“The more you get yourself out there, the more confident you will be.”

Aaron Posner

After graduation, we all embark on different paths in our lives. Some of us will enter the job market, while others may choose to pursue post-graduate studies. Regardless of the road you choose, let’s face it – starting out fresh in the professional world is no walk in the park.

We had the pleasure to meet Aaron Posner and learn about his journey after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the University of Guelph-Humber.

Posner is a Senior Business Development Representative at Exchange Solutions for the past two and a half years. In his role, he assists with outreach and sparks conversations, and initiates conversations with marketing executives from some of North America’s biggest retailers. The company’s clients includes Harry Rosen, Rexall Pharmacy Group, INDOCHINO and many more.

Posner’s career choice as a student

Aaron Posner in a blue jays shirt

Photo by Aaron Posner

Aaron tells us that he’s always known what he wants to do.

“I’ve always loved the retail environment. I also like to connect with people. Even though my parents wanted me to become an accountant, I still insisted on following a sales career,” he says.

Knowing what he wanted to do, Posner started networking during his second and third year. He went all in by creating a business card with his name, the program he was studying and all of his contact information.

Aaron Posner's business card

Photo by Aaron Posner

Posner credits UofGH for offering many resources that remain useful to this day. He lists some classes that he used to take and mentions the impact of UofGH’s Alumni Networking Event on developing his soft skills. Finally, he emphasizes the importance of making connections.

“Back in the day, I had a professor named Paul Finlayson for almost every one of my marketing classes. As a result, I frequently seek his advice, and we remain in contact to this day.”

First step into the business world

Photo by Aaron Posner

While Posner was at UofGH, everything was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But, that didn’t stop him from preparing for the future. In his third and fourth year, he had started to look for opportunities by attending several networking events and applying for entry-level jobs. 

“Some of the tasks weren’t so exciting. For example, I had to cold call customers. Although people sometimes get frustrated and hang up on you, I believe that was my duty to make calls.”

Posner also shared his experience about the challenges of job hunting. There were times when he sent out hundreds of resumés just to receive a couple of interviews. However, he considers these experiences as valuable lessons.

“Every time I applied, I reached out and asked for feedback. There was a time I was told by an employer over the phone that my resumé was too off. I really took those lessons by heart.”

Job search under an employer’s point of view

a business man wearing a suit

Photo by Aaron Posner

After four years of work experience, Posner reveals some insights about finding jobs through his perspective as an employer.

Making your resumé stand out is an important aspect. For Posner, he reviews many resumés everyday. He said he’s more likely to notice those that are uniquely crafted as it prompts him to invest more time in reading them.

“LinkedIn is also a great way to bring your job search to the next level. Make sure to have a professional picture and an updated work experience that showcase all of what you have got,” Posner added.

Message to current students

Photo by Aaron Posner

At the end of our conversation, Posner offered advice for students.

He understands that as a student, it’s normal to be anxious when opportunities come to you.

“At the end of the day, you don’t want to look back and regret that you should have done things differently,” he said.

In order to overcome fear, he suggests being as active as possible. The more you engage yourself, the more you’ll develop practical skills and connections. As a result, you will become more confident.

Posner extends an open invitation to offer guidance and support to students in need. Having received support from his community, he wants to reciprocate and be of assistance to others. He also encourages students to check out his LinkedIn for business-related book reviews and updates on the industry.

Posner’s story serves as a source of inspiration for Humber and UofGH students, reminding us that with the right mindset and an active approach, the path from academia to a thriving career is both rewarding and attainable.

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