What’s a psychology major doing in finance?

I’ve always been fascinated with human behavior, and wanted to find a career where I could help people live happier lives.  I thought that if I could understand people’s thought processes, I might be able to help them make better decisions. So, I decided to study psychology.  During my college years, I pursued internships that allowed me to deepen my understanding of human behavior and explore potential career paths, with the goal of earning a PhD in clinical psychology.  But as much as I loved learning about psychology, I just couldn’t picture myself working anywhere I had interned. I put my plans for graduate school on hold and continued exploring what I wanted to be when I grew up.

After graduating, I worked at an employee assistance program call center where I connected people with financial, legal, and behavioral health resources.  The majority of my calls involved assessing the caller’s various challenges– and through these calls, I began to notice a pattern.  In a lot of cases, people’s financial issues were at the heart of their problems. Unfortunately there wasn’t much I could do to help them as I didn’t have the financial background to provide the right guidance. I knew there had to be a way I could offer more meaningful help.

Applying to Vanguard

I wasn’t sure that a finance company like Vanguard would hire someone without a business or finance background, but I heard such great things about the company, I had to give it a shot.  So during the interview, I conveyed my passion for helping people and my desire to learn how to help people achieve their financial goals. Because of my dedication to clients and my related skills, they offered me a position as a Client Relationship Specialist in the Retail Investor Group.  I was so grateful that Vanguard hired candidates with various backgrounds and appreciated diversity of thought. Crew members are valued for their unique interests, passions, and experiences.  And Vanguard does an incredible job teaching the skills necessary for crew to be successful in their roles.

Securities license exams

Now I’m not going to lie and say passing the FINRA Series 7 and 63 licensing exams was easy, but college taught me how to learn and the trainers and fellow crew at Vanguard supported me every step of the way.  They offered study materials and practice test questions, and used teaching methods that made the topics comprehensible for every learning style. Crew members who were passionate about coaching and leadership spent time explaining the more difficult concepts to us.  The caring culture was evident from the first day I set foot on campus in Charlotte, NC.

Finding my place in finance

Now that I’ve been at Vanguard for a few years, I finally feel like I’m giving clients the services that make their lives easier and their financial situations better. Additionally, I’ve been able to amplify my impact by supporting process improvement projects that help crew and millions of clients.

But it wasn’t just my clients who received support. The sense of community has only grown over the last 6 ½ years I’ve been here. My peers, mentors, and leaders at Vanguard have all encouraged me to test out different career paths, and build additional skills. Since coming here, I’ve learned how to network, build a personal brand, and strengthen my professional presence. I’ve had the chance to work with IT teams and volunteer in the community at Vanguard sponsored events. I’ve even had the opportunity to complete my MBA, fulfilling my aspiration for higher education.

Looking back, I always knew I wanted to help others, I just didn’t know the best way to go about it.  Deep down, I knew I wanted to help people get informed and find the right path. I never dreamed that, along the way, I would also help myself.

-Amanda P.

If you enjoyed this post, check out more from our #LifeatVanguard BlogAnd if you’re ready for a more rewarding, engaging, meaningful career, search our opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.

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