by: Karen Fox, University and Recruiting Partnerships, Vanguard Human Resources
It’s close to 6am.
The sun is not quite up, but I’m greeted by an anxious dog and a mischievous cat. It’s as if they know know how to tell time. Who needs an alarm clock? We take care of business. First a quick walk, some morning chow and then the day begins.
Breakfast for me is a must, two bowls of cereal and a dessert. Yes, dessert. Who doesn’t have dessert with their breakfast? Next, it’s time to get my two teenagers out the door and off to school. After dropping them off I come back and check some email, both personal and work. I want to make sure there is nothing hot that needs immediate attention.
After that I get a quick run in. If time is on my side and all is going well, I can do 4 or 5 miles. If I’m rushed, I’m thrilled to get 3 miles in. When I get home, it’s time for a quick shower, I pull my hair back, find a dress to suit the day and off I go!
As soon as I hit my desk after about an hour commute in the car and a catch up on the news of the day (thanks satellite radio), I have a quick huddle with my team and then head to meetings. My day is usually a blend of interactions – in-person management meetings, touch points with internal clients and conference calls with schools or organizational partners. On this particular day, my first meeting is a team calibration with senior leaders. It’s performance review season, and Vanguard is very focused on evaluating its crew fairly and equitably. It’s a great session with cross-functional leaders that helps to ensure people are recognized and rewarded appropriately.
After that, my next meeting is with an internal campus resource who “champions” MBA recruiting at one of our target schools. I need to inform him of our updated strategy, new marketing materials and adjusted recruiting approach for the season. After that, I head to a special initiatives meetings. This year I’m the divisional Relationship Manager for the “Vanguard Gives Back” campaign, which is an organizational charitable giving program that raises over $7 million a year. Usually around 2 or 3 p.m., I forget that I didn’t eat lunch and remember that I ran earlier in the morning so I indulge in a soft pretzel and/or tastykake and a piece of fruit at my desk. (Can you tell I’m from Philly? Lunch of champions!)
Later in the afternoon, I jump on a vendor call. We are exploring technology that will completely automate our university recruiting process, which means no more paper collection at campus events. I can’t wait! More time savings and cost efficiencies.
My last meeting for the day is a summit planning meeting. I’m leading efforts around a Talent Acquisition Learning and Engagement Summit for 2017. It’s been exciting work so far – lots of brainstorming around program content, key speakers and other team building ideas. Once 4 p.m. comes around, I’m headed to class. I teach a Professional Development Strategies class at Temple University. If I’m not headed to class, it’s usually an evening reception of networking with a school or other partner or a sporting event for my kids.
After a fun-filled day of work and activities, I look forward to getting home (typically around 8 p.m.) to be greeted by my furry friends, the dog and the cat. (Oh…by the way their names are Stella and George ,and I forgot to mention the kids names are Abigail and Walter – I have to work on putting them and the husband before the animals.)
When I get home I’m usually ravenous, so I eat much too late in the day. I guess everything somehow balances itself out. While eating we have family time, but it’s not traditional. All of us are grabbing something different to eat or snack on. We hang out in the kitchen checking email and tying up loose ends from the day while we talk about our special and sometimes frustrating moments. Believe me, if I asked the kids to do “family time” it wouldn’t happen, so what I’m talking about kind of happens organically. It’s my favorite time of the day. The kids share so much, but it’s not forced. They are just doing their thing – homework, email, texting, etc., with no table rules and no required dining etiquette.
After we get everything out, my husband heads to work (yes, the graveyard shift), and we all race to our beds to rest and get ready for the next day – not before walking Stella one last time of course. Admittedly, I lay in bed checking more email and scoping social media – definitely a no no, but I’m proud to say no TV for me. I don’t really like it and I feel like I waste precious time. So that’s it. I wouldn’t just call this a typical day, I’d call it a near perfect day!