Vanguard MBA development program

A new country, a new company, a new career

Michael P. is a Senior Investment Analyst in the Portfolio Review Department. He is an alumnus of Vanguard’s MBA Leadership Development Program and is originally from Seoul, South Korea. This is Michael’s story of why he joined Vanguard and what he learned along the way.

Vanguard MBA development program_Vanguard trading floor

A surprising introduction

One evening during my first year at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, I attended a company presentation led by two Vanguard crew members. I still vividly remember the presentation, as it was quite different from what I expected. Rather than talking about how many assets Vanguard manages and how Vanguard funds are performing, the two crew members spent most of their time talking about the collaborative culture of the firm and how they are structured to do the right thing for clients.

I was instantly intrigued, as having been in the asset management industry for most of my career, I saw right away that Vanguard was a different kind of company. I found out my instincts were right after I joined the firm as a member of the MBA Leadership Development Program. Every crew member I’ve spoken with knew and believed in what the company stands for. It was refreshing to be part of an organization that is dedicated to the investment success of investors all around the world.

Vanguard MBA development programA 7,000 mile transition

Becoming a Vanguard crew member meant that there was a lot of change ahead for me. On a personal level, I got to settle down in my new home in suburban Philadelphia, 7,000 miles away from my hometown in Seoul, South Korea. At a professional level, I was eager to take on new challenges through the rotational program and expand my perspectives beyond my previous experience as a fixed income portfolio manager.

With that in mind, I took my first rotation in a product development research role in the Portfolio Review Department. Conducting research and drafting proposals to launch new products was quite different from trading bonds, but I was able to pick up a lot of new skills and enjoyed every moment of it. After my time in the MBA program ended, I launched in my current role as a Senior Investment Analyst.

Vanguard MBA development program_Vanguard Gives Back 5k

Things I learned along the way

It’s hard for me to fully appreciate how lucky I was to have this journey from Korea to Vanguard’s headquarters in Malvern, PA. Reflecting back on my experiences, here are a few things I picked up that helped me along the way:

1. Be open-minded to new opportunities. The rotations of the MBA program are well suited to help you experience the various ways you can impact our shareholders’ financial well-being. Like me, you might find a new area of passion and learn new skills in the process.

2. Be aware that there are many people who are invested in helping you, and don’t hesitate to ask. I was consistently surprised how many crew members around me, both leaders and peers, placed my professional growth and development as one of their top priorities. This was a critical factor behind my successful transition.

3. Be ambitious. Here at Vanguard, we are excited about how much more we can do to fulfill our mission of helping investors achieve their goals. This is where every crew member’s extraordinary effort, wisdom, and enthusiasm makes a real difference. Are you ready to bring yours?

If you enjoyed this post, check out more from our #LifeatVanguard BlogAnd if you want to learn more about our MBA Development Program, visit or our YouTube channel to watch program participant videos.

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