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Financial Services: Empowering people, growing assets

Financial Services: Empowering people, growing assets

Written On: 05 January, 2018
Category: Academic Alumni Business
Related programs:  Business Administration

Shaun Woodcock doesn’t like being in the spotlight. He likes to be behind a desk in an office with the door closed. And while he likes math and numbers, he also likes dealing with people one-one-one. So when he started doing some investigating, he found the Financial Services program at Assiniboine was tailor-made for him.

“When I was in high school, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do,” Woodcock said. “And then I thought, ‘Hey – maybe financial planning would be something.’ You're giving advice and providing help for people, but you're also getting to work with the numbers behind it all, too.”

Woodcock is currently a Financial Planner with RBC. And he learned much of what he needed to know about the job during his time at Assiniboine.

“Our teacher really talked about the financial planning role,” he said, “and encouraged us all to get a designation after graduation.”

So that’s exactly what Woodcock did. To become a Certified Financial Planner, he had to take self-directed courses and pass three exams.

“It was a lot like what we learned at ACC, but just a little bit more in-depth in certain areas,” Woodcock said.

Through Assiniboine’s co-op program, Woodcock was employed as a summer student with RBC, an enjoyable experience that came with an extra benefit.

“If they like you, you're almost guaranteed a job after you're done,” he said.

Woodcock graduated from Assiniboine in 2009 and was immediately employed by RBC. And he loves what he does.

“Not everybody likes numbers, but almost everybody likes money,” he said with a smile. “And I want to help people make the best decisions for themselves.

“That's the best part about the job. You create this plan and then you get to see them kind of walk through it, and go through it in retirement. And it's a good feeling when you can see your clients that used to be stressed be happy at the end of the day.”

Born and raised in Killarney, Woodcock found the idea of going to college and working close to home very appealing.

“I wanted to be in Brandon, and ACC was a little bit more affordable, too, so that was a draw as well,” Woodcock said. “And then if I did want to pursue anything, I knew the two-plus-two program that they have with Brandon University was doable if I wanted it. I didn't do it, but it was an option. But I found out that for what I wanted to do, I really only needed my ACC diploma and then my designation.”

Woodcock really appreciated not only the material he learned at Assiniboine, but also the enthusiasm of his instructors. That fuelled his desire to achieve his career goal, and made learning what he needed to know even more fun.

“The teachers were from that field, too, so they were very passionate about it,” he said. “And when the teacher has a passion for it, you're really engaged, too, and you're really wanting to learn, so that made a big difference.”

Being a financial planner comes with a tremendous element of trust, and Woodcock is well aware that he bears much responsibility for his clients’ financial wellbeing. And he tries to go the extra mile for the customers with whom he works.

“Part of my goal is that I don't want you to leave unless you have a full understanding of what we've done, or else I feel like I didn't do my job right,” he said. “So I always send out a recap afterward, because a lot of stuff goes over your head when you're sitting in the office. So something on paper, I find, is a little bit better.”

His days are as varied as the clients that come through his door. And that’s yet another part of the job Woodcock enjoys.

“It all depends on the life stage the client is at,” he said. “I deal with people who are retired, or are about to retire, as well as young professionals just getting out of med school, for example, so it's always different. There's never a boring moment. It's busy, so it's fun. I'm never watching the clock. And I haven’t had a bad day yet!”

To find out how you can be successful like Shaun Woodcock, visit and find out more about the Financial Services specialization in Business Administration at Assiniboine.

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