It wasn’t long ago that Andrew Petras (HBCom’13) was sitting in a lecture theatre learning about the fundamentals of economics.
In five short years, Andrew has made a name for himself in the financial world, becoming one of the youngest financial consultants in Canada to achieve the designations Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU). He spends his days handling large sums of money and generating substantial revenues for clients as a certified financial planner with Investors Group in Barrie, Ontario.
“Being responsible for a person’s retirement fund, estate, or personal wealth is a huge responsibility,” he explains. “It was also my motivation to achieve the gold standard within the industry.”
As a teenager, Andrew, a native of Simcoe County, wanted nothing more than to leave home at the end of high school. As the time came to decide on a university, Andrew and his family made the 30-minute drive from Innisfil to Orillia for March Break Open House at Lakehead’s Orillia campus. They left with a different perspective of Lakehead University.
“I was leaving my meeting with the chair of the business department when she handed me her business card with her cell number and said, ‘If you have any questions give me a call,’” he recalls.
A reassuring gesture for a 17-year-old trying to make such a significant decision, and an encounter that conveyed an unspoken commitment from faculty and staff to helping the university grow and be successful. “I knew that there were going to be growing pains coming to Lakehead Orillia, but I looked at it as an opportunity to put my footprint on the campus,” he said.
After graduating from Lakehead in 2013, Andrew put that tenacity and commitment into his own career. Today, he is managing a growing business with over 200 clients in Simcoe County.
Like many alumni, Andrew credits extracurricular involvement as contributing to his success. “I liked being able to have an impact on developing the Orillia campus. I helped start the Business Orillia Student Society (BOSS) club and had the opportunity to play on the men’s soccer team. Because Lakehead Orillia was such a new school, as a student I had the opportunity to develop and participate in clubs and activities.”
It was also an opportunity to build relationships with instructors and professors that would be of benefit once he left Lakehead. Not to mention that he met his own employer during a Lakehead networking event. “It’s definitely my No. 1 piece of advice to students currently at Lakehead: Put yourself out there, build relationships! Your name and reputation are important, and so are the relationships that you build at university and within the industry. You never know what’s going to come of a relationship, but maintaining it is very important.”