As a video producer and motion graphics designer, people are often surprised to hear that I work at Vanguard. “Isn’t that a financial company?” they ask. But as part of Vanguard’s Marketing and Communications department, I get to produce, direct, and edit videos for vanguard.com, social media channels, and live event experiences. I also design and build motion graphics in addition to providing photography services. My team is comprised of highly-experienced designers who came to Vanguard from very diverse backgrounds. Collaborating with designers, writers, and marketing managers across my department is the best part of my job.
How I got to Vanguard
I’ve been producing video since I was 9 years old and worked in the live control rooms for both a national television network and a professional baseball team. So how the heck did I wind up at Vanguard? I’d known about Vanguard for years—the investment giant in Philadelphia’s backyard. I heard great things about Vanguard as a place to work, and though it’s a financial company, I knew there were communications and creative job functions throughout the company. I looked for the perfect “foot-in-the-door” position that would allow me to learn the business (and teach me how to manage my own retirement plan!), with the goal of eventually moving into a communications role. Friends thought it was a risky idea, but I had confidence in Vanguard as a stable place to work and an opportunity to reach my career goals. Little did I know that someday I would see my work in the middle of Times Square.
I started as a Retirement Plan Processing Associate. The robust training and onboarding process was intense, but a great opportunity to build relationships with my class—friendships that are still going strong 10 years later. After two years serving about 70 retirement plan sponsors spread across the country, I landed a job on an internal communications team. My plan was working! In my 5 years on this team, I had opportunities to write scripts, design graphics, and produce videos from concept to completion. I often worked directly with members of Vanguard’s senior staff, which was both exciting and an incredible learning experience. I was then promoted to Lead Multimedia Designer in Vanguard’s marketing department, where I’m able to use my 25 years of video production and design experience to serve our clients, at a company that truly makes a difference.
My “little” Times Square project
Vanguard was launching a new fund with the Nasdaq exchange, which gave us the opportunity to advertise on their iconic video screen in the heart of Times Square. I was asked if this unique project was something we could handle. “Of course,” I said. But… we only had a few days to write, produce, approve, and deliver the video. Our creative team worked together very closely on sharpening the messaging and designs. We wanted to ensure our message was short and sweet for New York’s fast walkers. Then there was the added challenge of fitting our graphics and content around the tower’s 26 windows.
The video was one of the fastest—and definitely biggest—projects I have ever worked on, which only added to the thrilling experience. It was great to see how our creative team rallied together to get the video not just done, but done well, and on time. In the end, I was lucky enough to attend the launch in New York with about 20 fellow crew members from across the company. And at the opening bell, there it was—the animation we made just a few days prior! It gave us all chills, and needless to say, there were plenty of high-fives and selfies!
I’ve been quite introspective about my Vanguard career since seeing my work displayed in such an iconic location. What some called a risky career move turned out to be the best decision I ever made. My time at Vanguard has been adventurous and rewarding in more ways than one. From serving clients, to working with senior staff, to camaraderie with a fun and diverse marketing organization, it’s been a great 10-year journey that leaves me even more excited about the future.