Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals

Meet some of our Insolvency Administrators > Shuyen Bradshaw

Shuyen Bradshaw

June 13, 2023
Senior Insolvency Administrator
BDO Canada
Windsor, Ontario

Insolvency Administrators don't typically start off with an engineering degree, and Shuyen Bradshaw didn’t know about the industry ahead of time. She now thinks joining it was meant to be.

She came to Canada to study English after graduating from university in Venezuela, and soon met the man who is now her husband of some 23 years. As an immigrant and new graduate, she wasn’t able to work as an engineer, so she began taking accounting courses. Working in bookkeeping or accounting seemed to be a smart career move.

Along the way, a friend told her about an opening in insolvency administration at BDO Canada. She got the job, and soon refocussed her career plans.

“Being new to Canada, I was super driven and passionate about doing my best,” she says. “I threw myself into the work, and started asking questions and learning as much as I could. I really enjoyed the work.” She wanted to learn more and started the CAIRP Insolvency Administrator course and became an Insolvency Administrator in 2009.

It turned out to be ideal.

Shuyen loves helping people and works hard to let clients know they are in good hands. Her bubbly personality and positive outlook allow her to connect with clients, and they understand she does not judge them.

She recognizes that each person is meeting with her due to a life event that got out of hand, such as a job loss, a business failure, a marital breakdown, illness or financial misstep. She doesn’t take it personally when clients are upset, but they come to know she will not allow disrespect – and they have been known to sheepishly apologize later. And empathy is a big part of the job; she works to earn clients’ trust and has even been known to hold someone’s hand in a meeting.

“You understand that people don’t want to be there,” Shuyen says. “They are upset or feeling down. Our job is to show them that we can help, that we understand their situation and that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the process will give them a fresh start.”

It can be a challenge, she notes, and it’s not for everyone. Some clients are reluctant to accept help and some make the process more difficult. Their stories touch her heart, and sometimes can drain her energy. But the work is also fulfilling, especially when clients leave the office smiling, sometimes saying they already feel better or that now they’ll be able to sleep since they have a solution to their financial issues.

Shuyen highly recommends insolvency administration as a career, and 16 years since she happened upon it, sees herself doing the work for many more years.

“Every day is different and challenging and every client meeting is unique,” she says. “You definitely don’t get bored!”