pocket. However, MetLife funds our professional development. The knowledge I’ve gained from the training that MetLife equipped me with has made me more proficient and propelled my advancement. And now that I’m able to lead with the knowledge and skills I’ve gained, I’m able to accomplish the goals that we’ve set as a team.
“Now that I’m able to lead with the knowledge and skills I’ve gained, I’m able to accomplish the goals that we’ve set as a team. ”
When did you know you made the right choice in joining MetLife?
There were many moments, but MetLife’s commitment to sustainability really stood out to me. I remember looking around and seeing people of diverse backgrounds at MetLife, and that excited me. I wanted to be here. We all have so much to contribute, and it was even more impactful to me to see the company’s focus on sustainability driven from the top down. When you talk about diversity and inclusion, it is represented here at MetLife.
The organization also has many community outreach opportunities which align with our sustainability commitments. For example, MetLife Military Veterans Network (MVET), one of MetLife’s inclusion networks, creates many opportunities each year for employees to serve their community. In 2022, I had the pleasure of serving at the Bridge ll Sports Valor Games, which were developed to celebrate adapted sports for veterans with disabilities. I find so much happiness in serving and giving back to others, and it has been a joy having the opportunity to do these activities with my colleagues. I feel that this type of work speaks to the organization’s commitment to sustainability in a more holistic view.
Where do you see MetLife’s alignment with your own personal values?
During my time in the Air Force, I learned a lot about teamwork. You learn to trust the people that you work with and understand what showing up for them really means.
This passion from teamwork transcends into my personal values of uplifting those around me, both at home and at work.
Everyone is battling unique challenges every single day. At MetLife, I have witnessed the genuine ‘take the time you need, we’re here for you’ type of support we all seek and value in an employer. I’m grateful to work somewhere where I have the trifecta of alignment of my personal values, my experience in the Air Force and now my work here at MetLife. It makes me feel genuinely excited and positive about coming to work. MetLife’s focus on supporting their employees is a recipe for happiness.