Not every young professional gets to begin a career in their hometown. Aaron Graham ’16 is grateful for this. He started his role as an Account Administrator for Asheville’s Boys, Arnold & Company Wealth Management earlier this month. The company was founded in 1977 by another Christ School alumnus, Waring Boys ’56, who was a pioneer in independent counsel for western North Carolina investors. Aaron graduated from Appalachian State University last spring with a degree in Finance and Banking.
Question: Looking back, what led you to choose this career field?
Answer: There are two big things that stood out. I went to college to play golf, and I didn’t realize until I got there that Appalachian State had such a quality business school and so much to offer. Regardless of whether you have a career in this or not, it’s important to be sound in things such as taxes, investments, and savings. A big reason I majored in what I did is I wanted to get a grasp on personal finance and really discover what things I should be doing or avoid doing in my own life. As far as taking it from school to a career, I’m hoping to become a wealth counselor. There is a lot of value in the work that financial advisors can provide to other people. Both of my parents work in a hospital and are hands-on with helping people. That appeals to me as well. I want to do meaningful work, serve other people, and make a difference.
Question: How is this new job opportunity going, and what does it entail?
Answer: I’m a little over three weeks in and I still have a ton to learn. I have my hands in a lot of different areas. I spend a good amount of time on the phone, helping clients. We offer a very tailored service. A lot of your clients are generational ones who we have had for years. I enjoy talking to people and helping them. A big part of what I’ll be doing in March and April is helping people file taxes. I’m eager to learn more about our trust department. It’s very neat to sit in with our wealth advisors and soak up their knowledge. With it just being a few months since I finished school and being exposed to all these things I learned about, I’m loving it.
Question: How much golf are you playing these days?
Answer: Not as much as I would like (laughs). I still play a good bit. And it only takes me a couple minutes to get from the office over to Biltmore Forest Country Club if I hit the traffic lights the right way. When the days get longer, hopefully I can squeeze in nine holes after work some days.
Question: Your brother, Andrew ’21, is a senior so I know you’re still connected to Christ School in a big way, but what do you recall about your time as a Greenie?
Answer: It’s hard to beat the preparation or quality of education I got at Christ School. Then you had the stuff outside the classroom like the service learning, enrichment activities, and sports. It was a very broad palette that Christ School offered. I joined a couple clubs that I probably wouldn’t have otherwise at a normal public school and this led me to pursue leadership positions in college. The teachers were so great in a smaller environment for classes and that’s not always the case at every school.