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.
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.
As the sun blazes down on a hot June day, six Vanguard crew members stand at attention. All six are veterans, representing different branches of the U.S. military, all preparing to honor our symbol of freedom.
June 14th marked Flag Day – an occasion to commemorate the adoption of the American flag – and Vanguard recognized the day with a ceremony hosted by our internal military network, VetsConnect. Open to all crew, the ceremony is held annually, rain or shine. Jesse Hamilton, an Investment Management Group Process Expert, and veteran of the U.S. Army, shares, “Vanguard’s Flag Day ceremony is a special event where crew members come together to pay homage to the nation’s colors and the freedom they represent.”
The event opened with a live rendition of the national anthem, sung by crew member Lisa Rawus, followed by a ceremonial flag detail: a ritual where the flag is lowered and folded according to flag-folding protocol. Then a new flag is unfolded and raised.
After the flag detail, crew member Kyle Dolan presented a brief history of the flag and the significance of June 14th – not only the day the Second Continental Congress adopted the flag, but also the birthday of the United States Army. Dolan shared that VetsConnect offered this event in order to preserve the traditions, history, pride, and respect that are due the nation’s symbol. “May we never lose sight of the meaning of our flag.” he concluded.
In addition to the Flag Day ceremony, VetsConnect offers resources, support, and networking opportunities throughout the year, all to create a sense of community for active duty, veteran, and civilian crew members. Hamilton observes, “There’s a strong sense of camaraderie within Vanguard’s veteran community, almost identical to the camaraderie I experienced during my time in the U.S. Army.”