Katrina Robbins: Education is one of the keys to progression in a new age of financial advice “Since I started in the industry, we’ve been constantly reminded of what’s required to stay relevant. I’m always eager to undertake as much learning and professional development as I can because knowledge, techniques and strategies are constantly evolving – what was once relevant 10 years ago is likely to expire over time.” Katrina Robbins Courses: FNS40811 Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking, FNS60415 Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning,Master of Financial Planning Part of being successful in the dynamic world of financial advice is having the resilience to evolve with industry change. The skills and knowledge you gain from further study can revolutionise the way you practice. One pioneer for further learning and formal education is established financial adviser, Katrina Robbins. “A lot of people talk about falling into jobs and wondering about whether they could have worked as something else – I never think that. Witnessing the positive impact we have on clients, that’s the greater good of the industry,” she said. Katrina Robbins is a Certified Financial Planner® and has been in the industry for over 33 years. She’s currently a Principal; Senior Financial Planner with Ausure Financial Group. For over 10 years, she dreamt of starting her own business and last year that dream became a reality. Just like finding the ideal time to pursue further study, Robbins says there’s never a perfect time to start your own business. “There comes a time when being an employee – you realise you have no control or ownership. You get to a point where you just have to do it,” she said. “The biggest challenge is never timing, it’s finding the right people who’ll want to partner with you.” “I’m currently focusing on holistic financial advice and taking things to a new level in that space,” Katrina said. Well respected within the industry, professional referrals on her social media channels describe her as: “a caring and honest professional”; “dedicated, reliable and very knowledgeable”; “absolutely passionate about making her clients happy, confident and supported”; and “the most thorough, professional and engaging planner I’ve ever met”. Many of Robbins’ clients are long-term and she concedes the most rewarding aspect of her role is witnessing the impact she has had on them over time. “I love having long-term clients and being able to reflect back on when they first met me,” she said. “It’s amazing to witness how much of their life has changed now they have choices. Usually a new client comes in because they feel powerless about their situation, so empowering them through knowledge and partnership is pretty exciting.” In addition, Katrina is a strong believer in nurturing the next generation, with a particular passion for helping young people enter the industry. “Protecting the future of the industry is incredibly important,” she said. “In growing my business, I made a conscious decision to take on younger people. It’s the duty of experienced advisers to mentor new entrants to ensure they’re driven by a passion to help people secure their financial future.” Robbins has obtained an Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and Certificate IV in Finance and Mortgage Broking from Kaplan Professional, and is currently undertaking her Master of Financial Planning. Reflecting on her choice to be proactive in her approach to postgraduate education, Robbins lamented “I’ve been studying with Kaplan Professional for over 20 years. The content is relevant, interesting and consistent. I came back to Kaplan Professional because I knew they were a leader in the industry,” she said. Broadening her skillset has been a focus of Katrina’s throughout her years as an adviser, using it as a driver to stay ahead of industry change. “I think we have have no choice but to stay ahead of change,” she said. “Since I started in the industry, we’ve been constantly reminded of what’s required to stay relevant. I’m always eager to undertake as much learning and professional development as I can because knowledge, techniques and strategies are constantly evolving – what was once relevant 10 years ago is likely to expire over time.” Established advisers acknowledge further education will play a significant part in the journey to a profession over the coming years. Despite her many years of experience, learning is still a fundamental part of Robbins’ role and progression. “My colleagues and clients expect I’ll do what’s necessary to remain relevant, but they’re always surprised I still look to refresh my knowledge,” she said. “I’m grateful I’ve been provided with the clarity over what’s needed to excel and the confidence I’m doing a masters degree with the right provider.” For those advisers still contemplating their postgraduate journey, Katrina has a word of advice. “Enrol now and get on with it as soon as you can,” she said. “Stop and think about what you want from your career. Think about what’s important for you, why you’re doing what you’re doing, how long you’ll be doing it for, and then get started.” Throughout her studies so far, Robbins has made the most of Kaplan Professional’s dedicated and focused student support. “Initially I had one-on-one phone discussions with Kaplan Professional staff who provided me with invaluable insight before I committed,” she said. “Once enrolled, I agreed to the personal workshops and this provided me with a trained professional to guide me through my study needs. I personally found the workshops to be incredibly helpful. We discussed study techniques, note taking and learning processes – things you might not know if nobody tells you … I found that to be invaluable.” When it comes to her preferred provider, Katrina has no qualms in recommending Kaplan Professional. “There’s always been that constant moving to stay relevant, but when it comes to the professional standards that have come through, I looked at over providers and felt I needed a course that would help me best embrace the new requirements,” she said. “Working in a sector with so much change occurring, you want a provider at the forefront of industry change. I constantly recommend Kaplan Professional as I believe they’re the leading provider in our industry,” she said. Katrina’s initiative continues to drive her business having recently been nominated for the 2019 Telstra Business Awards in the ‘Emerging and Energised’ category.