International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity and focuses on unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action. Carolyn S., a program manager in our International division currently located in Tokyo, shares her Vanguard journey, and why she chooses to stay for the long term.
Vanguard was my first “real” job after college – I started in the Scottsdale office serving Retail clients. After interning at other financial firms, I realized Vanguard was a very different kind of employer, one who offered something unique to crew and was a place where women could succeed. I’ve held a variety of roles during the past nine years, and most of my bosses have been women. Having several senior level women to look up to made it easy for me to imagine possibilities for my own career.
This International Women’s Day feels like a good time to reflect on my experiences and how the values of this unofficial holiday coincide with many values held by Vanguard. It is also an important day to me as I have been a part of WILS (Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success) for many years. I’ve been inspired by Vanguard’s commitment to WILS and its mission: WILS is committed to inspiring and preparing women for leadership positions at Vanguard. To achieve this, Vanguard seeks to create a culture that supports and encourages women’s professional growth. While IWD focuses on ten values to guide the direction of this globally-recognized day, I want to share three that stand out for me:
Simply put, collaboration is a must at Vanguard. Of course, there are tasks and small projects you can complete on your own, but overall we are structured to work together. Here’s an example: in school and during internships, I would almost finish an entire project before sharing results with key stakeholders. Occasionally, I would discover new information and have to redo my work. While working in Vanguard’s Corporate Strategy department, however, I learned a refreshing style: I tackled only about 40% of a project, usually in partnership with my peers, then reviewed the approach with leaders, teammates, and internal partners. This allowed for much more timely feedback and ensured we were on the right track. It’s not about micromanaging, it’s about working together to deliver amazing results. In addition, it offers multiple opportunities to be coached and stay informed.
Throughout my time at Vanguard, my leaders have consistently expressed their appreciation for my work – whether it’s a quick email, stopping by my desk, an IM after a meeting, or during an annual performance review. And sometimes the gratitude isn’t explicit – I know Vanguard highly regards my work because they trust me with significant responsibilities. For example, in 2017 I was on a small team charged with planning an IT Leadership Conference session – a demanding project that was outside of my typical responsibilities. While being asked to support this event was appreciation in and of itself, it didn’t stop there. After the event, the executive who sponsored the team gave me a handwritten note of thanks detailing why she appreciated my efforts. That really made me feel valued.
From the beginning, it was clear that there’s a basic level of respect at Vanguard no matter your position. I can vividly recall attending a meeting with the head of our department early on in my career. During the meeting, I decided to take a risk and offer my opinion on a decision the team had made. This leader paused, acknowledged my comment, and asked me questions. That moment may have felt small to others, but for me it was hugely impactful. To have someone so tenured respect my opinion and even ask me for further thoughts meant a lot as a newer crew member. Now that I’m in a leadership role, I make it a priority to do the same for others. In fact, as a leader at Vanguard I am expected to engage and advocate for my co-workers and ensure they feel included and can tell their ideas are respected.
A truly international IWD this year
I recently moved to a position in our Tokyo office – a huge transition both personally and professionally. I feel very grateful that Vanguard trusted me with this opportunity and responsibility. Consistent with the themes I mentioned, I felt supported and valued by my new leadership team and teammates during the transition. It’s yet another testament to the variety of things you can do at this company when you work hard and commit to personal growth.
I could go on about the many ways Vanguard exemplifies the other seven IWD themes, but, that would be a very long blog post…
March 2nd is Employee Appreciation Day – an unofficial holiday to thank employees for their hard work and efforts throughout the year. It just happens to coincide with tax season – one of the busiest, most hectic times of the year for financial institutions. Call volumes spike, timelines tighten, and issues get more urgent. While crew do a lot to prepare to meet client’s needs, many acknowledge that they couldn’t do it alone. Below are just a few of the stories of crew stepping in to help a fellow crew member – and a client.
Jennifer P.: After working a 10 hour day, my colleague, Nik S., stayed even later to help me with a client’s complex retirement request. We partnered together to resolve the situation and get the client exactly what they needed. Nik never complained, he just focused on the goal of helping the client. I can’t thank him enough.
Julaine B.: I just hung up the phone with Ryan and he ended the call with, “Thank you for all that you do.” The sincerity in his voice made me pause and reflect for a minute. In spite of the stress, I am truly grateful for the opportunity to provide assistance to my fellow crew member. These small words of appreciation can make a difference in your workday.
Annsley R.: A BIG shout out to Ardy A. and Tara C. for their excellent customer service today that resulted in high praise from our client. He stated, “Tara and Ardy are worth their weight in gold and are wonderful representatives!” Thank you both for your amazing partnership and creating a best in class experience for our clients.
Karen L.: A client told her story to me of her experience with both Melissa C. and Christopher T., “these two employees gave me the best service I’ve had in years! I needed help with a bond fund and they both guided me with our family’s investments. It’s a challenging time and I learned a great deal!” Melissa and Chris, thank you for delivering excellence!
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
This Sunday is the biggest football game of the year and, being based in the Philadelphia suburbs, we’re pretty excited about having a local “underdog” team in the mix. This season has not only been thrilling, but a reminder of the importance of teamwork – both on the field and in the office. Whether it’s reorganizing workloads during a peer’s absence or preparing for inclement weather, we believe in facing obstacles together.
Read on for more stories on how Vanguard’s team-based environment keeps us from dropping the ball.
“A great example of teamwork at Vanguard was when I went out on parental leave last year. As excited as I was to spend time learning to be a dad, I had some reservations about leaving my projects behind. Not only was I concerned about keeping our priorities moving, but I was worried about leaving all that work on my teammates’ shoulders.
It turns out, I had no reason to worry because I have a great team. Like all great teams, sometimes you need to back each other up. It also helps that work-life balance is an important part of our company culture. Across the board, my boss, by business partners, and my project sponsors encouraged me to take the time off. I will be forever appreciative of the time I got to spend with my son. And, as a teammate, I look forward to returning the favor!”
“As an army veteran, I have seen firsthand the essential value of forming and leading a cohesive team focused on mission. At Vanguard, I find the same type of organization with a laser focus on taking a stand for others. Our VetsConnect network exemplifies how creating a strong sense of community for both veterans and friends of veterans alike increases our chances of succeeding on our shared mission.”
“Due to an unexpected medical situation, I had to step away from work at the end of August last year and didn’t return to a full schedule until the end of December. During that time, guess what happened? Everything. The team knew our goals, they worked together, they trusted and inspired one another….and they didn’t miss a beat. When I came back to the office, all I heard was this – Your team has been amazing. And that’s the thing about a truly great team. It doesn’t rely on any one person. At any point, depending on the situation, different people step up, they work together, and as a result, good things happen.”
Now, our Chief Human Resources Officer, John James, breaks down the elements of a high-performing crew and how to build a cohesive team:
“In the mid-2000’s, I took a “sabbatical” from a lifelong financial services career to be the CEO of the Port Adelaide Football Club in Australia. If you aren’t familiar, the AFL is the NFL of Australia. I was lucky enough to be part of that organization when we won the grand final (AFL championship) in 2004. It was such a great experience in a different industry where I observed elite teamwork with a championship team … the kind of teamwork required to be the best of the best. When I reflect on that time and the organizational feeling of winning the “title,” I realize I learned some insights about teamwork:
A team needs to have diversity. That 2004 team had a wonderful mix of experience, specialist skills, size, speed, personality, and race. Everyone played their role and capitalized on their strengths to play for each other. The diversity of that team still strikes me. When you get all the components right, you become a “champion team” rather than a “team of champions.”
Teams need great coaches (leaders). The coaching group was united, both strategically and tactically, in the game plan. They supported all the players individually and empowered the game-breaking players to “show their stuff.” Great leaders use the energy of the big moment to fuel the opportunity, rather than focusing on what could go wrong, and maximize the group’s collective strengths.
Truly great teams rally in tough times. The team had ups and downs in 2001, 2002, and 2003 when, despite being the best performing team in the league, we failed to win the title. Using those previous setbacks as learning moments in 2004, any time a player made a mistake, the more experienced players helped turn the situation as a motivator to drive personal and, therefore, team growth. The best teams have an amazing ability to get the best out of every individual.
With every team that I have been part of, there has been so much to gain from my football reflections. Teamwork is at the center of every reflection. How can I be a great coach? Can I create a play to make others better? Do I elevate my performance (and energy) in tough moments? Do I pick up my colleagues when they need a lift? The only way to win, whatever your “big game” may be, is being on a great team. What role do you play to make your team the best of the best?”
When I started working at Vanguard years ago, I knew I’d be working for a company with a fantastic reputation and many opportunities to grow and learn. What an incredible and unexpected bonus to have also made so many friends during my tenure here.
In 2018, I will be celebrating 18 years at Vanguard, all serving Institutional clients. Working in different roles and departments within the division has allowed me to meet different types of people and many of my friendships stretch back to my earliest years at Vanguard. Every year there are opportunities to meet new crew and make new connections.
One memory that comes to mind is the time my team had a Vanguard Accelerated Development Program participant working on a challenging project for our department. A couple of us supported her by giving her information and advice throughout the project, and the three of us ended up as friends. As we all continue on our career journeys, we’ve found ways to keep in touch even as work, and life outside of work, gets busier. A quick coffee meetup, regular lunches (monthly nacho lunch has been a favorite for over five years!), and the occasional night out are all ways we’ve stayed in touch as our careers spread us throughout the company. And sometimes keeping in touch takes us far from Malvern – this year will mark the second time I’ve traveled with a friend I’ve made at work. After years of saying we want to explore London together, we’re planning a trip for late spring, and I couldn’t be more excited!
It’s a common refrain that we spend more time at work than we do with our families – that time is so much more rewarding when you make friends with your co-workers. Whether it’s grabbing lunch on a tough day, asking for feedback to help you grow and develop, or just having a network that can guide you with a challenging task, I am supported both personally and professionally.
Today, I am an Offer Evolution Analyst, working on a team focused on continuously improving our Institutional Offer. Over the years, I’ve found that each department has their own way of bonding. One of my favorite memories is from a team that got together for pot luck dinners every month. When a team is that close it can make a huge difference in stressful situations – whether it’s a crazy busy time of the year, or a highly visible project. Based on the confidence my co-workers have in me, I feel prepared and motivated to get the job done and get it done well.
Building financial literacy through My Classroom Economy
During my tenure with Vanguard, I have had the humbling opportunity to return to my alma mater several times to help recruit new talent. This was an incredibly nostalgic experience for me, as the career fair is where I gained my first impressions of Vanguard – where I would spend the next ten years of my career (and counting!). Whenever I am meeting students, explaining who Vanguard is and what we do, a question that I am inevitably asked is, “Why did you accept a job at Vanguard?” This is a great question to have when exploring employer options as it is natural to want to understand a current employee’s motivation for joining a company. That being said, there is a more illuminating question to ask. If you really want to uncover a true sense of the company culture, try asking “What made you stay at Vanguard?”
Why I stay
My answer, at least partly, is my experience with My Classroom Economy. My Classroom Economy, or MyCE for short, is a robust classroom management system that focuses on building financial literacy through experiential learning. The basic idea is that MyCE provides the resources necessary for educators to establish an “economy” in their classroom that is interactive, ongoing, and builds essential financial skills. The economy created in the classroom introduces and reinforces basic financial topics such as receiving a paycheck, saving, and spending. In addition, students get to experience paying rent, buying insurance, and budgeting. The entire program is entirely free to use and totally customizable to each classroom’s needs.
Why it matters to me
This particular outreach from Vanguard into the community is important to me because of the mission and its connection to my own life. My mother was an elementary school teacher for her entire career and I witnessed first-hand the impact that an educator can have on their students outside of traditional school curriculum topics. By engaging with MyCE and giving back to educators, I’m able to help contribute to the effectiveness of teachers across the country.
What I do for MyCE
In addition to providing the materials via our website, Vanguard’s North Carolina campus takes a further step into the community by hosting My Classroom Economy Day with a local school each year. This year, I had the privilege of leading the event and facilitating a field trip to our campus. In September, 80 fifth grade students from Shamrock Gardens Elementary School in Charlotte, NC joined us for a day of fun and learning. Our students picked from several career tracks and earned paychecks by participating in small groups with different areas of our business. They were offered the ability to buy insurance, and those who didn’t had to surrender some of their earned “money” when a natural disaster struck later in the day. They were then able to use their earned money to bid on auction items to take home with them. They also participated in a hands-on activity regarding professional presence that taught lessons about how their actions and words with classmates can have unintended consequences. This keynote event was a culmination of a year of planning by my team of volunteers and left a lasting impression on the students and those of us, nearly 40 in total, who worked to make this day possible.
So as you explore careers on your journey, remember to find ways to uncover a company’s true culture by asking the right questions. You may come to find that the work you do for a company is only half of the reason for starting your career there and the rest may be opportunities like My Classroom Economy. MyCE is just the tip of the iceberg for reasons why my peers and I choose to work for Vanguard.
Want to learn more about My Classroom Economy? Check out these videos! And if you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
As a student, I always wondered what it’d be like to transition into the real-world. More specifically for me, into the corporate world.
To help bridge the gap from education to employment, my university offers 6-month co-ops – an opportunity to work full time and receive college credit alternating with periods of classroom study. Entering my junior year at college, I knew it was time to pick a company where I could learn new skills and how to make that big transition. But, which company should I choose? Was a small company or large corporation a better fit? Which industry was right for me? So many questions were running through my mind. After some research, I found Vanguard had a position I was interested in. I worked hard on my application and earned an interview. I vividly remember driving to my interview and wondering if I would fit in and what working at Vanguard would be like.
Interviewing & interning
From the moment I walked in the door, I was met with a warm reception. I remember my interview like it was yesterday–I told my interviewer that I was interested in personal growth, professional development, and purpose. We had a great conversation about my goals and Vanguard’s mission. To this day, we still keep in touch and discuss what’s going on in our lives – both professionally and personally. My relationship with her was instrumental in navigating through my co-op at Vanguard and one of the main reasons I chose to accept a position at Vanguard after graduation!
During my co-op, I worked in Institutional Marketing and Communications. My manager was excellent. He connected me with so many crew members, many of whom became trusted advisors who I still consult before big decisions. These mentors have helped me strategize ways to turn my weaknesses into strengths, challenged me to look through a long-term lens when making decisions, and ultimately pushed me to apply for the Vanguard Accelerated Development Program (VADP).
Why it mattered
My 6 month co-op came to a close, and as I returned to Drexel for my senior year, I kept in contact with many crew members. The following summer, I returned to Vanguard as an intern with Vanguard Charitable to support a busy giving season. In such a close-knit environment, coupled with the holiday spirit, I developed friendships across the organization. Because of those close relationships, I agreed to return part-time to a role in Research & Strategy. I continue to catch-up with my old team whenever our schedules allow.
As I was entering my last semester at Drexel, I shared my excitement at my college graduation on LinkedIn and thanked those that helped me cross the finish line. Little did I know, the reach would be in the thousands. Hundreds of crew members liked and commented, welcoming me into the company. The fact that crew members who I never met before were so enthusiastic and accepting was humbling. It reassured me that I found a company with a sense of community and family.
The little things count
Another uplifting moment happened while I was struggling to find a conference room. It was the end of the day and most of the office had already headed home. I clearly looked lost, reading every sign to find the meeting location. A woman rushing to catch an elevator paused and asked, “Looking for a room?” I nodded, a little embarrassed, and told her the room number. Instead of just pointing me in the right direction, she took the time to personally walk me to the room. This may seem like a small thing, but to someone who is new, it can mean the world when someone shows a little kindness.
A few months later, I came aboard as a full-time employee through VADP. When I came back to the Malvern campus, previous co-workers and managers were excited to connect and hear my updates. That reassured me that our relationships were not static–they were active and lively. And since my start date, I’ve connected with so many people across divisions and in various positions.
Coming out of college, there is a sense of angst and wonder around the corporate environment. But my fears disappeared once I came to Vanguard. From my first face-to-face interaction with crew to launching my career here, I have cultivated and deepened so many valuable relationships.
Crew share fond memories of Bill McNabb as he moves on from CEO
After more than three decades of distinguished service, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill McNabb will step down as CEO at the end of 2017. Bill will be succeeded by President Tim Buckley, but will remain chairman of the board of directors.
Crew were invited to share their thoughts on Bill’s leadership, expertise, accomplishments, and impact over the years. Crew turned out in force to offer stories, pictures, and well wishes for Bill. We’ve captured just a few of the many, many comments below.
Congratulations Bill. It’s been a remarkable 31 years.
“Bill, thank you for the impact you have made on our company, our crew, and our industry. A special thank you for the tremendous priority you placed on community outreach and support. Not only do you leave Vanguard a better place from your leadership, but you leave our communities we serve a better place as well. The community focus you have embedded in Vanguard’s culture will have a permanent impact on generations to come. I hope you enjoy this transition, and never stop making a difference in the lives of those you meet.”
“Bill, congratulations. Your leadership has set a tone that will carry beyond your tenure, to the careers of people who are proud to call themselves crew; to living our mission that drives us all to “give all investors…the best chance for investment success”; and to living by all ‘three C’s’ through service to clients, crew, and community. Thank you for challenging us to live and work as our best selves – it truly makes the Vanguard story our story, and investors all over the world will live a better life as a result.”
“Thank you Bill for everything you have done for our clients, crew and community and making Vanguard the best place to work for me. You have been an inspiration to all of us and we are going to miss you.”
“I’ve always been grateful to work for a company like Vanguard that not only has an important mission, but that carries out that mission with the highest ethical standards. Thanks Bill for having continued to set that tone here. It’s great to be able to take pride in the work one does every day.”
“Hey Bill, looking at this photo brings a smile to my face. It was my debut as a member of senior staff. Lots of highlights Bill, here is my top 5 Bill list:
1 Client focus- building out international businesses, and your energy on serving clients globally. 2 Global mindset- no matter the setting, the culture, the country, you blend in and always adapt to how people want to be treated. 3 Positivity- the glass is always half full, and it is such a pick-up to be in your presence when we all need that little bit of positivity. 4 Fitness- in mind, body and spirit you are always learning, reading, training, and that is such an inspiration to all of us. 5 Music- you and I both have similar taste in music, and our night out at the concert shows the coolness of William McNabb.
My wife Anne is a fan of yours, and my daughter Lyla always asks me about the boss big Bill. It means so much, how you know and have connected with the James family. You have had a huge impact on me, Bill, and I still remember the call in London to accept your offer to join your team – a career highlight. Expect my call for the next concert we can go to.”
“To know even one life has breathed more easily because you have lived, that is to have succeeded” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thank you Bill for all your time, effort and commitment to helping so many crew, clients and members of the community breathe more easily!”
“I met Bill at a “Breakfast with Bill” event he hosted for recent college graduates in 2010 after completing my Master’s degree. A few of the things Bill said about the importance of advanced education for crew and how essential teams are for Vanguard still resonate with me today.”
“Thank you Bill for all you have done (and continue to do) for this company, our crew, and the community. Your authentic leadership, passion for our people and our business, and focus on values are hard to match – though you’ve inspired many of us, including me, to try! Enjoy this transition!”
“Thank you, Bill, for being an incredible leader and a great role model. I’ll never forget when we ended up traveling together from a meeting in Fort Worth to Omaha back in the fall of 2008, and our plane was delayed due to massive thunderstorms. We landed in Nebraska well past midnight, and you still made the car drop me off at my hotel first. (Never mind that we both got bumped from our respective hotels since it was so late!) That small act of kindness, with nary a hint of ego, inspired me to be the best possible travel companion I could be to the dozens of crewmembers I’ve traveled with over my career. I’m sure you did it without thinking twice, and to me, it spoke volumes about your character. Best of luck in the future, and I’ll close by using something that didn’t even exist when you started as CEO – a hashtag – to say #thanksBill.”
Like most adults, my life is full – both professionally (projects, meetings, deadlines) and personally (family activities, pets, hobbies). Normally I feel pretty in control, but recently I felt like I had reached a point where I found myself swirling – I was constantly switching tasks, and never really finishing anything because I was distracted by everything else I had to do. Worst of all, I wasn’t really having a positive impact in any facet of my life. I felt like I was racing through everything and accomplishing nothing. It was exhausting and miserable. I knew I needed a change.
Mindfulness – the practice of maintaining a heightened awareness of the present to increase focus – is being used more and more by people who seek deep concentration, including professional athletes, CEOs, and mathematicians. And it’s gotten a lot of traction right here at Vanguard – crew have multiple opportunities and resources to incorporate mindfulness into their lives. I started researching the options available to me – there are long-term programs, small scale overviews, a mindfulness website, and more. As I read about these programs and resources, I was skeptical. I wasn’t sure if mindfulness was really for me or if the activities were worth my time. What if I went through an entire program and realized I wasn’t interested? I was already busy enough. Also, the idea of meditating at my desk in front of my co-workers seemed a little…odd.
So I decided to start small, with a Mindfulness Drop-In Session. One day a week, I could attend a 30 minute class with a trained professional and learn basic meditation techniques. I figured this would be an easy way to get started – and if I hated it, I never had to do it again. The sessions are optional, which means that I can drop in as often or as little as I want.
The first time, I admit I was a bit nervous. Was everyone else in the room an expert? Would I be lost and look foolish? Fortunately for me, that wasn’t the case. A certified meditation expert took us through some simple exercises and made the session very easy to follow. It was a relief to find out the sessions are quite casual, so I don’t have to share anything or even close my eyes if I don’t want to. It was also anonymous; there were no introductions, no goofy icebreakers, just a few encouraging words from the instructor as we practiced meditation.
Seeing a change
After attending a few sessions, I noticed some improvements. It was little things, like feeling more aware in meetings or being able to breathe comfortably when I got stressed. It was nice to notice that my shoulders weren’t up by my ears at 5pm anymore. I will admit that initially I thought it was a weird thing for an employer to offer, but now that I see how this ties in to health and wellness, it makes sense. This program isn’t for everyone, but for me, it made a difference. Best of all, I can tell the changes are noticed by those who matter most to me – my family, clients, and co-workers. After all, what good is having a fulfilling career and a wonderful family if you’re not fully there to appreciate it?
I’ve heard many women in IT talking about how amazing the Grace Hopper conference is, and I was so excited when I was selected to attend this year’s conference in Orlando. All of the major technology companies would be there, the keynote speakers sounded so impressive, and there were tons of workshops to choose from. I’ve been at Vanguard for a long time, and I know how careful we are about choosing the most influential learning opportunities.
I started connecting with the other women at Vanguard who were selected to go; we planned our travel arrangements together and looked over the workshops. I was impressed to see that on the very first morning there were 5 keynote speakers — from Melinda Gates to professors at Stanford and Harvard, to the inventor of VMWare, Diane Greene, to Dr. Sue Black CEO from the UK who started #techmums.
Wednesday morning, I headed over to the convention center from my hotel, and was absolutely amazed. There were thousands of women of all ages wearing t-shirts that aim to inspire women in technology careers. “Connect Your Passion”, “Moms Can Code”, “Strong Diverse Amazon”, “Lesbians Who Tech” were some that I noticed. As I went towards registration, standing among 18,000 women, I felt a connection of sisterhood.
All these women had broken barriers in some way, sat through years of schooling, and hundreds of hours of meetings as ‘the only’ and here we all were, together for three days of fun, encouragement, and career development.
Throughout the three days, I heard from brilliant, creative women who had used their passion to solve world problems and develop technology that made a difference in the lives of thousands. Speakers discussed topics such as, using data mining to solve city problems, how bias can get into machine learning, and how artificial intelligences from drones can increase crop production. I met women who helped make Microsoft products accessible for every disability, the CEO of Goldiblox who developed engineering type toys that encouraged girls to think of engineering as an outlet for their creativity, and women who were helping Pinterest determine algorithm differences needed to attract women vs men. There were speakers on influence and persuasion, using your seat at the table, and unconscious bias.
The Vanguard attendees had the opportunity to meet with some prospective crew at our recruiting booth who had interests in possibly working at Vanguard. We were one of the only booths to have all female recruiters, many of whom were in IT jobs. We met for lunch to compare notes on our favorite sessions and spent hours discussing what we had learned. Some of my colleagues were from Charlotte, and some from other departments and teams across the company I had never worked with before. There are always new people to meet!
My main takeaway was from Dr. Sue Black. She started #techmums after putting herself through school as a lower-income, single mom of three kids. She said that if each of us help a mother learn to love computer science, over 30,000 lives would be affected because every mother’s gain represents the gain of at least two people in the world, herself and her child. I left feeling proud of what Vanguard does for all the women who work here – just like the speakers at Grace Hopper, they too are brilliant, creative women who use their passion to solve world problems and make a difference every day.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Crew & A: Commonly asked questions about interning at Vanguard
Kate, a prospective intern for Vanguard, had the opportunity to ask current interns a few questions. Follow along below to read about their experiences over the summer.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received at Vanguard?
A: During the past 8 weeks here crew (aka employees – everything is nautical themed here!) across the entire firm have been willing and available to offer insight to me as an intern. After several interactions and meetings, there was one piece of advice that stood out the most. My team had just been leaving a meeting where I was looking to participate but failed to seize the opportunity to do so. My manager pulled me aside to talk about it. While he knew I was disappointed that I did not get to offer my two cents, and he offered me this advice, “It’s not always about whether you say something, but whether what you say is relevant and meaningful to a conversation.” In hindsight, what I was planning on saying would have sent the conversation on an unproductive tangent. Internalizing this concept, I have been able to adapt and position myself to contribute in meetings more meaningfully.
Q: What was your favorite intern event?
A: My favorite intern event was our volunteer day off (VTO day). Vanguard gives its crew one paid day per calendar year to dedicate to community service through volunteer work. Crew members can volunteer with any charitable agency they choose, however, the intern cadre all did ours together. We went into Philadelphia to volunteer with the Share Food Program – a nonprofit organization specializing in food distribution, education, and advocacy. It was a very fun and rewarding day spent with fellow interns and intern management.
Q: Why did you choose to work at Vanguard?
A: I have always wanted to work in the financial services industry, but for a company that aligns with my values and morals. At Vanguard, ethical practices are the core values of the firm, and the mission revolves around benefitting all investors. When all crew members feel valued and included, our ability to collaborate and innovate is amplified, and we are united in delivering on Vanguard’s core purpose: to take a stand for all investors, treat them fairly, and give them the best chance for investment success. For these reasons, Vanguard was a clear choice to spend the summer after my junior year.
Q: Can you describe what you have worked on this summer?
A: I had the opportunity to be involved with two projects this summer here at Vanguard. The first was within Data and Analytics for Legal and Compliance. I worked on an algorithm that compiled Vanguard’s equity trading history into reports for regulatory agencies, such as the SEC. My second project was to create a platform for portfolio managers and traders on the Equities Index Group’s trading desk to combat inefficiencies throughout the floor. Vanguard has provided all of the interns – including myself – with the opportunity to play a vital role, and provide value to the company.
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met?
A: The most interesting person I have met this summer was the founder of Vanguard, John Bogle. A few interns had the opportunity to sit with Mr. Bogle and ask him questions about his insight into the future of the company and industry trends. He instilled his wisdom upon us, and reminded us to remain grounded to the true values that he founded Vanguard with in 1975. John Bogle is an inspiration to the financial industry, and I could not be more thankful for the opportunity Vanguard has given me to meet him and so many other influential individuals.
Q: Have you attended any interesting events at Vanguard?
A: Yes! One of my favorite events so far at Vanguard was a Community Garden lunch that I was invited to. Volunteer work is highly encouraged here, and one of Vanguard’s projects is the Community Garden, where crew members volunteer time to help grow fresh vegetables for donation. During this lunch the executive chef showed garden volunteers different recipes using the vegetables that they had grown. It was wonderful to see such a showing of community, and the food was delicious!