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Alumni Update | Alicia Cherneski

By: Adam Bajan

Published On: April 27, 2016

Alicia Cherneski is a 2015 graduate of Ashton's CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) program.


Waiting around for the right opportunities to present themselves just isn’t Alicia Cherneski’s style. A BBA (Bachelor of Business) graduate from SFU in 2011 with a minor in Kinesiology, Alicia is now a trusted Sun Life Financial Adviser specializing in investments and insurance. Never the one to rest on her laurels, Alicia is a firm believer in the power of continuing personal development.

“I’ve been with Sun Life for five years, but I’m always looking to get better. Last year I started looking at giving better advice to clients, and this motivated me to take the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) course at Ashton” she said. Sun Life routinely sends students to Ashton to take courses, and Alicia took full advantage of this, enrolling in the course in January 2015. “What can I say, the financial field has always fascinated me” she said with a laugh.

Knowing that the financial field is always changing and that being successful means keeping abreast of these changes, Alicia immediately took to her studies at Ashton.

“The more I meet with clients, the more I realize what a huge gap exists in financial literacy. So many people don’t have investment knowledge or an awareness of how the market works. I look at my job as an opportunity to inform my clients of the best financial solutions to meet their goals.”

Ashton has always made it a point to provide real-world, innovative education delivered by the instructors who have ‘been there’ before. The goal with this is that by the time students have graduated, they’re ready to hit the ground running into their career of choice. In Alicia’s case, however, it was more a case of returning to a career she already excelled at, but returning with an even stronger set of skills. “I want to make sure that I stay informed, because when I am informed, so is my client,” she said.

The CFP program is structured to be immediately applicable to the situations that financial planners experience on a day to day basis. Ashton has developed a rather streamlined approach to it, giving students clearly mapped out curriculum focused on enabling them to pass the certification exam at the end of coursework. Given that the majority of students in the program are working professionals like Alicia, they’re able to take full advantage of it, and more often than not, excel when they take the exam. For Alicia, all of this was crucial to her getting certified and improving her client relations.

“Being a younger person in the industry, you need credentials to get respect. Credentials are also important for your future career path. Ashton College was great, and all the information that I gathered during the CFP course gave me more confidence and really helped me better serve my clients.”

“My plan is to stay at Sun Life, grow my business and my client portfolio,” shared Alicia.“I’m really independent with how I work, and I see myself continuing to learn and grow in my career – that is what's important for me. Ashton really helped me become better at what I do.”


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