OUTCOMES

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Brittney Welde

Brittney Welde '18

Majors:

Finance, Leadership, Ethics and Organizational Sustainability

Outcome Opportunity:

I got a job!, Research

Position:

Acceleration into Financial Professional Program

Company/Organization:

Vanguard

Briefly describe your role.

"I received a full-time offer to join Vanguard's Acceleration into Financial Professional Program, which develops future financial professionals by offering four different six-month rotations over the course of two years. The rotations are in areas that include Financial Planning and Analysis, Fund Financial Services, Internal Audit and Enterprise Risk Management, Strategic Services, and much more. I accepted the offer in early fall and will begin working at Vanguard come August 2018."

How did you learn about this opportunity?

"I interned during Summer 2017 with Vanguard on the International Financial Services Team. I essentially was a financial analyst intern for the Americas region, which served Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. That aside, I had a manager who really tried to direct my duties towards my interests and what my goals were for the summer. Thus, I was placed on a business case that contributed to Vanguard's mission of serving shareholders globally. I provided an analysis of and strategic support for the profitability and operations behind selling US mutual funds to non-US investors. I was able to collaborate with global sales executives while also work alongside a team of professionals in the Malvern office. After my 3-month exposure to Vanguard during the summer, I knew that Vanguard was a company for which I would be interested in working full-time, thus I had educated myself about the full-time rotational programs they offer to graduates prior to returning to campus for my senior year. I pursued the position in September. I really admired how Vanguard made each individual feel valued, even just as an intern. I also really loved how Vanguard's values aligned with my own, specifically with the ones guided by the Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability major at Saint Joseph's University."

How did your SJU education impact your professional goals?

"My SJU education impacted my personal and professional goals in ways that I cannot accurately capture in words. First, I stepped onto campus as a freshman Business Administration major, unsure of who I wanted to be in four years. Through Saint Joseph's curriculum and culture on campus, I knew I wanted to live out the magis, to live greater in all aspects of my life. Consequently, my love for people and leadership drew me to the Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability major, which greatly contributed to my professional goals. I now see business as a force for good, and my major contributes to why I chose to work for Vanguard after graduation. Vanguard's business model embodies putting the client first, as the company's structure is organized so the business is owned by the investors. During Summer 2017, I bypassed an internship opportunity with another financial institution because I felt that I was not only more supported and valued as an employee at Vanguard but also because Vanguard's values aligned with mine. My values in the professional world were greatly influenced by the courses I took as a LEO major, and I am forever grateful. Saint Joseph's gave me that gift of discernment. Additionally, I swore I would never become a finance major, as I took a course in high school and despised the curriculum. Needless to say, here I am today graduating as a finance major. I had an outstanding FIN200 teacher, and he inspired me to fall in love with a subject I swore I would never like. I also encountered other finance professors who ignited my passion for the subject as time went on. Overall, my SJU education encouraged me to remain open-minded, which led me to pursue a career path I would not have initially imagined for myself."

Did you participate in any experiential learning activities while at SJU?

"I participated in numerous experiential learning activities! I had two internships during my time at Saint Joseph's; I interned for Estée Lauder in Human Resources and Vanguard in Corporate Finance (International). During my time on campus, I was also a member of extracurricular activities, which positively impacted my growth as an individual and professional. I was a member of Delta Sigma Pi which I rushed in Fall 2014, and I received a ton of professional mentorship and guidance through my participation in this co-ed business fraternity. I could go on forever about the value in DSP on campus! I also was a member of the Dean's Leadership Program. The Dean's Leadership Program allowed me to partake in other experiential learning activities, like attending the World Affair Council events with Arianna Huffington or Daymond John and having the opportunity to give the welcome address at the Haub 20th anniversary celebration dinner."

Describe your experience conducting research at SJU.

"I participated in Summer Scholars, which was an extraordinary educational opportunity for which I am very thankful, and through my participation in the honors program, I wrote a Departmental Honors Thesis {"The Dimensionality of Leadership Vulnerability: A Survey-Based Investigation") alongside Dr. Ronald Dufresne, which served as the culmination of my academic endeavors at Saint Joseph's. Having the opportunity to conduct research during my undergraduate career was something that I really value, as I am unsure if I would have undertaken the project at another university. My mentor, Dr. Dufresne, was instrumental to inspiring me to develop a research project that had an impact on the business world, one that contributed to our understanding of organizational behavior. This led to my study on the dimensionality of vulnerability in leadership, which hopefully has the chance to become published post grad. We received over 480 respondents to our survey, which was extraordinary. I received a lot of assistance from SJU professors, the dean of the business school, and our boards, so I have a lot of gratitude for SJU's immense support system! I could not have done this alone."