A legacy of educators
As the granddaughter of an engineering professor and nursing teacher, education has always been top of mind for me; it’s integral to who I am as a person and my family values. My dream career throughout childhood was to become an art teacher; visions of paint splattered denim overalls and school murals of ‘Starry Night’ fueled the many educational pursuits of my youth, leading to my choice of a small, creative liberal arts school for college.
Fast forward several years later… Imagine my surprise to be working at a financial services company! Armed with a dual degree in Art History and French, I remember anxiously Google searching, “What is a mutual fund?” prior to my Vanguard interview. That day, I was pleasantly surprised to hear my interviewer share that, “We have world class professionals here to teach you finance. What we’re looking for are candidates who know how to speak to people.” With that comment in mind, I took to the familiar task of learning. Studying for my Series 7 and 63 licenses were the first requisites prior to starting my first role – a challenge that while at first intimidating, ultimately fueled my desire to further my acumen in the investment industry. Shortly thereafter, I pursued my Certified Financial Planner® designation in order to further my credentials and to feel confident in the complex tax conversations I was having with clients. Together, these steppingstones culminated in my current role as the Service Recovery Supervisor in our Education Savings Contact Center, where I am able to continue learning, growing, and investigating unique client situations daily.
This position also gives me the distinct pleasure of serving in a role with a mission that resonates with me deeply: to improve the lives of our account owners with investments for education. One of the most common investment goals (second only to retirement), is saving for education, and an ambition that I connect to on a personal level. And though very different from where I envisioned myself, I love coming to work every day to help resolve issues for those seeking to meet their education goals – whether saving for college, looking to help a grandchild through their K-12 schooling, or even chipping away at student loan debt.
This year my husband and I welcomed a beautiful baby boy, and with eyes to the horizon, we opened our own 529 account for him in celebration. The balance is still modest for the moment, but I feel confident given the same reassurances we give our account owners day-in and day-out: every little bit will count, and we have the benefit of time on our side.
— Lauren H-F.