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Internship with Vanguard
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Sarah Kim

Sarah Kim

Major: Economics
Minor: Information Sciences and Technology
Hometown: Blue Bell, Pennsylvania 
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I first learned about this opportunity through an information session run by a Vanguard recruiter. Vanguard's College to Corporate Internship Program seemed like a unique and engaging experience that kept my interest from the start. After talking to the Vanguard recruiter, I connected with the Vanguard table at the Penn State career fair later that week.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

Through the College to Corporate Internship Program, I was able to have hands on training in the investment side of the business. I worked on multiple projects ranging from analyzing data to handling client funds while working on one 10 week-long capstone project. I was able to connect with senior leaders while gaining valuable business experience in an environment that fosters creative thinking and taking initiative. I was able to see and work with many other departments to complete these multiple projects and truly understand what it takes to run an ethical private investment management company. This experience has been an honest insight into how a profitable and client-oriented company succeeds in volatile markets.

How did this experience impact you academically?

As an undergraduate student earns her or his degree, courses focus on overall concepts and theoretical situations. While major-related classes can utilize real world examples, students are still not able to take this knowledge and implement it themselves. This internship has provided a concrete way in which to use my knowledge and hone it within the modern day work place. I was able to see how theories I learned in class applied to problems that arose during my time as an intern. This type of hands-on experience allowed for a further development that classes alone couldn’t provide. Studying compounded interest rates is one thing, seeing them happen live is another.

"I was able to connect with senior leaders while gaining valuable business experience in an environment that fosters creative thinking and taking initiative."

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

Before this internship, I had assumed that after college I would just enter the workforce as an entry-level employee and slowly climb the corporate ladder. As I experienced more and more of this internship, I realized that I wanted a more broad experience than an entry-level job allowed. I wanted to utilize my innate curiosity and love of challenges in a rotational program instead. This type of program after graduation allows for an all-encompassing experience at a large organization, which pushes businesspeople like myself to understand the big picture when it comes to companies. I would not have thought of taking this route if not for this internship at Vanguard.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would encourage all Liberal Arts students to apply to this program. Vanguard shows in this program their belief that diversity of thought (especially through different disciplines and majors) and their commitment to helping student interns grow as businesspeople. This program advocates and brings attention to many healthy and beneficial business practices to students while personally attending to each person’s growth and development as a businessperson. This internship is one of the most interesting and inspiring programs that I could have been a part of this summer. Any student that is lucky enough to be a part of this process will be immensely better off than they were before.

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