How to build a Career in the Financial Industry?

In Canada, the best jobs require at least 3 or 4-year degree in a specific field of study, some jobs or profession like in the medical field would require Bachelor degree or even the completion of a school in a specialized field.  Some immigrants who even completed their degrees from their home countries or who have work experiences prior to coming to Canada would take some courses in Canada.  While those who find a difficult time in getting established in the occupation that they have chosen end up pursuing a different career.

I know a lot of people who decided to take a different path in their career when they came to Canada, however, I believe that you should not decide to get a job just because you need one, you have to choose a job where you will find satisfaction, where you know that you will excel and most of all you must be in a job that will make you happy. I thought of featuring different people from different jobs in my blog to share about the reality of their work, what they do, what they have become and  share the path that they went through to become what or where they are. I am happy to have someone I know for the first installment.  For my first featured story, we’ll get to know how Ayana Alipio built her career in the financial industry and how she reached the  Marketing Director position with World Financial Group (WFG).

 Tell us a about yourself?  I am 26 years old.  I was born in the Philippines, I was about 9 years old when our family moved to Canada in 2002.

What did you go to school for? Where did you go to school? What was your job/career?   I took a 4-year Bachelor degree in the University of Winnipeg, in 2014 I graduated with Bachelors of Science Degree (Honours).  I worked as a Research Chemist until I decided to also pursue a career in the financial industry.

Why did you want to be in the financial industry? When did you know that it was what you wanted to do?    When I graduated from school I had a lot of questions regarding finances. For instance, how do I pay for my student loan faster? How does RRSP work? How do I plan for my retirement? How do I get my own house?

When I was hired at as a Research Chemist in the Radio Pharmacy Department in one of the facilities of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), I was fortunate to get a position that is eligible to get benefits offered by WRHA, and there are benefit concerning my retirement that I do not fully understand and the answers that I got from our company HR, family and friends did not satisfy me.  Having a research background, I wanted to know more.. I wanted to be more informed and I wanted to be more educated in my finances. It was then when I was invited to attend a free financial workshop offered by WFG.  I immediately plugged in to their workshops and learned all the aspects of my personal finance. Receiving the type of educational support with WFG has changed my financial and personal life drastically and I can proudly say my future self will be well taken care of.   I knew what I learned from the company should be shared and therefore, I got involved with WFG and became an entrepreneur. I do believe that every individual should be given a chance to receive financial education in their lifetime. In reality, all of us go to school to receive a good education because we all would like to receive a great income. But, if we do not know what and how to manage that great income, then we are all losing.

What licenses, credentials or certifications do you have right now?  I am dual licenced – I have my Mutual Funds License and I also have Life Insurance Licence.

 If a person wants to be in your job, how should he/she prepare for it?    I think the best route into any job is to shadow a person that is already been in the industry or the position of your choice or perhaps take them for a coffee and pick their brains. That way, you can see if that industry is the right path for you through their experienced.

What are the qualities or skills that are essential for a person who wants to work in the financial industry?   To be successful in this job, you need to be coachable. I came in the industry with a science background and knew nothing about finances. But, with the proper training and support from the leaders in the industry. I was able to build an organization in the financial industry with zero qualities or skills in the field when I was starting out.

What kinds of jobs are available in the financial industry?  There are numerous job opportunities in the financial industry, you can be an investment banker, a trader, portfolio manager, financial advisor, mortgage specialist, lending specialist, insurance broker, mutual fund broker, bank manager, and the list goes on. You could also go through the entrepreneurship route in the industry as well.

How competitive is it to get a job in the financial industry?   Depending on the position you are looking for, it can be quite competitive in some areas of the industry such as in the banking industry.

 What is the best part of being in this kind of career? What are the downside?   The best part of being in this career is the freedom to be able to take time off to travel with your partner and family without having to request for time off or worried that if I take an extended time off, do I still have a job to go back for.   I really do quite enjoy the travel opportunities, I even got the chance to take my family with me.  I have travelled to Las Vegas numerous time, to California, Hawaii and I am looking forward to our Vietnam trip in 2018.

I quite honestly can’t say anything negative about the career that I have chosen. But, I will tell you this, find a career that you would enjoy and it wont feel like you are ever working.

Any other advice, tips, comments or stories you’d like to share?  As Xuan Nguyen put it, “Find something you believe in and put your life to fight for it.” From my experience from the jobs that I had, no matter what field you are in, you have to learn to love what you are doing. When you love what you are doing and enjoy the work that you do, you will be successful. Being successful is a lot of hard work and it is not a sprint but a very long marathon. But you are the captain of you ship. Set sail, feel the wind and enjoy the journey.

Ayana and her team will host a free Career Night, if you or someone you know would like to explore the possibility of building a career in the financial industry or you are looking to switch careers or you simply want to learn about finances this workshop is a good way to start.   You can directly contact Ayana for further details of the event or for your  inquiries, you can email her at or you can call her at 204-227-7646. The Career Night will be on September 21, 2017 (Thursday) at 6:30 pm to be held at 658 King Edward Street, Winnipeg. MB R3H 0P2



About Momsiecle 136 Articles
Momsiecle is short for Momsie’s Circle. As our family start a new chapter of our lives in Winnipeg in 2009, I also started to write about my challenges and triumphs in Canada as an immigrant, my mommy stories, my everyday life experiences and everything in between. Enjoy your visit!

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