One company multiple careers

One company, multiple careers

Going on my 19th year at Vanguard, I have had some time to reflect on all of the wonderful challenges and opportunities Vanguard has provided for me since I started in 1999. When I tell others how long I have worked at Vanguard, many are surprised that I have stayed in one place for my entire career. What they don’t understand is that I have changed careers multiple times without having to leave a company whose mission continues to motivate me each and every day.

Vanguard is different than many other companies as we harness a rotational culture, where you continue to build on skills and stretch yourself to learn new areas of the business. In addition to business rotations, Vanguard also offers many opportunities to earn advanced degrees and credentials, building deeper expertise along the way.

One company multiple careers

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?

One company multiple careers

Since I was back in “study mode,” and surrounded by other financial planners, I decided to pursue yet another learning opportunity, and enrolled in a program to obtain the Certified Financial Planner® designation. I was studying so much in those couple of years that my daughter wrote about it in my Mother’s Day card! It had not dawned on me that she saw me working hard and studying, and that even though I had graduated a while ago, I was never done learning. In fact, I am now back in a client facing role, leading one of our Personal Advisor teams in PA, and proud to be part of the 23% of Certified Financial Planner®s who are women.

One of my favorite quotes is from the hockey legend Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Some of the moves I have made in my career scared the heck out of me, but were also some of the best experiences I have had, and came with opportunities to grow and enhance my skills and expertise. I’ve never regretted taking the initial leap to join Vanguard or any of the steps on my career journey that followed, and can’t wait to see how the rest of my path unfolds.

-Marissa B.

One company multiple careers

If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at

Recent Posts