Victoria Gerso, BCom’08
Financial Security Advisor, Freedom 55 Financial
What was the best advice that you received while you were a student at UBC?
Don’t wait to graduate to begin your career exploration. Get involved in summer, part-time or unpaid opportunities and carry them out with gratitude and an open mind. Even when you aren’t sure what direction your career should take, jump into projects with both feet because you never know what doors an experience can open.
What was your first job after graduation? What did you like about it most?
Finance Administrator at Molson. My favorite aspect of this job was the ability to see a business comprehensively. Even though I was in the finance department, I also provided support to operations and logistics. This meant I could be working on a spreadsheet one minute, and then the next I’d put on my hardhat and steel toes, and walk through the beer-bottling and canning lines and learn from the people on the brewery floor. Through this unique role, I had the opportunity to tie it all together – from the chemistry of brewing, to financial statements, to the mechanics of manufacturing to the perfect frosty pint.
What would you tell your graduating self?
Life is about to take off in a whirlwind of adventure – from professional development, expanding your horizons and establishing relationships with new and interesting people. It’s tempting to become addicted to constant personal growth, but your innermost network of family and close friends will prove again and again to be the most valuable asset of all.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 15 years?
In 5 years I will likely have incorporated my Financial Planning practice, continuing to focus on guiding Vancouver families to financial independence and prosperity. In 15 years, I would love to contribute in some way to policy change that would see financial literacy permanently admitted into secondary school curricula throughout Canada.