The School of Business Experience: Q&A with alumnus, Aaron Varella
Aaron Varella was a high-achieving student with a passion for culture. In his career, he plans to focus on a blend of human resources and marketing to build culture and employee engagement within companies.
Recently, we spoke with Aaron about his experiences at VCU’s School of Business. Here’s what he had to say:
How does VCU help you find your own path?
For me, it was mainly through the student organizations and Business Student Ambassadors.
What was it about BSA that was so motivating for you?
We’re just a group of really motivated students who are involved across campus. It’s a good group, and just getting to know them helped me get connections and build my network. It’s really cool to just have that connection with so many peers and people.
How have those organizations helped shape your own goals and your own personal development?
They’ve really helped me focus on what I want to do as a marketing and human resources major. They’ve helped me figure out what I want to do after graduation. I want to eventually work with people, and help people, and meet as many people as I can.
How do student organizations facilitate ideas and ideas sharing?
The School of Business puts us in a place where we can network with organizations across the university, in the Richmond community or just alumni in general. The student organizations put us in positions where we can expand our networks. Also, being in those organizations, you start building communication skills with your peers, which you can then turn around and use in professional settings.
How did the mentorship program help to shape you?
I’m thrilled to have my mentor from the Office of Student Engagement who was an alum. She was really close in age to me, so she just went through it. She understood, which really helped. She’s been through all the classes that I was going to go through for my junior year, so she was able to guide me. Last year, she helped me with my resume, and we did mock interviews together.
How do you see VCU helping you achieve your goals?
The biggest ways VCU will help me succeed is with the network and experience from my student leadership positions. I definitely use them on my resume. But it’s not just the hard skills I’m proud of. It’s the soft skills, too — like communicating with people, meeting, organizing and just having leadership skills. I used the School of Business Career Fair to get my past internship, and I know the network that I built at VCU will definitely help me.
Any words of advice for current and future business students?
I would say to find your own support system and group of friends who you can go on a journey with, like student organizations or sports. Or just a group of people who can help you throughout the year, will be there for you, and who will motivate you to be a better student, graduate and alumni.
After graduating this past spring, Aaron currently works at Dominion Energy as a Recruiter – Staffing Specialist.