Alumni Profile: Ari Aronson ’87 (Pre-U ’88)
Founder & Executive Recruiter
If there is one message that Ari Aronson would like to relay to future LCC alumni, it’s that it is perfectly acceptable to take your time defining a career path. With a bachelor of arts in philosophy, Ari admits to being unsure about his future when he graduated from Western University. So it was a circuitous route that he took before arriving at his current vocation, working in his first job as a stockbroker at RBC Dominion Securities and then moving into the digital advertising world.
“As a student, there was a lot of pressure to choose a direction,” Ari says. “I want young people to recognize that it’s okay not to know. They need to explore what they enjoy, and follow the things that excite them. That will lead them to a career they will love. It’s all about discovery and everyone’s journey is different.”
After years in the advertising and digital media worlds, working first in Montreal (DMB&B) and then in Toronto (Rogers Media, Organic, Critical Mass), Ari harnessed his experience and launched the Ari Agency, an executive recruiting business in the digital advertising and marketing space. “It is exciting to start a business out of nothing,” he says. “I love advising people on their careers and helping them find new opportunities.” This, he believes, is one of his greatest achievements, particularly given the challenges of starting a business in a new city without a support network. He has since built a solid reputation in Toronto, a city he says is ideal for technology enterprises.
The tenacity that Ari needed to build a thriving business seemed to be cultivated, in part, at LCC. Although Ari says that he was never one of the top students, he grew to understand that if he applied himself he would be successful. “I learned about perseverance and never giving up,” he says. “I was very involved in sports where we showed great commitment as a group, winning championships in football and hockey in both ’87 and ’88, and where we were stronger as a team than as individuals. The same holds true in business, because business is really a team sport.” For his athletic abilities, Ari was named a member of the Athletic Honour Roll. He was also recognized for his public speaking skills with the Brooke Claxton Public Speaking Award.
Ari’s best LCC memories are of the friendships that he formed with what he calls an extraordinary group of men. He also fondly remembers what LCC stood for then, and still stands for today. “Non Nobis Solum is a nice statement,” he says. “There is a focus on giving back and that is a great thing.”