Alumni: Aaron Tyler '99, Venture Capitalist, GrandBanks Capital

Aaron Tyler ’99 has kept busy since he left campus a few years ago. He recently gave his insights on his approach to the job market. A must-read for any Senior, here’s what Aaron had to say:

What did you study at Middlebury and what have you done since you left?
I was an Int’l Politics and Economics (IP&E) and Spanish double major. After graduating I worked as an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of the investment bank, Robertson Stephens, in Boston. After spending two years in the M&A group I became an Associate in the Business & Financial Services Group in Robertson’s Manhattan office. Most recently, I left Robertson to join GrandBanks Capital (formerly SoftBank Venture Capital), an early stage, technology focused venture capital firm.

What did you learn at Middlebury that impacted your professional experience the most?
One great thing Middlebury taught me was how to be an objective thinker. The great thing a Middlebury liberal arts education gives you is the ability to see the world from various viewpoints and disciplines and to make deeply informed decisions. The best thing I came away from Middlebury with was the appreciation for deep group a friends and acquaintances who always provide a great support network both professionally and personally.

If you were to offer a few words of wisdom to a Middlebury student looking for a job in the real world, what would they be?
First and foremost, utilize all the resources possible to enhance your candidacy for the job you want–namely, leverage your network, everyone you know who might be able to give you some insight, interview you, make an introduction for you, or give you some ideas on who might be hiring, etc. I have found that my Middlebury network has been one of the best when I have been searching for a job. Secondly, be aggressive and confident in your searching because there are thousands of other applicants who have extraordinary educations and resumes who are competing for the job you want. Don’t be bashful about calling people, following up, and being shamelessly self-promoting (all the while making as strong an impression as possible). Having managed Robertson’s undergraduate interviews for Middlebury and other NE schools (hundreds of resumes from each school), those candidates that stuck out were the ones who went the extra mile to get my attention.

Further, I appreciated the ones who could clearly articulate why they wanted the job and why they were qualified for it.