Education: York University
Rookie Year: 2003
Turf: Moore Park, ON
Current Home: Mississauga, ON
Who is Anastasia Rebro?
Competitive, hard working and ambitious — Anastasia Rebro is a Partner at Farnham and Company Accountants at the age of just 33! Prior to this, she worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, RSM Richter, and Lipton Chartered Accountants. She’s also worked as a part-time lecturer at the Schulich School of Business — the business school she graduated from.
Anastasia’s challenging start with College Pro
But before all of that, Anastasia was a first year university student hired by College Pro to take on a window cleaning franchise. But that was just the beginning, she couldn’t imagine the challenge she had begun. “You actually have no idea what you were getting yourself into,” she said.
That first year was far from easy, “it wasn’t a complete disaster,” Anastasia said with a laugh — but it didn’t go as well as she’d hoped. Anastasia wasn’t happy with her first year’s performance, and had prepared to let College Pro go. But her competitive nature took over at the first awards ceremony, and inspired her to keep going. “Looking at all the awards the others were getting, I thought to myself, ‘Next year, no matter how much money I make, I want to be a star manager and I wanted to see more awards come my way.’”
So she kicked things into high gear! She spent time creating a business plan, budget, and breaking it down into specific steps to reach her goals. Anastasia ended up with significant success her following two years as a franchisee, earning her Star Manager, Quality Manager and President’s Awards. And she was able to completely pay for her university education with her earnings. Anastasia lent her expertise after her years as a franchisee by participating in recruitment and training with College Pro until 2007.
“I was so happy I didn’t quit after the first year. Honestly, it was really hard. But you should use it as a learning opportunity, an excuse to try harder next time.” Anastasia said.
Why not an average summer job?
Anastasia learned quickly that she was not meant for a typical student job: “I tried going and working in retail for minimum wage, but in a week I was so miserable.” She said. “I couldn’t believe I had to sit there for the hours they told me, in one spot, making hardly any money. So I decided there and then that it’s not for me.” She found her place at College Pro, and has been working as an entrepreneurial-minded accountant ever since.
College Pro offered Anastasia the challenge and competition she needed to succeed and grow — far beyond what she experienced working in retail. “At College Pro you find this community of like-minded individuals where everybody is competitive, everybody is entrepreneurial.” Anastasia found herself inspired by her peers and encouraged to push herself with weekly goals and by seeing what her peers were capable of.
Lessons Along the Way
Anastasia learned valuable lessons at College Pro that have changed her life! She says that every single day she uses skills that she practised at College Pro.
“My biggest takeaways were learning how to work with clients and employees, and manage time and stress. Those four things, I think have really contributed to my career.”
Another great benefit was learning how to cope with stress. Something Anastasia knows in unavoidable in a high-stress career like hers. Anastasia practiced by balancing managing employees, clients, and the unexpected surprises at her franchise while succeeding in school.
“If you learn to deal with all of that and not stress out too much, then it helps going forward in your professional life.” She said.
And it’s certainly paid off for Anastasia — at 33 she has two kids and has advanced her career to make partner at an accounting firm.
“I don’t know other women, with kids, my age, that have been able to do it.”
And the College Pro love story…
Anastasia also thanks College Pro for introducing her to her husband. She and Rodrigo Robalino, another College Pro alum franchisee and past GM, have been married for 10 years. The couple have two sons. Rodrigo started a payroll company that serviced College Pro, and he now has his own real estate brokerage.
“He thinks it went one way, but I have no recollection of it!” Anastasia said with a laugh, recalling how Rodrigo remembers they met. Apparently Rodrigo saw Anastasia at their first ever training session, he approached to chat and she turned him down!
“But I have no memory of that!” Anastasia says with a laugh.
They ended up meeting again on the bus to the President’s Awards, they sat near each other and became friends. They started dating shortly after! And the rest is history.
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