Vanguard National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating mi comunidad during National Hispanic Heritage Month

Each year from September 15 to October 15, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month to celebrate the diverse backgrounds of American citizens of Latin American, Spanish, and South American descent. At Vanguard, we focus on attracting, retaining, developing, and engaging Hispanic/Latino crew members and celebrate the diverse cultures they represent through our crew resource group HOLA (Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership and Advancement). Operations Manager Evelin M. shares her experience bringing HOLA to fruition and how it has influenced her Vanguard journey:

Vanguard National Hispanic Heritage MonthWhen I started working at Vanguard in the Acceleration into Financial Professional (AFP) program eight years ago, I remember asking my manager how I could sign up to join the Hispanic crew resource group (CRG). I had interned at two other companies and expected that a company like Vanguard would already have one. I was surprised to find out that a Hispanic group did not yet formally exist. My manager connected me with another crew member who was leading an informal group in the Malvern office. A spin off group was also created for all of the people of Dominican descent who work at Vanguard. I immediately connected with other crew members who had similar backgrounds and they offered suggestions for how to acclimate to Vanguard. Before long, HOLA was born.

Once HOLA was officially launched, I was very eager to get involved with one of the committees. The group made me aware of the Spanish food restaurants in the neighborhood and non-profit organizations supporting the Hispanic community. When I meet with other HOLA members I make sure to recommend these places.

HOLA created a safe environment for me to learn and grow in my career. I was an analyst in the Fund Financial Services (FFS) department with aspirations to become a supervisor. My involvement in the committee ultimately helped me prepare to be a people leader. I applied to join the leadership development committee and got accepted. My experience within this committee helped me increase my conceptual thinking and relationship management skills. It also gave me opportunities to network outside of my department and site, which helped me build my business acumen. As I became a supervisor, it was very helpful to apply what I was learning from HOLA in my role. For example, I needed to apply my ability to think strategically (and globally) on an ambiguous project where my team worked closely with our Scottsdale office.

My involvement in HOLA has given me more confidence to challenge myself and aspire to do more. My HOLA network helped me prepare as I transitioned from the Finance division to the International division. My interests began to shift toward helping with attraction so I became an HOLA Ambassador after 2 years in the leadership development committee. It is really beneficial to have the opportunity to change my involvement within the CRG. After I graduated with my MBA and had more availability, I wanted to be more involved. Next, I joined the Attraction committee to serve as a relationship manager with organizations that Vanguard partners with, such as ALPFA and Prospanica. Having the opportunity to network with these organizations and meet college students and professionals who may be interested in working at Vanguard has been an exciting and rewarding experience.

Vanguard National Hispanic Heritage Month

Looking back at my involvement with HOLA, I am very happy with what I have gained. HOLA has provided a platform for me to give to others and receive. There were multiple HOLA leaders who conducted career coaching sessions with me, fostered my development and inspired me. I also pay it forward and help other HOLA members in their professional development. I feel much more comfortable bringing my authentic self to work and also speaking in Spanish. My HOLA experience is even more applicable now that I am in a department supporting the Latin America and Caribbean region. The support from the HOLA CRG really helped me as I transitioned from multiple roles and responsibilities in my Vanguard tenure. I highly recommend everyone get involved in at least one CRG to foster their professional development—and to find their own “comunidad.”

-Evelin M.

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