Vanguard Data Science innovation

Solving problems and innovating through data science

I graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2002 with a Computer Engineering degree.  The Institute was very close to Wall Street, and upon graduation, many of my classmates received offers from top Wall Street firms and investment banks. I too fell into the allure of working on Wall Street. I received a few offers from some of the top firms in New York—and I also received one from Vanguard, who was making it a priority to recruit from my school at the time. However, this was when the dot-com bubble burst and most of the Wall Street firms rescinded their offers for all of my classmates including me. Vanguard was the only firm that honored their commitment and did not rescind their offer. I am thankful to this day.

At Vanguard, I have the opportunity to do what I always dreamt of doing and much, much more at a firm where doing right by clients and crew is the guiding principle. I joined Vanguard as a software engineer and never looked back. At the time, all I wanted to do was to apply what I had learned in school to real life problems, but didn’t have much thought about where I applied them. As time went on, I realized how fortunate I was to be at Vanguard, whose main mission was to help people all over the world reach their financial dreams. Knowing you’re doing well for others is incredibly rewarding.  I got the best of both worlds: I could apply my passion in technology and apply it at a company whose mission is to lift people up. I also got to work on our trading systems, sales systems, mobility (iOS) systems, customer relationship management systems and so on, all while learning about and applying analytics to everything we did.

Vanguard Data Science innovation

From a career perspective, Vanguard invested in my professional development. Today, I’m a Senior Manager focused on artificial intelligence and data science. About four years ago, with the advent of big data technology and infrastructure, I started to focus on advanced analytics and data science exclusively. I saw an opportunity to use data science and artificial intelligence to provide better, more personalized, and smarter services to our investors.

Vanguard now wants to do for financial advice what we did for Exchange Traded Funds and mutual funds: make top notch, holistic advice accessible to anyone who needs it at an incredibly low price. That’s where my team comes in. I now help lead our advanced analytics and artificial intelligence team for Vanguard’s advice program. My team is comprised of data engineers, data scientists and artificial intelligence engineers in collaboration with investment experts and economists. And they come from diverse educational backgrounds—some have computer science or engineering backgrounds, while others studied physics or statistics.

Vanguard Data Science innovation

In order to create highly personalized advice experiences, we seek to incorporate behavioral economics to better personalize the advice needed. To that end we are utilizing artificial intelligence and other data science techniques on a variety of financial advice projects. Our goal is to create experiences and services that will help more people than ever before reach their financial goals. My team is directly empowering Vanguard’s mission and I personally feel inspired every day to come to work. Being able to learn about cutting edge technology in artificial intelligence and data science and use it to help as many people as possible is extremely rewarding.

Investing is complex, and sometimes, it’s a challenge for people to know how to make wise investment and financial decisions. Vanguard is committed to giving investors all over the world a fair shake, and is investing in services—such as advice—to do so. I am passionate about trail blazing artificial intelligence and machine learning at Vanguard, which is enabling us to fulfill our mission and help millions of people all over the world reach financial independence.

Now, who will join us on this noble mission?

-Amir A.

Vanguard Data Science innovation

If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our Data & Analytics and Information Technology & Security career opportunities.

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