A look at Internal Sales in the Financial Advisor Services division
We recently sat down with Heidi Spilotros, who leads the Broker-Dealer Internal Sales team in the Financial Advisor Services (FAS) division at Vanguard. In this blog, she highlights key components of her role, the broad impact FAS has on our advisors and personal investors, as well as advice for candidates who may be considering applying for an opportunity on her team.
Why did you become a Vanguard crew member?
I have been in sales my entire 24-year career and I have been in financial services sales in one form or another for most of that time. One of the biggest draws for me coming to Vanguard was the culture, and what I mean by that is the focus on collaboration and crew. There was a positive collegiality that I felt when I came here. Many of the environments I have experienced have been male-dominated and highly competitive, and without a willingness to share information or help others. The inclusive nature of Vanguard came through in the interview process. Every single person I met really wanted to ensure I was a culture fit who could help strengthen the collaborative, collegial environment where all voices are heard, everyone is encouraged to bring his or her best ideas to the table, and everyone wins together. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really believe it at first, but after being here for 18 months, it’s true. I have a great team that cares for each other, promotes a sense of belonging, and iterates with one another on everything, even when we dissent and disagree. No feelings are hurt because it’s all in the spirit of trying to do what’s right for our clients and what’s right for Vanguard.
How does your team directly contribute to the client experience and doing what is right by our investors?
It is important for our sales force in FAS to always keep the end client, investors, top of mind, even though we deal directly with Financial Advisors. We have to understand both the Advisors’ business as well as the client perspective, which can get complicated at times. But when you think about the impact you have if you effectively communicate our mission and offer to the Advisors, and help them achieve the goals they have for their clients, it’s really something. One advisor can reach hundreds of clients, so if we set them up for success, a multitude of investors benefit. For every generation our sales team can touch and every subsequent generation of advisors they teach and train, the impact can be exponential. In FAS, we want to make sure that everyone has the best chance for investment success.
How is the sales organization in FAS evolving?
There is a transformation underway called distribution enablement and it is exactly as it sounds. It is a variety of tools, processes and resources that will help our sales people be more effective. There are ways in which we can approach the market more efficiently and a variety of enablement tools, technology and techniques that will allow us to do so.
We are starting to deploy these tools, and one example I’ll share is around our ability to deal with sales opportunities. Our teams haven’t previously been able to answer key questions that would allow one to determine and track success measures. With this new methodology centered on gathering information and involving all players to make better-informed decisions, we now have a shared language and approach that will help us accomplish our goals in a more streamlined way. Going forward, we need to ask ourselves the following questions: How do we go to market with something unique? How do we see more clients? How do we see them more often and further our relationships?
What are you looking for in a candidate to join the FAS sales team?
The first thing I would say is that sales is one of those words that can be viewed in a variety of ways. Sometimes people can be intimidated. What sales really means, especially in FAS at Vanguard, is that you are able to make connections with people. Are you curious? Are you interested in uncovering what an advisor’s business is all about? If you’re curious, love building relationships, and enjoy solving problems, this could really be a great path for you. Sales is one of the most fascinating professions as it is truly filled with philosophical conversation using psychology and human behavior to understand why people make the decisions they do and how you might be able to influence and guide them to a mutually beneficial outcome. Ultimately, this is all about empathetically navigating a conversation in order to identify what’s most important to that person. When asking our sales folks what the best part of their day is, more often than not, they’ll say it’s when they have had great client interactions with financial advisors and brought value to the relationship.
Interested in a career in Sales? Please click here to view available opportunities.
Vanguard’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Buckley, and Chief Information Officer, Greg Davis, discuss Vanguard’s plan to ensure stable and strong service for our clients, while also keeping crew safe through social distancing.
Tim Buckley:Greg, one of the questions that we’ve been getting from our clients is what are we doing around business continuity? What steps have we taken to make sure that regardless of how long the coronavirus goes on regards to how severe it gets that we can continue to keep the operations going? And now to our viewers out there, if you look behind me, what you’re looking at is one of our trading floors. Usually you’d see it densely populated. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t working out there when you just see people, every other desk or every third desk. It means that we’ve distanced them properly, and I should by the way mentioned that you’ll notice a Greg and I are sitting apart here. We’re trying to practice social distancing and everything that we do. Beyond, social distancing, what are you guys doing? What steps have you taken to make sure this operation continues? How have you distributed your team?
Greg Davis:So it starts really with the fact that hey, it’s a global operation so we have trading locations in the US, trading locations in the UK as well as Melbourne, Australia. And in addition to those global trading locations, we also have contingency sites that we’re leveraging right now in each one of those locations. So we have our team split up between our main hubs and those contingency sites, and we’ve even prepared for the fact that if we need to, our people could trade from home. So we’ve installed the technology, we’ve tested the system, so we could have business as usual, even in a severe event.
Tim:And trading from home is not something you are going to jump to. I mean you guys love the collaboration that happens on the floor even when people are spread out. It’s just much easier to happen there. That said, if we have to go there, we absolutely ready to do it.
Tim:Security is going to be the same absolutely whether if someone’s at home as it’s going to be the same if we’re trading from home, as if you’re trading from here.
Tim:Now, I should mention Greg that the rest of Vanguard’s operations, whether they’re talking to an associate at Vanguard, whatever area of Vanguard is supporting the client, those areas have been distributed too. That we have taken steps to move associates apart. Moving between different buildings. People are working from home. They are distributed between our sites as well so. We’re taking the steps to make sure that we continue business as usual here or as close to as usual as possible
All investing is subject to risk, including possible loss of principal.
There is no guarantee that any particular asset allocation or mix of funds will meet your investment objectives or provide you with a given level of income.
Bond funds are subject to the risk that an issuer will fail to make payments on time, and that bond prices will decline because of rising interest rates or negative perceptions of an issuer’s ability to make payments.
Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
Investments in stocks or bonds issued by non-U.S. companies are subject to risks including country/regional risk and currency risk.
What people say when I tell them I work at Vanguard
Working at Vanguard is both an honor and responsibility. Crew members are often excited to share where they are employed, but you never know how others may respond—will they want investment advice, or ask if you know a friend or family member who also works at Vanguard? We asked crew to tell us some of their stories. Here is what they had to say:
I was recently on vacation in Cartagena, Colombia. One day, we took a day trip on a speed boat with two other couples, whom we did not know, to nearby islands. We introduced ourselves and the conversation naturally turned to the topic of what we all did for a living and where we worked. When I mentioned I worked at Vanguard, one of the gentleman’s eyes got as big as saucers. He grinned and stuck out his hand to shake mine. He was so excited to meet someone who worked at Vanguard and thanked me enthusiastically for helping him achieve a lifetime of investment success. I accepted his thanks on Vanguard’s behalf. He then shared that because of his investments at Vanguard, he is able to follow his passion of traveling and seeing the world.
Clients always seem pleased to make our acquaintance and regularly share how grateful they are. Without fail, that’s one of the two reactions I receive when telling someone I work at Vanguard. The other, as others have likely experienced, is, “Do you know so-and-so?”
When someone finds out that I work for Vanguard, they tell me about how they have money with Vanguard and where that money is invested. Upon finding out that I am in our Information Technology group, they begin to offer me recommendations for enhancing the tech experience for clients. A two minute meet-and-greet ends up being a twenty minute, in-depth conversation.
People often think I am a financial advisor when they hear I work at Vanguard. I have a few friends who are getting hitched soon and want to discuss their finances with me. While I’m happy to offer perspective, I always start the conversation with a reminder: I am not a financial advisor but can provide guidance.
Before I worked at Vanguard, I used to say that I worked in the “investment” industry because nobody had heard of my company. But as the financial crisis occurred in 2008, it was strange to suggest I worked with investments, seeing as some people didn’t hold the industry in high regard.
Since becoming a crew member in 2009, I proudly share with people that I work at Vanguard. The typical reaction I get is, “You do? That’s a great firm. Make sure to take good care of my 401(k)!” Before launching my career here, I underestimated the pride I have working at a firm that does the right thing for its clients.
If you ever happen to meet a crew member at one of our domestic or international locations, we’ll be happy to tell you about #LifeatVanguard. We may not be able to offer advice or know your acquaintances personally, but you’ll definitely feel the enthusiasm we have for our mission to provide our clients with the best chance of investment success.
All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. Advice services are provided by Vanguard Advisers, Inc., a registered investment advisor, or by Vanguard National Trust Company, a federally chartered, limited-purpose trust company.
Diverse perspectives in Vanguard’s Investment Management Group
In the spirit of celebrating International Women’s Day, we partnered with women across Vanguard’s Investment Management Group (IMG) to hear their #LifeatVanguard stories. In this series, crew and leaders touch on a variety of meaningful topics, including what drew them to Vanguard, resources used for learning, company culture and advice for women looking to join IMG.
Voyage to Vanguard and first impressions
Senior Portfolio Manager in the Equity Investment Group
I was attracted to Vanguard as one of the largest asset managers in the industry, as well as its mission-based corporate objective. One of the biggest differences that stands out from where I’ve previously worked is the fact that we are owned by our shareholders, so every decision made at Vanguard is based on aligning with the best interest of our clients.
Global Portfolio Risk Manager in the Fixed Income Group
When I first became a crew member, I was most surprised by the level to which collaboration and team work was both encouraged and valued. People are genuinely helpful and dedicated to delivering the best possible products and services to our clients. We are mission driven. We are client focused. We are a team.
Learning and development
Investment Risk Manager in the Risk Management Group
I’m always looking to seek out and utilize every possible resource I can. For example, on market and asset class specific topics, I will read the news and academic papers, but I also like to learn from experts such as our credit analysts, portfolio managers, and traders. On risk topics, tools, and models, I like to keep up with new developments via hands-on application, conferences, and seminars. I also enjoy discussions with my fellow colleagues to shares best practices.
Investment Analyst in the Investment Strategy Group
I’ve been working on building out my machine learning acumen to supplement my more traditional econometric models. I’ve also been increasing my financial acumen through the pursuit of my Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation, which will help better frame my research questions. Moving into 2020, I want to improve my presentation skills so I can share my ideas with a variety of audiences to get feedback and new ideas to build the best investment solutions.
Living my best
Regulatory and Policy Risk Lead in the Risk Management Group
A personal passion for me throughout my Vanguard career has been contributing to our corporate inclusion and diversity efforts. I was a member of the core team that developed, piloted, and scaled the Women’s Initiative into Leadership Success: Invest in Yourself (WILS IIY), which is a monthly educational series for women focused on providing an enterprise-wide perspective on core investment topics. It was a special experience for me to participate as a panelist earlier this year during our first global session with the United Kingdom office.
Investment Analyst in the Fixed Income Group
I plan ahead as much as possible, especially now that I am a part-time grad student. I map out my days, weeks, and months to ensure I have time for everything that’s important to me, including going to the gym, having dinner with friends and family—and rest! It’s essential to prioritize time to recharge as you can’t go the distance on an empty tank.
Head of U.S. Equity Investment Risk in the Risk Management Group
My advice to individuals starting their careers is to ask a lot of questions and try to learn as much about the company’s business model as possible. No matter what role you’re in and what your level, being able to connect what you do and its significance to the overall success of the business will help you do a better job and align your contributions to the objectives of the company.
Head of Equity Index-Europe in the Equity Investment Group
For women looking to join the Investment Management Group, a career in trading and investing is not easy, but nothing worth having generally is. A high level of commitment, patience, resilience, and passion is required . . . have more confidence in yourself, you are that good!
CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.  Vanguard is client-owned. As a client owner, you own the funds that own Vanguard.
Vanguard celebrates MLK and Black History Month through service
In the U.S., crew members celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life, legacy, and commitment to volunteerism by participating in community projects and activities throughout the winter. As Black History Month comes to an end, we have asked crew in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Arizona to reflect and share their personal experiences attending Martin Luther King, Jr. Days of Service events. Here’s what they had to say:
For as long as I can remember, receiving quality education has been a priority in my household. I spent countless hours at my parents’ dining room table working on homework. Even now, my mom regularly tries to convince my 4-year-old son to work on spelling games at the same table. I feel very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work with the West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning (AFEL) to help instill this imperative into the children of that community. The organization has two main goals: kindergarten readiness and reading on grade level by the third grade. My colleagues and I were able to support these goals by preparing resource bags for use in classrooms and reading to some of the children from local schools. Beyond the crew that were able to attend, crew from across Vanguard donated over 250 books to help children build their home libraries.
The specific group that supported AFEL is the Vanguard Black Professional Network (VBPN), which is committed to increasing engagement of black crew members and supporting the increased representation of black crew in leadership positions. Having the opportunity to serve with aligned crew in a community that may produce the future of Vanguard leadership was truly a humbling experience.
— Josh C.
VBPN sponsored two MLK Days of Service events in North Carolina at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Classroom Central. Second Harvest is responsible for supplying food throughout a 19-county region of North and South Carolina through a network of over 700 emergency pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters and programs for low-income children and seniors. Crew members took time out of their Saturday to help inspect and sort donated food items for distribution to those partner agencies. Classroom Central equips students in need by collecting and distributing free school supplies to their teachers. Eleven Vanguard crew members assisted the organization by die cutting shapes and organizing the overflow of school supplies in the warehouse.
— Ebony B. and Sabrina B.
As a North Caroline VBPN site lead, giving back is extremely important to me. It’s such a rewarding and humbling experience. I’ve been with Vanguard for 21 years and our commitment to our community has never wavered. It is an amazing differentiator, and providing Days of Service so crew can work together to help others is so empowering. As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month, this resonates with me even more. His commitment to service and helping others was powerful and a major driver in the movement. To be able to not only serve, but honor him and his sacrifice, is humbling. To me, this is what our purpose is about; loving and helping others, and extending your hand to pull others up. That is what service is really about.
— Kenya H.
I am a helper by nature and have enjoyed volunteering for many organizations and causes since childhood. I recently had the opportunity to coordinate an MLK Days of Service volunteer event on behalf of VBPN at Feed My Starving Children (FMSC). FMSC is a non-profit organization that assists in providing rice, soy, dried vegetables, and vitamins and minerals to needy children locally and internationally. Through donations and the efforts of volunteers, FMSC is able to ensure the food is packaged and expedited to hungry kids. On the day of our volunteer event, I was immediately impressed with the FMSC staff. We were warmly greeted and provided with instructions to prepare us for the day.
I appreciated that the FMSC staff emphasized a hygienic environment to ensure the children were not exposed to germs, and we watched a video that included detailed instructions for each food prep station. The staff kept the event light by teaching us fun chants to say when each prep station was able to completely fill a box with food packages. The staff shared with the volunteers that it costs $88.00 to feed one needy child, ALL year! As a parent of two teenagers, that resonated with me. On average, it costs my family more than $88.00 per week in meals. During our volunteer session, we were able to fill 192 boxes with food packages, which will feed 113 children in Thailand and provide 41,472 meals!
When I volunteer, I feel that I benefit from the experience in so many ways. I get to share in the experience with fellow crew and members in our community that also volunteer their time. Volunteering helps me appreciate how fortunate we are and reminds me that by simply providing our time, we are making an impact. A thank you note I once received after donating my time included an impactful quote that sums up my volunteer journey:
“Help one another. There’s no time like the present
and no present like your time.” —James Durst
Vanguard Leadership Performance Consultant Matt P. shares his insight on creating a feedback culture—and as he mentions, it doesn’t need to be scary!
If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: “I’m open to feedback. Please share it with me as soon as you have it.” But once there’s something to share, feedback becomes the “gift” everyone wants to return.
For over ten years now, feedback has been an integral part of my professional (and personal) life. As a corporate trainer, leader, and now Leadership Performance Consultant, I recognize that feedback is an essential ingredient in the development and growth of others (myself included). I rely on both dispensing and receiving it. And others rely on my ability to articulate its importance and understand its impact to their career.
It’s normal for our skin to get too “thin” when it comes to feedback. And aside from the good game a person may talk, feedback is generally avoided. You can predict the result: Development stalls, or even halts completely. Feedback doesn’t need to be scary. And although it’s often misunderstood, it isn’t complicated. My advice: Run toward feedback! Dispense it with empathy, and receive it with gratitude.
So what is feedback?
Well, at its most basic, we use feedback to “grow, show, or know.” More specifically, this means providing “developmental” or “evaluative” (sometimes both) feedback to help someone. And that someone shouldn’t necessarily be an employee who is getting a message from a leader. Feedback works best when it’s given peer-to-peer, leader-to-direct, and direct-to-leader. We’re all in this together. So what are the nuances between developmental and evaluative?
At the highest level, developmental feedback is based on a desire to grow or develop someone at an individual level. It provides detailed information on how behavior or performance can be changed or maintained. It also gives minimal indication or performance relative to others. In contrast, evaluative feedback is usually for a defined period of time and aligned to a specific competency. It’s often tied to specific rewards or compensation, and focuses on outcomes or relative impact to others. Lastly, feedback is not coaching. But feedback informs and drives coaching. Feedback is factually based and past tense. “In yesterday’s meeting, you did XYZ. Here was the impact.” Coaching gets into where you go from here.
Often times, people give compliments in lieu of feedback. “Great job in today’s meeting!” Thanks. But what was so great? This is a prime opportunity for specifics. “Great job” is more of an opinion—a compliment at its best (at its worst, it avoids giving detail and thoughtful insight). Instead, try linking what someone did to the expected results of the job, or something the recipient is working to improve. And don’t worry; you can still be complimentary: “Great job instilling confidence in your stakeholders yesterday. During the meeting, you answered every question with detail, affirmed next steps, and assigned deadlines appropriately. As a result, everyone left with a better understanding of his or her responsibilities, as well as where the project is going.” See the difference?
Find your approach
In order to be truly effective, feedback needs to become habitual—think brushing your teeth or going to the gym. Each of us should be looking for opportunities, regardless of role or level, to make feedback more deliberate and disciplined. If you’re asking for it, reflect on what you can do to solicit for it, and make it safe and easy for others to provide it. Don’t get defensive. Seek to understand, thank the messenger, and reflect on what you heard. If you’re giving it, be thoughtful and specific with the message, and show that you’re invested in someone’s growth, not looking to nit-pick. Provide it often so it becomes routine and is expected by others.
So often what I observe is that feedback is only given when someone does something that falls on the furthest ends of what I call the “Nailed it! Failed it!” spectrum. If Cynthia does a “great job” in a meeting (Nailed it!), she gets a compliment (again, not feedback). If Cynthia messes up (Failed it!), she gets feedback about what she did “wrong” (and coaching may or may not accompany it). Resist the temptation to live on the fringe. Most of what we do in our careers are neither “Nailed it” nor “Failed it” case studies. We live in the “in-between”. And here lies the greatest room for feedback to work its magic.
Here’s an example: “Matt, I appreciated your participation and insight in yesterday’s staff meeting. Can I offer you some feedback? I noticed a few times throughout the meeting you were checking your phone. During one of these instances, you weren’t able to notice the non-verbal reaction several teammates had to something you said. Keep in mind that looking down at your phone instead of reading the room may serve as an impediment to your ability to counter resistance, read the room, convey commitment, and or effectively influence others.” This is an instance of where giving a precise and meaningful piece of feedback can help a teammate understand the impact of his behavior. And, should he chose to act on it, get better!
Make feedback more habitual by carving out time in one-on-ones, team meetings, and/or coffee chats with colleagues. After a while, others will see feedback for what it is—a conduit for insight and development, not penalization. The more people understand that it’s being given not only to address large skill gaps (appropriate, though not the norm), but to reinforce positive behavior and improve performance and overall development, the more people will seek it out—even expect and appreciate it! Create a safe, empathetic environment for giving and receiving feedback, and strive to make feedback more expected, so it’s accepted. Only then will it truly be the “gift” that everyone wants to receive.
— Matt P.
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In recent months, Vanguard has been recognized across multiple communities as an employer of choice. In this blog, the Diversity and Inclusion team is excited to highlight accolades that Vanguard is proud to have received.
College students praise Vanguard’s summer internship program
Vanguard is ranked No. 4 for 2020 Best Financial Services Internships among 40 companies in the industry, and Vanguard is ranked No. 40 for Best Overall Internship among 135 participating companies representing all industries. This contest is sponsored annually by Vault.com, and results are based solely upon feedback from the undergraduate students that participated in our 2019 summer internship program.
The scoring and final ranking is based upon several aspects of the summer internship program:
Full-time employment prospects.
Compensation & benefits.
The interview process.
Overall quality of life.
Maintaining a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index Survey
This is the fifth consecutive year that Vanguard has been recognized in the 2020 Corporate Equality Index report. Published annually, the survey evaluates a company’s corporate policies, practices, and benefits with respect to LGBTQ+ employees. It’s the global standard for benchmarking corporate policies and practices for awareness and inclusion in the workplace.
The 2020 survey is divided into three key criteria areas of focus:
Nondiscrimination and inclusion policies across business entities.
Equitable benefits for LGBTQ+ workers and their families.
Support of an inclusive culture and corporate social responsibility.
Chief Diversity Officer Crystal Hardie Langston shared, “At Vanguard, we believe our culture of inclusion is essential for each of us to fully thrive in our careers and provide superior value to our clients and communities. It’s a business imperative for Vanguard’s success in the future, and that’s why we are committed to providing a trusting, supportive environment in which all crew members worldwide feel a sense of belonging.”
Continuing to climb in IT
Vanguard rose to number three among large organizations (5,000 or more U.S. employees) in Computerworld’s 2019 survey of the Best Places to Work in IT, up from number nine last year and number ten in 2017.
The rankings are based on both employer and employee surveys. About half of the scoring was based on crew member responses, and the other half was based on a survey of several HR areas: career development, retention, benefits, diversity, and training.
“This is an incredible endorsement for our organization, for Vanguard, and for our clients,” said John Marcante, managing director for IT. “This recognition is a reflection of all the crew at Vanguard who work daily to make this place a special community.”
Vanguard embraces veterans
Vanguard was also recognized as a Top Veteran-Friendly Company in 2019 by U.S. Veterans Magazine (USVM). The magazine’s annual list evaluates a company’s policies, practices, and career recruitment efforts with respect to veterans. Its mission includes finding employment and other opportunities for transitioning service members, disabled veterans, spouses of veterans, and veteran business owners.
USVM selected about 200 names after polling hundreds of companies, including many on the Fortune 1000.
This year’s evaluation recognized excellence in three focus areas:
Sponsorship of veteran career events.
Success in seeking, hiring, and/or retaining veteran candidates.
“Together we work to establish a strong crew network of service-minded military veterans and friends,” said Sean Gardner, senior manager in Global Risk & Security and a member of the VetsConnect leadership team. “Our objective is to enrich the sense of community for crew with past military service and all others interested by providing engaging ways to connect, assisting new veteran crew to Vanguard, and reflecting the esprit de corps of our military heritage.”
The selection was based on Scottsdale crew’s demonstrated distinction and excellence in multiple fields: client experience, innovation, leadership, social responsibility, and workplace culture.
“This is a significant accomplishment for Vanguard,” said Deborah Akinsipe, HR site lead for Arizona. “We could not have achieved this milestone without the commitment of our crew. Their dedication to client service and unwavering support to our local community are just some of the reasons we received this award.”
A brand new year is here and we asked Vanguard crew across the organization how they plan to make it count. Read as they share their 2020 aspirations:
Live in the moment
Carrie H.—My goal is to take less notes in meetings. I will aim to be more present, make better eye contact, and only jot down action items to ensure I never drop a ball. This idea came from some recent presentations by Mel Robbins, who encourages women to have a confident and present presence at any table at which we sit.
Kristin T.—My professional and personal resolution is to take more breaks, including breaks from screens. I am most thoughtful, creative, and innovative when I can clear my mind, get outside, and step away from my normal routine. Easier said than done when you work in social media (which is always on), but I hope to make it a priority in 2020.
Expand impact in local communities
Linda T.—I am a member of the Community Outreach Team for Vanguard’s Information Technology Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success (IT WILS), which has organized or sponsored 50 STEM events in the last five years that impacted over 10,000 students ranging from kindergarten to college. Our efforts include supporting, sponsoring and/or hosting Hour of Code in elementary schools, Girls Exploring Tomorrow’s Technology (GETT) for 1,000 middle and high school girls, Techies Day for high school students, as well as college hackathons.
In 2020, I will be representing the IT WILS Community Outreach Team by mentoring the Women in Computer Science club at a local college. Through this experience, I will work with the students to co-host a coding workshop with non-profit organization, TechGirlz. Additionally, I recently volunteered to support the Women in Tech Summit conference in Philadelphia for college and female IT professionals. We need to build the pipeline of future crew by encouraging them to pursue careers in technology. The children are our future!
Strengthen working relationships
Tara T.—My resolution is to go back to doing something I used to prioritize. I plan to set up regular check-ins with business partners to learn more about what their goals are for the year. We often meet only to move a project forward, but by sitting down to learn more about their passions, career goals, and personal lives, we establish meaningful working relationships. These relationships always tend to have the best business results for me, and more importantly, give me the opportunity to get to know my coworkers better.
Laura B.—This year I am going to make an effort to learn more about the individual skills of others on my team. Even if I do not become a technical expert in what they do, I will better understand how much time and effort is involved in their daily work, and I will be able to assist when needed.
The end of the year is often a time to reflect on all that’s been accomplished in the last twelve months. We pulled together the top four career stories from 2019. Whether it’s your first read or you’re revisiting a favorite, we hope you enjoy!
We sat down with five Vanguard recruiters to hear how they coach candidates through the interview process. In this blog, we share 12 ways that experienced professionals can prepare for a Vanguard interview—whether in person or over the phone.
Annsley opens up about her voyage to Vanguard after college. “To say I was hesitant to join the finance industry is an understatement. Much of my college education was focused on classes like organic chemistry and biomechanics. But my friend assured me that my passion to help people live a better life directly aligned with Vanguard’s mission. With his support along with my family, I took a giant leap of faith, and I couldn’t be happier that I did.”
Vanguard’s financial advisors are using time-proven investment methodology to offer investment solutions that lead our clients confidently toward their business or personal financial goals. In this series, our financial advisors share their personal experiences in pursuing a career in this field and the impact they’ve had in driving successful investment results for clients.
Kristen shares a personal story about how Vanguard allowed her to focus on family during a difficult time. “While my personal life was turned on its head, a new leader was assigned to my team. I was experiencing changes both at Vanguard and in my personal life. My first one-on-one was conducted through video conference from my parent’s house. It was during that conversation I finally said the words out loud…my mom had cancer. Not knowing how my new leader would respond, I waited. He took a moment and said, “Family comes first,” a concept I heard Vanguard was known for but never experienced firsthand.”
In this blog, Amy G., a chief of staff, shares why the Giving Season is important to her. During Vanguard’s Giving Season, crew members around the world join together to help brighten the lives of children, seniors, and families through a variety of activities including raising funds and purchasing toys, books, clothing, and necessities. The Giving Season is one of Vanguard’s many Community Stewardship programs through which crew donate their time, talent, and treasure to help communities have the best chance for success.
Ever since I could remember, my parents consistently instilled in my siblings and me the belief that “it’s always better to give than to receive.” One way my parents demonstrated this belief was to participate in a variety of community service events throughout the course of year. When I think back to those events, my mind is instantly flooded with positive memories, and many stemmed from our annual participation in a sponsor-a-child program. I vividly recall as a young child walking up to the Christmas tree at my family’s church to select a “wish kid,” typically a young girl close to my age, for whom I could help ensure her holiday was just as joyous as my own.
Branching out to Vanguard
In 2011, prior to receiving my undergraduate degree and launching into the professional world, I searched determinedly for an employer who was both well regarded in the financial services industry and also demonstrated a strong sense of commitment to community service—a trait central to my own personal values. Luckily, I did not have to look far from the Philadelphia region to find Vanguard, a company with many community stewardship programs that were positively impacting their local communities. One program in particular caught my eye, given the close significance to my childhood memories: Vanguard’s Giving Season.
Seeding more Santa helpers
Fast forward to 2019, I share with enthusiasm that I have participated in the Giving Season at Vanguard each of the last eight years, and that I have been joined by my members of my soccer team. Outside of Vanguard, you can find me on countless soccer fields as a female youth soccer coach for a local Philadelphia club. While I don’t have a specific number of games or tournaments I set out to win, I do have one very specific goal—positively impact as many young girls in the surrounding Philadelphia area, both on and off the field, as possible. I feel that it is my unspoken duty to use my personal experiences and leadership skills as a platform to help influence the lives of my players. I want to make my players better people, not just better athletes.
During each Giving Season, I volunteer my time by signing up to shop for 20 kids who have been sponsored by Vanguard crew, and each of my players has her own child to shop for. My team and I will venture to the local Target and begin a shopping frenzy. I’d describe it as organized chaos, but thankfully I have a group of soccer moms who assist in the process! Overall, my team has an absolute blast while learning the same lesson my parents taught me—“it’s always better to give than to receive.” The best part? When they begin asking if our team will be shopping for children in need again next year.