March 31, 2016 by texasbbacareerservices
Sagar Patel, UT McCombs BBA Alum 2015
Majors: Business Honors and Finance, Minor: Computer Science (certificate)
Please tell us about how you found your way to Vanguard.
Entering my freshman year of college, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my professional career!
I used the first few semesters of introductory courses to understand what kind of work and content excited me. After my first few marketing and management information classes, I decided I wanted to try working in a marketing department of a more technical company. After a marketing internship I realized marketing wasn’t the career path for me, so I shifted my focus to finance. What brought me specifically to Vanguard was the McCombs Career Expo during my fall semester of junior year. Based on my research of Vanguard, I was able to relate to the underlying mission of Vanguard and the ethical way they operate. I was hired into their internship program which allowed me to get exposure to a large, diverse organization while also taking ownership of a personal project to make a real business impact.
I was then offered a full-time position into their Vanguard Accelerated Development Program (VADP).
What does the VADP position entail?
The Vanguard Accelerated Development Program (VADP) is a 15-month program that covers four different rotations. What attracted me to this program was the structure and diversity of the rotations. During my first rotation, I was fortunate to work in a client-facing role, this gave me a strong foundation and understanding of Vanguard’s products and how they are communicated to our clients.
My second rotation was a project management role that focused on process improvement and project management skills. My last two rotations are advance rotations to help me gain experience in areas of my interest. In such a large company, this is where the program exceeded my expectations. Supplemental to these rotational experiences, the program offers opportunities for professional development, exposure to senior leaders across the organization, as well as continuous personal development.
What do you like about working for Vanguard?
I appreciate how each crew member (employee) aligns under a single, meaningful mission statement. This is the key to excellence in our ethical and compliance standards, our process improvement efforts, and our growth and innovation. The collaborative environment is driven by a group of great people who come to work happy each day. Vanguard’s commitment to the community is one of the strongest I’ve seen in any organization. Throughout the year, there are countless successful volunteer initiatives driven by the crew; ranging from collecting food for local food banks, sponsoring children during the holidays, and loaning employees to work for United Way.
What skills make a person successful in this position?
To succeed in a fast-paced program like this, there are few skills I believe a candidate would need. First and foremost, you have to be able to handle ambiguity. I quickly learned that solutions to the business problems we face are never clear cut. A candidate should also be comfortable with working without guidelines and structure. Entering a new department every few months requires a balance between being inquisitive and making contributions at the table early on.
Please share your general career advice?
Use your time at UT to have as many unique experiences as possible. Each student’s story is going to be different. Make sure yours is one that highlights your passions and strengths. Everything else will come naturally.