When I started working at Vanguard, I never dreamed that I would spend my entire career here. Over the last 35 years, my career opportunities expanded as Vanguard grew, and each of my jobs built upon my previous experiences while still allowing me to learn new things. Along my career path, a mentor inspired me to consider a career change within Vanguard’s Information Technology (IT) division – which has then motivated me to encourage others to consider roles within IT, too.
My career in IT
It was six years ago that my mentor suggested that I transition into an IT role. It was a little scary switching to a new division and supporting a whole new type of client. Luckily, this role utilized my business knowledge while allowing my technical skills to grow. I was given a ton of support and it was exciting to learn something new every day! A few years later, I moved into a Data Governance role. Now, I help IT project teams define new data they are building so we can ensure the proper controls are in place to protect our shareholder’s information. I also became the training lead and have taught hundreds of crew members how to use our applications.
How I give back
Since my mentor had helped me discover a role that I had found to be so fulfilling, I wanted to do the same for someone else. I became an active member of one of Vanguard’s Crew Resource Groups, Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success (WILS). I help plan monthly IT events focused on professional development and organize groups of crew members to attend local conferences and external networking events.
For the past two years, I’ve been the Community Outreach Coordinator for IT WILS and have helped organize multiple events that encouraged over 3,000 middle school, high school, and college students to pursue jobs in technology. One example is Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT), of which Vanguard has been a corporate sponsor for 10 years. It is an amazing event that promotes STEM careers to over 800 middle school and high school girls. We provide hands-on activities to show the girls the skills and knowledge necessary to obtain a career in IT. I’ve also volunteered at my local middle school’s STEM Career Day and supported Techies Days–an event where high school students come to Vanguard to learn about IT careers.
Why it matters
Technology is one of the fastest growing and highest paying careers, but there won’t be enough students graduating from college with Computer Science related degrees to fill all the open jobs. These events enable students to interact with successful women in IT so we can build a pipeline and hopefully help close the gender gap in technology. I love being a role model for students and encouraging them to follow their dreams.
The best part about being a member of WILS is that I get to learn from people all across Vanguard and other companies while giving back to our local communities. It’s been very rewarding to realize that we’re making a difference in the lives of so many children. And we get to have at least as much fun as the kids!
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.