Internal Audit: diverse work, a welcoming team, and time for my son
When I started my career over 10 years ago, I had recently graduated college and was thrilled to have a job and steady paycheck. I followed most of my friends into a career in external auditing, performing IT audits. Shortly after I started my career, the stock market crashed. As I saw people around me struggling to find jobs, I felt fortunate to have my position in a company where I was able to learn, grow, and travel all across the country. However, after 7 years of traveling between clients and working busy schedules, my personal life had changed – I was getting ready to marry and start a family and knew I needed a more predictable work schedule.
Although I knew that the career change was the right decision for me, it was still nerve-wracking. I loved where I worked, my colleagues, and the variety of work on my plate. I was worried that the new position would be boring and it was daunting to think about rebuilding my reputation again with people who didn’t know me.
Now after 3 years at Vanguard I can say that the change was the best decision I could have made. During my time here, I have never audited the same process twice and am able to get a much deeper understanding of the processes than I was able to do in external auditing. I am afforded the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Vanguard’s business, network with management across Vanguard, and constantly learn new skills. Additionally, my leaders frequently give me stretch opportunities to stay challenged.
I worried about rebuilding my reputation in a new company, however, within the first week I realized that Vanguard really appreciated my prior experiences – team members asked for my opinion and saw me as a valued member of the team. The culture at Vanguard is unlike any culture I have seen in all the companies I’ve worked with in my prior auditing experience. I have made some great friends in my time here and can truly say that I enjoy coming to work.
I appreciated the career change the most when my son, Wesley, was born 21 months ago. I remember coming back to work after maternity leave and about a week in, I received the dreaded call from daycare that my son had a fever. My team was so understanding and I was able to go pick him up and work from home. I appreciated the flexibility I was offered while still being able to keep my work progressing. Nothing can match being home in the evenings to have dinner as a family and to put my son to bed each night.
If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our Internal Audit career opportunities at www.vanguardjobs.com.
Krista, a Fund Financial Services (FFS) Senior Financial Analyst, approached her team’s networking event with a clear purpose, “We want to educate crew on what we do and the many crucial processes we touch every day.” At a company like Vanguard, there are so many options for career development and, at times, it can be a little overwhelming. That’s why more and more teams like FFS are hosting networking events for crew throughout the organization to learn more about the department, the teams, and open roles. This event was set in the style of “speed dating” – a format where crew meet with team representatives for 10 minutes, then switch tables throughout the event. Those interested in pursuing careers in FFS got information about critical functions and groups, key initiatives, and how to build financial acumen. Attendees even got to learn more about competencies and skills needed to excel in these roles.
“The interesting thing about our team is that there is a transparent career path. You can go from an entry level position all the way to manager with a clear roadmap. The job is primarily project based, not day-to-day versus a typical daily operational role,” described Brad, a Supervisor in Fund Reporting. Krista added, “Attention to detail is important. We are constantly interacting with teams both internally and externally. Relationship management is also a key component.”
Brad shared with the attendees, “We see the full lifecycle of our reports (annual, semi-annual, quarterly) and they have to be diligently reviewed and ready to send to shareholders in strict adherence to the production schedule. You need to possess great time management skills to manage the entire process. I like that aspect – you finish with a tangible product at the end of the day. You get to hold it and touch it. When people ask me what I do, I can hand them a finished product.”
Jake said, “I joined our team over two years ago when there were nine analysts plus managers. Now we’re over 20. It’s an explosive period for our group and we’re looking for new talent. We hope to find people who are genuinely interested.
Critical thinking is an important part of the job. We may get a week notification that we’ll be trading a new product. We have to get ready for new processes quickly.”
Kelsey, who coordinated the event, said, “FFS has previously hosted speed networking events to provide an opportunity for crew throughout Vanguard to learn more about how we support Vanguard’s funds and clients, while building relationships and networking. We expanded the event and gave different groups from the Finance division a chance to represent their teams. Overall we had 28 different teams represented and over 95 crew attending!”
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?”
The giving season is upon us, and many Vanguard crew are making it their mission to give to the less fortunate. In this video, crew speak specifically about one very special campaign and why brightening a child’s holiday means so much to them.