Vanguard women break down investment acumen myths and perceptions
Vanguard’s crew resource group WILS (Women’s Initiative for Leadership Success) recently hosted a panel discussion with three female senior leaders in Investment Management to help breakdown investment acumen myths and misconceptions. In this blog, we recap the event and share how these discussions drive professional development and offer ways to improve this important skill-set.
Three panelists take the stage, each representing a different area of focus in Vanguard’s Investment Management group: U.S. Equity Investment Risk Management, Global Rates and Fixed Income Strategy, and Product Planning. Each share their diverse career journey – some had long investment management careers outside Vanguard, others spent time on our Client Services teams or in rotational programs. But all three were anxious to help the women and men in the audience overcome their struggles with the often intimidating world of investment management.
First, it was imperative that the panel define what encompasses Investment Acumen – how does it differ for those focused squarely and deeply in Investment Management from those whose leadership interests are more general?
Seeking deep investment acumen
Two of the panelists expressed the importance of specialization in Investment Management. Their career advice for those who are pursuing this path is to go deep on what interests you most. Develop conviction and an opinion in that area, pursue courses and/or certifications that will increase your knowledge and expertise. They conveyed that specialization is a great way to distinguish yourself.
General investment knowledge
It is also important to have foundational investment acumen for anyone working in Financial Services and at Vanguard. Prior to her current role, one of the panelists had spent the majority of her career in leadership and strategy roles, where she had a strong focus on developing crew. This leader shared that she was keenly tuned in to her learning style. She knew that it was important for her to deepen her investment acumen, so she sought a role to close what she felt were some gaps in this area. She also reinforced the importance of knowing yourself, “I have an all-in learning style so I knew an immersive experience was right for me.” For others in similar situations, she encouraged the audience to think about what unique strengths you bring to the table. How might you lean into those as you’re learning and contributing to a new group?
The panelists also shared their thoughts on how women in Investment Management can be perceived, and the unique challenges they have experienced in overcoming conscious and unconscious bias. The fact is that currently there are significantly fewer women than men in investment management. In everyday settings, women need to adopt strategies to make sure their diverse thoughts are heard. When any group of people is outnumbered, they tend to be heard less and more likely to get interrupted and dismissed.
These panelists advise us to keep swimming against the current. Seek to understand the dynamic of whatever group you’re in and develop a strategy for how you can fit in. It is important for each of us to be ourselves, while fitting into the environment as that self and on our own terms. A great foundation is to build your acumen and credentialize yourself as a valuable voice in the room. Everyone in the room was already doing that very thing – attending sessions like these builds acumen and strengths that enable crew to stand out.
Finally, the panelists recognized the opportunity each leader in investment management has to “represent women well.” Without diverse thinking, how can we meet the diverse needs of our clients?
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
What differentiates us from other data science teams?
“Data scientist” has become a top career choice, but with all the buzz surrounding this term, lots of questions arise such as: Who are they? What do they do?
Well, here’s your opportunity to hear my perspective as a Data Science Manager at Vanguard! To me, a Data Scientist is anyone who can solve business problems by:
Translating business problems into mathematical, statistical, or machine learning tasks
Making appropriate assumptions using business domain knowledge
Building models using data
Drawing insights from models and translate them into business solutions
You may have already done those tasks, but what differentiates a modern Data Scientist from a more traditional one? Increasingly, we seek candidates who can manage large volumes of unstructured data and navigate sophisticated mathematical structures while taking advantage of powerful technology.
Here are some common questions we’ve received from candidates:
1. What’s it like to work at Vanguard? Vanguard is an investment management company and our core purpose is “To take a stand for all investors, to treat them fairly, and to give them the best chance for investment success”. Vanguard’s unique ownership structure — the company is owned by its funds — means there are no conflicts of interest. So we always ask: “Are we doing the right thing for our investors?” whenever we make any decision, whether it’s about a product launch, sales, or marketing. Working at Vanguard is great because crew alignment to the mission naturally leads not only to success for our clients, but also to a great work culture.
2. What kind of problems do you usually solve? I work in the Center for Analytics and Insights at Vanguard. We help our internal business partners serve their clients better by providing analytics-driven insights to support the client life journey. This includes winning new clients, onboarding them, and deepening engagement in the relationship to retirement and beyond. My data science team uses mathematical, statistical, and machine learning approaches to answer business questions related to financial professionals, institutional investors, retirement plan participants, and investment products.
3. Will I have an opportunity to grow my career? I’ve been at Vanguard for 10 years, and I can confidently say that I have grown professionally as well as personally during my tenure. I didn’t start my career as a Data Scientist, yet many growth opportunities were given to me to be prepared for my current role. Vanguard provides various opportunities to grow professionally, with a range of Data Science roles at different levels, support for ongoing learning, and opportunities to rotate to different teams. Vanguard can help you reach your goals. You should continuously push your own limit — individuals who have growth mind-sets will thrive at Vanguard.
So, what differentiates us from others? The entire company works toward one simple and clear goal of doing what’s best for our clients. We solve some of the company’s most complex and challenging problems using a mix of math, stats, and computer science skills. We bring diverse and innovative ideas and share them in a fun and collaborative environment. What else could you ask for as a talented Data Scientist?
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our Data & Analytics career our opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) is a nonprofit organization that specializes in coaching, mentoring, and supporting Black, Latino, and Native American professionals from college to business school and beyond as they climb the corporate ladder. In this blog, Antonia S. shares her experience with the organization and what she gained from their partnership.
Why did you choose to participate in MLT?
Why MLT? Well that’s an easy one! I realized very early on in my college career that I needed more personalized coaching and mentorship as I tried to navigate my future career. MLT was more than that for me. It’s a family of professionals I can go to for guidance and advice on everything from career choices to my next travel adventures. They have helped me at every personal and professional turning point in my life.
What surprised you about the experience?
Once MLT family, always MLT family. One of the most initially surprising experiences as a member of MLT is how much other MLT alumni will go above and beyond to advise, help, support, and motivate you personally and professionally. While it is encouraged from the organization, I believe we find great pride, purpose, and fulfillment in being able to promote and uplift each other whenever and wherever possible. As a collegiate MLT 2010 Career Prep Rising Leader, I had no idea what opportunities, networks, friends, and family I would gain almost 10 years later.
What do you hope to gain from your relationship with MLT?
As a MLT Career Prep and Professional Development alum, I have already gained so much from MLT. As I transition post-MBA, I look to extend my relationship with MLT by giving back to the organization in the form of mentorship and recruitment. At this point in my life, my goal is to help grow and strengthen the MLT footprint to ensure we continue maximizing our impact across the world. We are only as strong as our alumni base, so it’s important to keep connected with other MLT alumni, ensuring we are doing what we can to further diversify and enrich organizations in need of top notch Black, Latino, and Native American talent.
What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to continue making long lasting impressions on families and communities that need it most. I will marry my education, operations, and leadership development background with my newly acquired financial literacy and advisory skills to help organizations and families better plan, grow, and save for their future and generations to come.
What have you learned from working towards an MBA?
It’s not what you know, but what you do with what you know, how you impact others with what you know, who you know, and do not know and mostly importantly how you manage the connections and drive change with each of these factors.
We all struggle with something – what have you learned from your challenges?
Faith, confidence, and grit go a long way and cannot exist without each other. In the last two years, I’ve lost a parent, experienced an injury during a trip to a foreign country, and survived a highly competitive recruiting season at an equally competitive school. Through all of that, I am reminded that one’s mindset is the foundation to weathering any storm. With faith, confidence, and grit at the forefront you can make it through anything.
What advice would you give those searching for a career?
One of my favorite Instagram comedians once said, “How is the sky the limit when there are footprints on the moon?” My first thought was that this guy is hilarious and how does he think of this stuff? My second thought was that this question promotes a very real message of how self-limiting we can be when dreaming big and setting high goals for ourselves.
One of the biggest life lessons I’ve learned is that you can never dream too big. Getting into Wharton was not an easy feat and I could not have imagined myself a graduate of their MBA program 10 years ago. However, now as a Wharton 2018 graduate, I know this will not be my biggest accomplishment but a stepping stone to something far greater than I could imagine.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, learn about our MBA career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
June has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Spring has brought an annual feeling of renewal and the excitement of summer is peeking around the corner. One of my favorite sights is that of hopeful graduates in caps and gowns walking through the Philadelphia streets full of pride and promise for the future. Seeing them takes me back to my own graduation, when I was preparing to leave the relative comfort of my MBA program to embark on a new adventure with Vanguard. I still remember the unique blend of nervousness and excitement as I left the graduation ceremony knowing that everything was about to change.
I grew up in the Midwest, specifically Detroit, Michigan. Until I accepted the offer to join Vanguard, I had never lived anywhere else. I always had the benefit of a big, close-knit network of family and dear friends, who supported me during my academic and professional journeys. When moving day arrived, I remember backing my car out of my mom’s driveway, tearfully waving good-bye, and thinking, “Who in the world is going to help me unpack all of this stuff?” It was my first realization that I was on my own.
My first few days at Vanguard were so wonderful, that I had little time to spend on my anxieties about the transition. Everyone was so welcoming and willing to answer absolutely any question. My new leader took great care to encourage me to take my time learning the ropes. Regarding her expectations of me as a new manager in her organization, she said, “Just go out there and be yourself. People will see what I see and they’ll know you’re here to make things better. You’ll figure out the rest.” It was in that moment, when I was encouraged to just be me, that knew I had made the right decision.
In the weeks to come, things continued to go well. I had found my stride with my new team, and I was starting to speak the language in this vast new place. Though I was finding my footing, something was still missing. I had been in Philadelphia for a couple of months, and I was really longing for family. The absence of their special kind of support was tough at times. It was the only thing that stopped me from feeling I’d found the absolute perfect place for me. But then something happened to change everything. Another African-American woman in my department suggested I sign up for the Vanguard Black Professional Network (VBPN). In what seemed like no time at all, my inbox was flooded with invitations for coffee, lunch, and dinner. I saw an email from the head of VBPN asking about a dozen leaders to all please reach out and make sure I had everything I needed. Once these offers started flying in, I realized what had been missing during my transition. There were things unique to my experience as a black woman new to the Philadelphia area that I hadn’t even thought to ask for help with up to that point. I suddenly had recommendations for where to live, where to socialize, and where to have my hair done. It was like I stumbled upon 20 long-lost cousins with all sorts of advice! Slowly the gap I felt started to close.
In addition to leveraging my new family to get myself acclimated to Philadelphia, I found incredible value in the new professional relationships that I forged. Within 6 months I had a handful of mentors who served as sounding boards on professional matters large and small. Over time I solicited their feedback on presentations, asked for opinions on jobs I considered pursuing, and sought encouragement when I knew I’d made mistakes. It was the same support I’d found from friends and family back home. I came to realize that I had indeed found family at Vanguard. As time marched on, I joined the VBPN leadership team and have made it my priority to expand this feeling of “family” to our diverse and ever growing membership.
Years after I first arrived at Vanguard, I now look at the work that VBPN and our other Crew Resource Groups are doing in the name of inclusion for everyone: professional development programs, networking opportunities, cultural celebrations, and much more. I’m filled with pride to think of all that Vanguard leaders and crew are investing to make our company welcoming and supportive to all. I only hope that everyone involved fully appreciates the impact their work has on people like me. They really did help me find a new family. I’ll forever be grateful.
Has the universe ever given you a sign? An unmistakable, it’s-time-to-act type of signal? Well, as I was sitting at Vanguard’s Leadership Symposium in Philadelphia last fall, a topic hit my radar for the third time in the span of a few months. And since good things come in threes (right?), I committed then and there to take action – and my kids and I are glad I did. Yup, in this Vanguard blog, I’m talking about my kids. Let me explain…
I started my Vanguard career in April 2001 working in our Legal department in Malvern, PA. A lawyer by training, I was initially our “intellectual property guy,” though over the course of 9 years, my responsibilities grew and evolved until I was leading our Corporate Legal Services group and reporting to our General Counsel.
Because Vanguard encourages its crew to have a breadth of experiences, I had begun exploring leadership opportunities outside of our Legal department and outside of our PA campus. So in 2010, I moved to Vanguard’s Institutional business and, at the same time, my family and I (wife, four kids, one dog) moved to Scottsdale, Arizona. I’m very grateful to Vanguard for the fantastic opportunity to grow! Moving outside of my comfort zone work-wise and moving across the country were huge changes for us as a family. In many ways, these shared experiences of change brought us closer together.
Of course, I’ve always been involved in my kids’ lives – reading to them, playing games, doing yard work together, teaching them to drive (two so far!), etc. And I’ve coached all four of them on various youth soccer teams – I’ve lost count, but something like 18 teams overall. My work at Vanguard was always flexible enough that I could do these. But as the kids were growing older, I was getting worried that I was missing something. Enter Stew Friedman…
Stewart Friedman is a professor at Wharton and author of several books on the topic of having a richer life by integrating elements of home and work. I’m summarizing, but his view is that you can do real-world exercises that improve performance and increase your leadership capacity by better integrating all parts of your life. It’s a powerful and motivating message. I knew Vanguard wanted me (and all its leaders and crew) to have a richer life. I remember receiving this message three distinct times – at a Vanguard executive development program, during a conversation with other Vanguard leaders, and at the Leadership Symposium (where Professor Friedman himself presented!). It was time to act.
One of the things I did was ask each of my children to write down a handful of things they would like to do with me, just the two of us. They all came up with fantastic ideas, fun and interesting things – why hadn’t I done this sooner?!? My 17 year-old daughter, Maddie, had a few ideas – among them were to learn about money and investing, and for the two of us to read a book together and then discuss, like a book club. So with Stew Friedman’s guidance, we “integrated” these two ideas and decided to read a book together about money and investing!
Maddie and I read The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko. Though written in the mid-1990s, its core lessons still ring true – the keys to financial independence involve living within your means, being frugal, and spending time on budgeting and planning, among others. They were great lessons for Maddie and helpful reminders for me. And wonderfully aligned to Vanguard’s investment philosophy and mission as an organization.
Here’s what Maddie had to say about the experience: “I’ve had a lot of fun doing the book club with Dad. When he asked what we could do together, I thought of books because we both like to read, and thought about financial things because I don’t know a lot about it and he works at Vanguard. Now, not only has he taught me about managing money, but we’ve had some meaningful and grown-up conversations beyond that, too. It brought us closer together and, to me, reinforced the value of reaching out to those you love.”
It worked so well that Maddie and I are now on our 3rd book, Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. We are having a wonderful time exploring and connecting over these books – and discussing life in general. I’m a lucky and super-proud dad, and I’m glad for the opportunity to reflect on that with Father’s Day just around the corner. Thank you universe (okay, really thank you Stew Friedman and Vanguard) for giving me that unmistakable sign!
My parents emigrated from the Philippines to the United States before I was born. My siblings and I are the lucky recipients of their courageous American dream – for their future children to become the first generation of American-born children in the family. They settled down in New York City, in Stuyvesant Town, on New York’s Lower East Side. As a young girl, I always knew I wanted to work amidst the hustle and bustle of NYC. But limited income, spread across a growing family, meant my parents had little savings for me to attend undergrad without incurring significant debt. I buckled down and was fortunate to earn a full-ride scholarship towards an undergraduate degree that allowed me to achieve my dream – and experiences across a variety of different NYC institutions: a Japanese investment firm, a publicly-traded global investment bank, and UK-based index company.
Needing a career move
My life transitioned when I gave birth to my daughter. She made me pause and look at everything in a new way. Unfortunately, my time with her was limited – this time in my career often had me traveling cross country, entertaining client relationships or commuting over one and a half hours to-and-from the office.
Then along came Vanguard. Now, I had been an investor in Vanguard funds for years. And I was Vanguard’s key account manager while at my last firm. But I never truly got to know the culture until getting to know the crew. Could it be true – a company that cared as much for its people as it did its clients? It was refreshing to hear that employees would be empowered to make decisions with a different core mission in mind, one which had a sense of purpose, of thinking beyond short term gains.
So we took the leap. I joined Vanguard and relocated my family to the Philly suburbs. It wasn’t easy. I didn’t foresee how much I would miss my family, how much my daughter, and only child, would miss her weekend play dates with cousins. I found it hard to network with crew whose relationships spanned over the course of years of family ties, neighborhood block parties, and high school relationships. I didn’t follow the Phillies or the Eagles, and I didn’t know what a tomato pie was! Only with the support of my husband could I have ever made the move. For the first time, I was out of my comfort zone – the figurative and literal new kid in the neighborhood.
Finding my Vanguard family
By chance, shortly after joining Vanguard, I attended a full-day conference sponsored by the Crew Resource Group “Leadership and Engagement for Asian Professionals” (LEAP). The inaugural event – focused on connecting, inspiring, and elevating crew of Asian descent – was motivating to see. Hundreds of crew members who, like myself, were transplants from different cities worldwide gathered together to celebrate our shared culture. The energy and the vibe of foreign-born or second-generation immigrants who work hard to embrace the opportunities they’ve been given is palpable if you’re familiar with it – I was inspired and reminded of the resilience my parents faced as transplants into NYC. But hearing leaders speak to the value of inclusion, of diversity of cultures, and of thought, I knew I made the right choice coming to Vanguard. I reached out to the LEAP leadership team after the conference to volunteer my time – and give back the sense of community and inclusion LEAP gave to me.
As we look back on Asian/Pacific American Heritage month, three years after being an audience member, I am proud to be one of a 100-crew member volunteer group that dedicated over six months of their hard work, creativity, and time to put on our third, now global LEAP conference. I am proud of working for compassionate leaders who genuinely support crew in their desires to give back, through Vanguard’s Crew Resource Groups (CRGs) or community-based programs. And I am proud to call Vanguard home.
Omar S. heads the U.S. Investment Grade Taxable Research effort at Vanguard and was selected as a Toigo Fellow while getting his MBA at Columbia Business School. In this blog, he shares what the Toigo Foundation means to him as well as a recap of a recent event.
During Catapult, I was one of three panelists in the Investment Management Career webinar, where we talked about our respective career journeys, including my journey at Vanguard. We heard from Vanguard leaders, including CEO Tim Buckley and CIO Greg Davis, who shared their personal Vanguard stories, their perspective on the markets and the importance of diverse thought and talent. Additionally, the audience had the opportunity to learn more about careers in finance, particularly at Vanguard, whether it be full-time positions or prominent MBA programs.
The evening reception was a great way for participants to connect and hear testimonials from crew across various Vanguard divisions and learn how Vanguard is much more than an investment management firm. For Vanguard crew, it served as an avenue to learn the past, present, and future aspirations of an impressive group of applicants with deep, varied experience across the top business schools in the country. I often tell people that, financial assistance aside, the more valuable aspects of the Toigo Fellowship throughout my MBA experience were the small, intimate gatherings with leading corporate sponsors. I’ve long felt it offered a chance to have meaningful connections and conversations with potential employers, and these impactful discussions increased the chance to secure summer internships and full-time positions. We worked toward replicating that experience at Vanguard for the Toigo finalists, and I believe we succeeded.
The second day of Catapult saw several panel discussions and afforded Vanguard an opportunity to not only continue engaging with Toigo, but also for staff panelists for the Investment Management, Social Impact Investing, Emerging Markets, FinTech and Foundations & Endowment panels to hear perspectives from those on the front lines in those specialties. The day also included a Career Connections segment, where Toigo members heard insights from the co-head of Vanguard’s MBA Development Program and two current MBA rotation candidates. Vanguard’s final day of involvement included a Career Expo and Career Coaching Panel where we could, again, talk more to Toigo Fellow finalists and alums about Vanguard’s MBA opportunities as well as our culture, philosophy, and exciting growth.
I was humbled by everyone’s willingness to help, and the coordinated effort between Human Resources and the businesses solidified a great few days with Toigo and served as a foundation from which we can certainly grow. I thought it was a wonderful collective effort and we received a lot of positive feedback.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, learn about our MBA careers opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re featuring a series of blogs dedicated to working mothers and their experience at Vanguard. In this video, Caroline C. and her daughter Allie share their insights from a special “Bring Your Daughter to Work Day” event, including how they’re planning for the future and why Caroline feels she “doesn’t have to separate being a mom from working.”
We recently sat down with Anthony W., a Sales Executive in Vanguard’s Financial Advisor Services. Anthony’s role is unique in that he spends his time “in the field” with advisors, and does not work in a Vanguard office. Anthony shares his thoughts on why he loves sales, how he makes a difference, and how football prepared him for his role at Vanguard.
Thanks for joining us, Anthony. Your role is different compared to many of our crew. Can you talk about a day in the life covering financial advisors in Los Angeles?
I partner with wire house and independent financial advisors through the broker dealer channel. I spend my days learning about the landscape of their firms, each advisor or team’s business model, their investment philosophy, types of clients they serve, service model, and their growth strategies. From there, I focus on creating value for them, which includes: providing Vanguard products and resources to give their clients the best chance for investment success, sharing perspectives that are new or different, and offering actionable ideas to help grow their businesses. My goal is to ensure Vanguard is a part of their future growth and success.
You don’t get to spend a lot of time with co-workers, but Vanguard has a very collaborative culture. Working remote, is it hard to stay connected with your team when you don’t sit near them?
We’re still connected, it’s just a different type of connection. We catch up over video and group text rather than going out to lunch or meeting in person. You have to be proactive to stay connected and exchange information. The camaraderie is there, it’s just digital. Commuting in Los Angeles provides plenty of windshield time to call and speak with peers.
So it’s fair to say this is a very independent role.
Autonomy is huge – I liken our work to running a business inside of a business. It’s a big ask to run a territory, and there is less oversight, which means you have to be disciplined and trustworthy. Working well with your management team and internal partners is key. I enjoy the opportunity, but it’s not for everyone.
Learn more about our Financial Advisor Services sales careers in the video below!
What drew you to being a sales professional?
I played football at the University of Arizona and I enjoyed the competition and adrenaline rush of the game. For me, sales was a natural transition from sports. You have to set a goal, analyze the industry and competitive landscape, and execute a game plan. Football taught me the importance of a highly functioning team that works together towards a win. Instead of defending opponents on the field, we’re using Vanguard resources to give advisors an advantage in the marketplace.
Sales is also about helping people arrive at a conclusion they hadn’t considered. Some of my favorite advisors are the ones who have never partnered with Vanguard. I like the challenge of establishing a new relationship, building credibility, and helping advisors manage their assets. When you’ve made a difference for a client, it can feel like making a big play in a big game.
You’ve worked in sales in other roles at Vanguard. How did these previous roles prepare you for this one?
I started in our Business Development Group (BDG), a department that specializes in bringing new clients into Vanguard and introducing them to our advice capabilities. This was a tremendous opportunity as it allowed me to hear thousands of investor’s stories, understand the issues they were facing, and support them through the global financial crisis.
Working in BDG was like going to sales university–it taught me how to have a consultative sales conversation. Talking to someone who trusts you with their financial life is powerful and humbling. There can be a lot of uncertainty and we were able to help clients financially and emotionally through the investing process. After you master these skills, you are ready to move on to a different level of client, with different needs.
So obviously you like sales, but why sales at Vanguard instead of another firm?
I’ve been at Vanguard for eleven years and the culture is very different from other firms where I’ve worked. Vanguard puts clients first. We have no outside shareholders to answer to. No conflicting interests. It’s gratifying to walk into an advisor’s office and know that I can do good and do well at the same time.
What advice would you give someone who’s interested in a sales career here?
Be a good listener and learn how to disagree well with those who hold opposing views. Both of these take time and practice, but give you the ability to connect with others and overcome real objections.
Being successful at sales is more than identifying current needs and providing solutions. Deepening your business and investment acumen will help you deliver differentiated perspectives that add value. Clients need us to offer something that enhances what they’re already doing and make them more successful.
It’s also key to remember our guiding values – focus on doing the right thing and giving all investors a fair shake. It’s truly why we’re here.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
National Girl Scout Day: Inspiring and empowering the next generation
March 12th is National Girl Scout Day, a day celebrating the organization’s empowerment of girls and its positive impacts to communities across the country. To recognize the day, Vanguard shares this story of how our leaders inspired the next generation at a special Girl Scout event.
A common bond that many Vanguard crew members share is the desire to connect with and make a difference in our local communities. Vanguard encourages crew to prioritize community outreach through volunteer service and inspiring the next generation of talent. Susan M., a graphic design manager in International Marketing Services, saw an opportunity to do just this through her daughter’s Girl Scouts troop. “After comparing the Girl Scout organization’s core values with Vanguard’s, I noticed many similarities. I realized that there was an opportunity to help young women take their first step in their journey as a leader by leveraging my talented colleagues.” said Susan.
Sharing our journey
Susan worked closely with the Girl Scouts organization to create an event where the girls were treated to a panel of talented women from various Vanguard departments, who shared their leadership journeys. The panel included leaders from Investment Management, Marketing & Communications, and International Marketing. In addition, the audience received a step-by-step how-to guide, and, of course, a custom Girl Scouts patch.
During the panel discussion, each leader explained their unique career path and what steps they took to become the leader they are today. This helped the girls think more deeply about what qualities they possess. The panel members were sure to highlight some of the less obvious leadership qualities like observation and listening skills. The discussion was interactive, complete with time dedicated to Q&A.
Envisioning their future
Following the panel discussion, the girls were broken into small groups and asked to create a “dream board.” This helped the girls conceptualize and express their dreams and aspirations through images and words—emphasizing the important lesson to the girls that their goals are attainable. Along with creating the boards, the girls were also tasked with looking at their dream jobs at a 360 degree angle: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Throughout the activity, the leaders circulated around the room and asked questions to help the girls envision a logical path towards their goals. One of the women on the panel, Stephanie G., said, “The dream board activity was an amazing way to get the girls thinking about how they could be a leader in the future. There was one girl who aspires to be an author. Another girl talked about being a scientist. And another about photography and traveling the world. I think everyone was smiling by the end of the night.”
A passion for development
When I asked the panel to reflect on the event, their responses spoke volumes about how passionate they are about developing talent and sharing their knowledge and experience. The members of the panel seemed to benefit from the event just as much as the attendees.
Rachel C. also shared her positive thoughts about the event. “I enjoyed the event both personally and professionally. I was able to stand beside some of my favorite peers and represent female leadership at Vanguard. An event like this one shows that Vanguard cares about the development of young women.”
Sharing our expertise with the next generation is one way Vanguard crew connect with our communities. Learn more about how Vanguard helps communities have the best chance for success. 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.