Kate, a prospective intern for Vanguard, had the opportunity to ask current interns a few questions. Follow along below to read about their experiences over the summer.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received at Vanguard?
A: During the past 8 weeks here crew (aka employees – everything is nautical themed here!) across the entire firm have been willing and available to offer insight to me as an intern. After several interactions and meetings, there was one piece of advice that stood out the most. My team had just been leaving a meeting where I was looking to participate but failed to seize the opportunity to do so. My manager pulled me aside to talk about it. While he knew I was disappointed that I did not get to offer my two cents, and he offered me this advice, “It’s not always about whether you say something, but whether what you say is relevant and meaningful to a conversation.” In hindsight, what I was planning on saying would have sent the conversation on an unproductive tangent. Internalizing this concept, I have been able to adapt and position myself to contribute in meetings more meaningfully.
Q: What was your favorite intern event?
A: My favorite intern event was our volunteer day off (VTO day). Vanguard gives its crew one paid day per calendar year to dedicate to community service through volunteer work. Crew members can volunteer with any charitable agency they choose, however, the intern cadre all did ours together. We went into Philadelphia to volunteer with the Share Food Program – a nonprofit organization specializing in food distribution, education, and advocacy. It was a very fun and rewarding day spent with fellow interns and intern management.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Vanguard?
A: I have always wanted to work in the financial services industry, but for a company that aligns with my values and morals. At Vanguard, ethical practices are the core values of the firm, and the mission revolves around benefitting all investors. When all crew members feel valued and included, our ability to collaborate and innovate is amplified, and we are united in delivering on Vanguard’s core purpose: to take a stand for all investors, treat them fairly, and give them the best chance for investment success. For these reasons, Vanguard was a clear choice to spend the summer after my junior year.
Q: Can you describe what you have worked on this summer?
A: I had the opportunity to be involved with two projects this summer here at Vanguard. The first was within Data and Analytics for Legal and Compliance. I worked on an algorithm that compiled Vanguard’s equity trading history into reports for regulatory agencies, such as the SEC. My second project was to create a platform for portfolio managers and traders on the Equities Index Group’s trading desk to combat inefficiencies throughout the floor. Vanguard has provided all of the interns – including myself – with the opportunity to play a vital role, and provide value to the company.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met?
A: The most interesting person I have met this summer was the founder of Vanguard, John Bogle. A few interns had the opportunity to sit with Mr. Bogle and ask him questions about his insight into the future of the company and industry trends. He instilled his wisdom upon us, and reminded us to remain grounded to the true values that he founded Vanguard with in 1975. John Bogle is an inspiration to the financial industry, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity Vanguard has given me to meet him and so many other influential individuals.
Q: Have you attended any interesting events at Vanguard?
A: Yes! One of my favorite events so far at Vanguard was a Community Garden lunch that I was invited to. Volunteer work is highly encouraged here, and one of Vanguard’s projects is the Community Garden, where crew members volunteer time to help grow fresh vegetables for donation. During this lunch the executive chef showed garden volunteers different recipes using the vegetables that they had grown. It was wonderful to see such a showing of community, and the food was delicious!