Aaron Opalewski, BBA ‘11
Aaron is the chief executive officer and co-owner of S&A Solutions Inc. S&A Solutions Inc is a recruiting firm that specializes in placing engineering, IT, defense, office, manufacturing, medical, energy, environmental and architectural services. Aaron started his business in his home in 2009 and achieved $7.1 million in sales revenue by 2012. Revenues are projected to break the $10 million this year. In 2011, Corp Magazine gave Aaron and his business partner, Steve Bronzovich, the Entrepreneurs of Distinction award.
Interview with Aaron:
What was your job title before you started with Walsh College? What is your job title now?
Before I started with Walsh, I was a personal trainer at Fitness 19. My job title now is CEO and co-owner of S&A Solutions Inc.
Is there a Professor you would like to mention? Why?
Carlos Rangel. I had him for one of my last classes at Walsh and I enjoyed it even though I didn’t do the best in the class. Professor Rangel was extremely helpful and understanding of my situation. I always sat in the back of the room because I would receive business calls and would have to step out from time-to-time. He never yelled at me or called me out and I was appreciative. During this time, my company did not have any internal employees. The entire business was run by my partner and I. This led to very long hours. It was the little things like this that made Walsh the perfect school for me. I felt that I could relate to a lot of the things we were talking about in class. Professor Rangel did a great job of applying theory to real life business situations.
What struggles did you go through during your time as a student? After graduation? How did you get through these struggles?
My biggest struggle was juggling work and school at the same time with no student loans. Keeping my mindset on the end goal of graduating and being successful in the business world without accumulating a lot of debt helped me get through. I believe there are times in life that you need to make sacrifices for your future. I looked at this as one of those times.
After graduation my biggest struggle was and still is to continue to grow as a business professional. Every day I learn new things about our business and business in general. I am constantly making new mistakes, but the key is to turn around those mistakes and learn from them. I don't look at new mistakes as a bad thing. They show growth and that you're continuing to push yourself to new levels as a professional.
What have you learned along the way to where you are today?
Treat everyone well. You never know how a relationship you have today can help or hurt you in the future. It has been amazing to see how contacts I made five or six years ago have come back at different companies or into my personal life. I have made some great friends and business relationships with these people. We are in a society where everything is about instant gratification. I strongly believe that if you work hard and treat people well things will work out. I have a number of business relationships with people that have become great friendships outside of work. They also happen to also be some of my best clients. I know this is the most important thing I will ever learn in business and it is something I didn't realize when I started my professional career.
Why would you encourage people to attend Walsh College?
The mix of a business focus and being able to work while attending school is great for anyone that wants a career in business. Walsh is simply the best school in Michigan for business.
Please join Walsh College in applauding Aaron Opalewski in his continued successes by adding your comments below.
Contact Duc Abrahamson, Alumni & Student Relations Manager to nominate an alumnus to applaud at (248) 823-1298.