The first ten years of my career were spent in our Institutional business, where we serve retirement plan sponsors. While learning about the world of 401(k)s and 403(b)s, I was able to gain so much experience. I’ve worked on projects with IT, building new technology for our plan sponsors and participants, I’ve developed an expertise in fund accounting, I’ve learned to interpret stable value contracts (not the most exciting reading material if you were wondering!), and lastly—I’ve dug into how mutual fund distribution takes place across the industry each day. But there’s more. Over that time, I also had the opportunity to further my personal development by taking my education a step further. I completed my MBA and earned a retirement industry credential.
At that point in my career, I was ready for a change and decided to post for a role in our Financial Advisor Services division, a completely new business area for me. I was offered a role as Chief of Staff to the Managing Director of the division, which enabled me to see how strategic decisions are made by leaders every day at Vanguard. I was exposed to new investment products, and was responsible for investment, technology and talent development projects. It was an incredible learning opportunity, which came with a lot of risk but also so much reward. I went on to a Quality Champion role for the same division, where I learned more about process improvement techniques. It was in this role that my career path would change unexpectedly again.
One of the senior leaders I met through the Quality Champion role approached me with a unique opportunity to lead a transformation of a large operation in a group that is now known as Personal Advisor Services (PAS). I had never run a business transformation before, let alone a large business unit. But I knew I could do it. A year and a half later, PAS was up and running, and everyone was in the right seats and with a defined role in the department! What an awesome and challenging experience. Did I mention that I also had to take four licensing exams?