As a criminology major, Russell Shaw never thought he’d land a job at one of Canada’s largest bank-owned insurance companies. But after working in the criminal justice system for a few years, he realized the path he chose in university just wasn’t a good fit for him long term. Although Russell loved helping young people, he wanted a career with more opportunities.

A family friend in insurance shared with Russell that the industry is ideal for creative and curious people and would provide the lifetime learning and growth opportunities he wanted. So Russell started taking evening insurance courses and earned certifications and in 1998 he joined what would become RBC Insurance as an underwriting trainee.

Russell says he knew from the first day he made the right decision because he met like-minded colleagues who shared his excitement about developing new skills.

After a series of progressive roles, he became the Senior Director of Life and Living based in Mississauga, leading a large team at RBC focused on life, health, operations and underwriting as they supported clients with insurance products.