How my time in the Marines shaped my civilian career
Vanguard strives to ensure veterans joining our crew have tools and support to develop new skills and thrive in their careers. As part of National Career Development Month, crew member Amy M. shares her story of moving from military service to a civilian career.
Like most people who served in the United States armed forces, I take a great deal of pride in my military background. I’m always excited to share my experiences as a United States Marine and answer the wide range of questions that tend to surface. I find that many people are interested in learning about my transition from the military to the civilian workforce or the most valuable advice I received. Perhaps my favorite question has become “How has your military experience influenced your civilian career?” because it is – without question – an experience I harken back to every single day as a Vanguard leader.
For me, my military experience has been a critical success factor (both personally and professionally) and over time, I’ve come to realize just how much it has enriched and influenced my leadership journey. The experience has enabled me to espouse the strong virtues of both military and Vanguard leadership philosophies: valuing core purpose and shared vision, exhibiting moral courage, understanding the true concept of “team”, and demonstrating the strategic agility to achieve results.
Leadership development is a vital component of military training. A fabric of the culture and core to service men and women alike, 14 distinct leadership traits are instilled into Marines and translated into the lives we lead as citizens. I believe they parallel Vanguard’s core leadership values and I continue to hold these principles in high regard and seek to practice them daily in my leadership journey. Below are just a few of the leadership traits that have become part of my DNA as a Vanguard leader.
Dependability: Counted on always.
Whether in battle or in our communities, Marines develop solutions – not excuses. As warriors and as citizens, Marines can always be counted on.
Integrity: The cornerstone of character.
Nothing you can learn about leadership is as important as earning the trust of your Marines. To lead Marines is to follow principles, acting with honor when all eyes are on you, or when no one is watching. Great leaders must first be great men and women, accountable to the mission and those who follow.
Initiative: Every Marine is a leader.
When there’s a job to do, no Marine waits to be told what to do. Whether on the front lines or the home front, Marines look for ways to improve the situation at hand.
Unselfishness: Team before self. There are few endeavors as selfless as becoming a United States Marine. This team-first mentality becomes part of every Marine’s DNA, from the battlefield they serve on, to the communities they serve in.
Knowledge: Know more today than yesterday.
Without knowledge, judgment is reduced to intuition; decision-making becomes nothing more than a guess. On the battlefield or in the business world, those who are constantly learning and seeking self-improvement find the most success.
Enthusiasm: Motivation is contagious.
There’s no such thing as an ordinary mission for Marines – anything worth doing is worth giving it your all. To carry out a task in the Marine Corps is to motivate everyone to believe in it, thereby increasing the likelihood of mission success.
What life experiences have influenced your career? As we approach the end of the year, what will you reflect upon and how will you align your personal values with your talents and career interests as you think about the year ahead?
Our internal networking group, VetsConnect, strives to create a sense of community for active duty, veteran, and civilian crew members. If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
An overview of the Financial Advisor Development Program
Like many college students, my senior year involved tackling my job search. As a finance major with a concentration in financial planning, it was important that I found a job in this industry, while also connecting with a company that would support my desire to pursue the CFP® certification. I wanted to work face-to-face with clients, as helping people was one of the main reasons that I chose a career in financial planning. Working for a company that valued their employees and cared about career progression was another necessity.
In the midst of my job search, a Vanguard representative attended one of Virginia Tech’s Financial Planning Association (FPA) Student Chapter Meetings and presented on a new program they were offering for financial planning students – the Financial Advisor Development Program (FADP). I learned that FADP was a two-year accelerated rotational program created for recent college graduates interested in pursuing a career as a financial advisor. I quickly found that FADP sounded like the job for me.
The first three months of the program are dedicated to achieving the proper licensing requirements, FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 licenses, with substantial support and resources provided by Vanguard. Not only did Vanguard provide support and resources to help me prepare for the CFP® exam, but they even paid me for the six weeks of studying leading up to the exam. I would receive the CFP® certification in two years (as opposed to the industry standard of three years) through the Apprenticeship Pathway experience exception.
This program gives participants a well-rounded education, mentor relationship and hands-on experiences before they start their career as a financial advisor. In addition, the overall environment I found at Vanguard assured me I had found everything I wanted in a company. Every person I met wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When I got the call that I had been chosen for the program, I excitedly accepted.
Fast forward a few months to June, when I began my career with Vanguard as an FADP participant. I was glad for the opportunity to be around people who were going through the same experience of studying for the CFP® exam. I grew close to my coworkers very quickly and found that having their support was a key component to staying motivated. Together, we all benefitted from the support and guidance of both the FADP leadership team and our assigned mentors – experienced CFP® professionals. Starting a new position in a brand new program can be pretty overwhelming, and having so many friendly faces on your side is very beneficial.
With the testing phase behind me, I am currently in the program’s first rotation within Vanguard’s Business Development Group. In this role, we communicate with clients in hopes of bringing them to Vanguard. We will uncover clients’ needs and educate them on what Vanguard has to offer. During the second rotation, I’ll help Vanguard’s high net worth clients in Flagship Services, serving existing clients who work with a financial advisor at Vanguard and focusing on deepening my relationship management skills. The third and final rotation will take place in Vanguard’s Advice department, Personal Advisor Services (PAS), creating opportunities to learn Vanguard’s Advice methodology and demonstrating how our advice offer can help clients looking for guidance with their portfolio. I am excited to begin speaking with clients and helping them to get on the right track with their financial success. I am confident the knowledge and experiences I’ll gain from FADP will set me up for success as a financial advisor and I’m looking forward to all that is to come!
-Sara Beth W.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Vanguard is always looking for people who are bright, collaborative, and, of course, focused on our clients. But recruiting new crew can be a challenge – there are so many available jobs in our industry and we always want someone who fits into our culture. Sometimes we have to think outside the box to find those who believe in our mission.
Recently, we found many of these like-minded individuals while volunteering in our community. Since charitable work is a big part of our culture, it made sense that we would find others there who share our values of client-first, teamwork, inclusion, and integrity. We also discovered that these events gave us an opportunity to answer questions about life at Vanguard and how to join our crew, while still making a difference. Thus, the College Community Outreach (CCO) program was born.
The program is a recruiting initiative, a volunteer program, a networking opportunity, and a coaching session all rolled into one. Vanguard’s University Relations team, in partnership with VetsConnect (our internal military network), invite motivated college students to join us at community service events with a goal of improving our community and learning more about Vanguard. While volunteering, students are able to discuss our culture and career options, and speak directly with hiring managers and HR professionals. And the program isn’t just for potential crew, it also allows current crew to develop leadership, project management, and relationship skills.
Robert G., an Operations Associate in our Retail Investor Group, shares how the program helped him secure a position at Vanguard. “The many volunteer projects afforded me the opportunity to meet with some of Vanguard’s crew. I was able to talk with them and get to know them on a personal level, hearing their stories as they reflected on their time at Vanguard.”
Another benefit is those seeking employment with Vanguard not only learn about our culture, but can also better prepare for an interview. Due to his service in the navy, Robert is passionate about veteran’s programs and was able to meet Vanguard crew volunteering at the Veterans Multi Service Center (VMSC) in Philadelphia. Robert explains, “In my previous career in the Navy, volunteering for projects was a frequent undertaking. After hearing about crew experiences, I was able to reflect upon my time in the Navy and figure out a way to apply my experiences and talents during my interviews.” After being hired fulltime, Robert will be supported in his continuing efforts with VMSC and other organizations by his leaders, peers, and VetsConnect. And maybe one day he’ll be the one sharing his experiences while searching for the next new crew member.
Vanguard is committed to attracting top talent from our nation’s universities to help serve the company mission. Interns are awarded the opportunity to solve real business problems on a daily basis. Though any interview process can seem intimidating, it is a crucial process that helps match intern candidates with companies. Here’s some information and tips from current interns!
There is a broad spectrum of ways that interns have learned about available opportunities at Vanguard, including career fairs, conferences, and more. Interview experiences vary based on program, location, and individual, but they do have one goal in common – to attract talent and inform potential candidates about Vanguard. Generally, there will be a first round interview, which could be over the phone or in person at various conferences or college campuses. If successful, you will be invited for an on-site visit at one of the main campuses in the U.S.
“I interviewed with Vanguard at the Grace Hopper conference for women in technology in Houston last fall. I met some of the crew members at the booth and received an invitation to interview the next day. During my interview, I answered a mix of behavioral and technical questions and talked about my internship goals and interests.”
-Isabel Uzsoy | UNC-Chapel Hill | Computer Science & English Literature | Cary, NC | IT- Retail
Practice the S.T.A.R. method for interviewing and have a general understanding of Vanguard’s mission.
Be prepared to take in a lot of information! While Vanguard will be vetting your experiences, the process is also designed to inform you about the company.
Be yourself! The most effective quality in a candidate is confidence. Tell Vanguard crew about your experiences and feel comfortable elaborating.
The search for an internship can be a very intimidating process. There are always a number of questions to consider: Will this experience be beneficial down the road? Are interns considered for a full-time roles after the conclusion of the internship? If so, what makes the company one that people would want to work for? Here, some of the 2017 Charlotte interns weigh in on finding Vanguard:
NC State University | Computer Science | Winston-Salem, NC | IT– Global Investment Systems
I heard about Vanguard through a career fair held by my department of studies at college last fall where I got the chance to meet some of my future coworkers. Like many students outside the business school, I did not know Vanguard existed, let alone that they are leaders in the financial industry. This stems from the fact that Vanguard spends very little on advertising; rather, they rely on referrals from satisfied investors. That knowledge alone tipped me off that Vanguard would offer a full and enriching internship experience.
UNC-Chapel Hill | Computer Science & Information Science | Charlotte, NC | IT-Retail
My path to Vanguard was unique from other interns. I first heard about the great opportunities here through an email from my school’s career services that talked about an IT Career Explore day at Vanguard (a day to learn about Vanguard and its work with technology). I attended this event in Charlotte, which in turn led me to apply for the internship and receive an offer for a phone interview. After this, I was invited to a day-long interview event at the Charlotte offices where I really realized that interning at Vanguard would be an amazing opportunity – and that realization has definitely turned out to be true!
USC-Columbia | Finance | Cross, SC | Business – Human Resources
My search for an internship was definitely a process helped by the support of Vanguard representatives. My university held a career exposition on campus, where representatives from Vanguard attended. I noticed that everyone I spoke with from Vanguard were very approachable and welcoming, which immediately captured my attention and interest in learning more about the company and the opportunities they offered. After further connecting with a representative, she recommended I look into the C2C Internship program, which turned out to be the best decision yet!
BYU-Idaho | Software Engineering | Sugar Hill, GA | IT- Retail
A friend of mine completed their internship at Vanguard and later joined full-time. After speaking with him, I learned a few things about Vanguard. During the internship, it’s apparent that Vanguard cares about collaboration, fostering a positive work environment, having a real work experience, and providing great networking opportunities. Work-life balance has always been a priority to me, which is difficult in the IT space, but Vanguard allows for both meaningful work and personal life. That means I can enjoy my work and the things I love outside of the office. After experiencing Vanguard for five weeks, I can confidently say that my internship has been a satisfying, enriching experience.
UNC-Chapel Hill | Computer Science & English Literature | Cary, NC | IT- Retail
My first interaction with Vanguard was at a university career fair. Later that fall, I was able to attend the Grace Hopper conference in Houston and I met more Vanguard representatives and interviewed for this internship. Vanguard’s commitment to adopting the best technology for its mission appealed to me, as well as the broad scope of projects they work on. My favorite part of the summer so far has been trying new technologies and roles as a part of my team.