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Internship with Vanguard
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Jessica Tucker

Hometown: Phoenixville, PA
Majors: Communication Arts & Sciences and Sociology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I knew about Vanguard from family and friends who work for the company. I met with representatives at Penn State's fall career fair in the Bryce Jordan Center and then applied to the College to Corporate internship program online.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

I spent 10 weeks with Vanguard in their College to Corporate internship program. I worked in the public relations department. There were approximately 30 business interns spread across different areas of the company. About half came from financial backgrounds and half came from non-business backgrounds. 

There were professional intern events approximately once a week where we had brown bag lunches with different group overviews, resume tips, etc. The Leadership Development team also organized overviews regarding Vanguard’s Culture and Diversity Department and their Total Rewards Package. Outside of these events, everyone in the company was more than willing to meet and provide information about their roles. The interns also participated in a Facebook Challenge where we split into teams with each team creating a Facebook post about their experience, which was a fun way to get to know the other interns. 

In my role, I was given multiple projects. First, I compiled weekly press reports that were distributed around the company. After conducting these reports, I ultimately compiled a proposal to streamline the report distribution. I spent some time analyzing Twitter trends in the financial industry and broader private sector to develop a recommendation on whether the public relations group should utilize a specified Twitter account. I handled press releases and local press efforts for Vanguard’s annual food drive. I also handled all press activities for Vanguard’s My Classroom Economy, their free financial literacy program. My favorite project was working with the corporate strategy department by researching media trends in 22 international markets and presenting recommendations on viable press markets. 

Throughout my experience I was given valuable, concrete feedback that I was able to use to improve my work, even in just 10 weeks. If interested in a fulltime position, the process for applying was streamlined for interns and interviews were conducted during the internship program. Vanguard worked hard to make my internship a valuable experience and it showed.

“Working at Vanguard gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class to the real world.”

How did this experience impact you academically?

Working at Vanguard gave me the opportunity to apply what I learned in class to the real world. I took writing techniques that I learned in my CAS classes and applied them to press releases and staff communications. I was even able to use my sociology experience when presenting about change management in one of my proposals. I also had the opportunity to practice my public speaking and presentation skills in multiple forums, for my fellow interns as well as senior leaders.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

Ultimately I hope to work for a large international corporation in the corporate communications or human resources department. This experience gave me exposure to a large international company and experience in the public relations field. Working at Vanguard made me realize my passion for corporate communications and exposed me to different communications leaders in the company.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students. An internship at Vanguard is a great way to get into finance, or business in general, because they value the diversity that Liberal Arts majors can bring to the table. 

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