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Veteran’s Unconventional Path to Landing her Dream Job in Tech
U.S. Army Veteran Ashley Wigfall transitioned to a civilian role and charted her path to technologist through mentorship and skills training at the JPMorgan Chase tech hub in Plano, Texas.
Not long after Ashley Wigfall was hired at JPMorgan Chase in 2015, she learned that the firm offered the resources she needed to turn her long-time fascination with computers into her full-time career. Eight years later, Ashley is a software engineer in Plano, Texas – a dream she realized through the help of her mentors and the free, self-paced courses at the firm.
“I’ve been interested in computer engineering since I was a child,” shares Ashley. “But getting here has been anything but a straight path. JPMorgan Chase makes it possible to discover what I’m good at, build the skills I need and find the opportunities to apply them.”
Seeking financial security after high school, Ashley joined the Texas National Guard on a mission project, which involved supplying project sites at stations around the state border. Following two years with the National Guard, she transitioned to a civilian career before landing a job at JPMorgan Chase.
Early on, Ashley pursued professional growth opportunities at the firm. In-between her first role as a Customer Assistant Specialist and her current role as a Software Engineer, she made contributions as an Associate Business Analyst testing the loan modification system and a Leave Manager in Human Resources. Along the way, Ashley participated in the Chase Mentors and Mentees Program, which offers employees a platform to connect with prospective mentors for one year. She and her mentor, Nelson Cupello, Executive Director, CAO Site Services, still meet on a monthly basis.
Nelson actively encouraged Ashley to explore skills development and new opportunities at the firm in technology. She dug in, completing PYTHON and JAVA coding classes and certifications in AWS and PEGA through the Chase Tech Academy – effectively upskilling onto a project with Luke Varghese, Vice President, Development. She was deeply invested in understanding the user experience, as they decommissioned one system and built an entirely new application.
“I got a taste of what it’s like to be a product owner – to help determine its functionality, work on coding, test it and see it rolled out into production,” Ashley says. “My interest exploded.”
When the project concluded in 2019, Ashley applied for a position as a software engineer in 2021. After nearly two years in the role, the Tech Academy remains a critical resource for her continued career growth and mobility. In addition, Ashley attends a range of trainings that the JPMorgan Chase Office of Military and Veterans Affairs offers to support the military community.
Reflecting on her journey, Ashley says: “Everything I’ve learned over the past eight years, and all the different roles I’ve had, have been beneficial to getting me here—my top role so far,” she explains. “I wanted, and still want, to become a true asset to the company. Right now, I’m where I want to be, and I don't think I could have gotten here in any other way than through the support I’ve received at JPMorgan Chase.”
Ashley is one of more than 3,000 JPMorgan Chase technologists who work in Dallas, one of the firm’s key Global Technology hubs. As one of largest employers in the Dallas Fort-Worth, JPMorgan Chase is focused on fostering an inclusive culture for employees and helping more people compete for secure jobs and successful careers.
Learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to building a technology hub in the Dallas Fort-Worth region on our corporate campus in Plano, Texas here.