Leading the life I want–at home and in the office

This past summer was my 25th work anniversary at Vanguard. When I joined Vanguard 25 years ago, I was fresh out of college. I was driven, eager, and inspired to make a difference in the world. 25 years later, those same traits apply, though instead of being fresh out of college, I’m married, a mother of 3, and a Vanguard veteran. As I reminisce about Vanguard, we had under $130 billion in assets, occupied only three buildings in Malvern, PA, and had a walk-in center for clients in downtown Philadelphia when I started. I am amazed at how quickly the years have flown by, and am grateful to work for a company which aligns with my values and where I have been able to lead the life I want to.

As a math and business double major, I knew early in my undergraduate studies that I would find a career where I could solve problems, learn from others, and connect with people. While I started my career in Client Services, I spent the majority of my tenure working with fixed income securities: from trading, to portfolio management, and now compliance. When I started on the trading desk I had a steep learning curve and was fortunate to have so many leaders invest in my development to learn all aspects of portfolio management. I had the opportunity to conduct competitive analysis when we launched new funds, help build an internally developed trading system, build external relationships, and manage portfolios to ensure we maintained a stable net asset value (NAV) on our municipal money market funds and met compliance regulations. Over the years, my responsibilities grew until I became an assistant portfolio manager.

Making the decision to take a risk and try something new wasn’t easy. I had been involved with municipal money market and bond funds for 17 years. I knew that if I had learned how to manage portfolios, I could learn other aspects of the business. In my current role in Compliance, I mainly support our fixed income funds. I get to work with global peers, and am in a role where I can leverage my fixed income background and work with investments from a different angle. I have been able to lead large regulatory projects, be an international buddy as new crew joined offices abroad, relocate to Vanguard’s Scottsdale office, build out a global investment training curriculum, and learn what it takes to provide advice on complex regulations. Outside of my day job, I’ve been able to inspire the next generation by helping to recruit talent to Vanguard, leading the Arizona Career Development team (a group of people who help crew figure out career options at Vanguard), and by mentoring and coaching crew. Although I do not currently serve as a formal leader, I’ve been able to inspire crew by listening, asking questions, being available, and sharing tips and lessons I have learned over the years.

And then there is life at home…..

My husband and I had three kids in two years and quickly learned the true concept of zone defense. When my kids were young we both worked full time and my husband’s role had him on the road 70% of the time. I was in the routine of work, being a nursing mom to twin boys, and feeling exhausted from the lack of sleep and chaos of life. As it so happens, I was giving a shareholder a tour of the trading desk, who repeated to me a line I had often heard, “your life is not a dress rehearsal, so make sure you are living it the way you want to. When you are my age and you look back, you will treasure most the legacy you left and impact you have had on your children.” The next day, my ten month old son, Ben, looked up at me with his big brown eyes and gave me a look that said, “Mom, why are you leaving me?” And for me, that was it! I re-evaluated what I wanted and decided I really wanted more time with my kids. But, if possible, I also wanted to continue working and really didn’t want to give up doing something I loved. I am grateful Vanguard and my leader supported me to work three days a week on the trading desk when my kids were little.

As my kids have grown I have been able to lead my daughter’s Girl Scout troop and coach team sports. Since moving to Arizona I’ve continued my involvement in my community by volunteering at a local food bank, becoming a board member of the National Association of Women MBAs, and most recently joining the advisory board of my alma mater, the Le Moyne College Madden School of Business. As to what the future holds, if I can help my three teenagers find their passion and continue to inspire the next generation, what else can I ask for? I am leading the life I want!

-Andrea S.

Office of the General Counsel, Bring Your Daughter to Work Day 2018

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