2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Aidan Vito Arone, Providence College

Aidan Vito Arone

Providence College School of Business

“Ambitious, Resilient, Driven, Purposeful, Kind, Loving, Loyal, Disciplined, Motivated, Courageous, Humble, Funny, Astute, Athletic, Old-School.”


“Prioritize your relationships not your career. God comes first, then family, then friends.”

Fun fact about yourself: I drove to Madison Square Garden to see Billy Joel perform.

Hometown: Pembroke, MA

High School: Pembroke High School

Major: Finance and Management (Double Major)

Minor: None

Favorite Business Course: Self-Leadership

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College: Sector Head in Student Led Asset Management; Personal Fitness Trainer; Fitness Center Manager; Dean’s List every semester; Guest Speaker Leadership Fellows; Guest Speaker Wealth Management Panel

Where have you interned during your college career?

Project Stanley – New York, NY

Data Analyst developing NHL software for salary cap management.

The Bulfinch Group – Needham, MA

Talent Acquisition Specialist

Wealth Management Financial Representative Broker

Where will you be working after graduation? The Bulfinch Group – Needham, MA, Wealth Manager

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Matthew Eriksen.

Dr. Eriksen has been a truly life-changing professor for me. I came into my senior year of college just being another typical college student. However, after taking his Self-Leadership course, I truly believe I developed years ahead of my time. I learned how to be compassionate and how to be more attentive. Even more so, I discovered my purpose for life. I realized my purpose in this life is to make others around me realize the beauty of the world we live in and help others to understand the importance of taking in every single moment that God gives us. Dr. Eriksen opened my eyes to a whole world I had never even realized was out there. Because of his class, I have had tremendous control over my actions and my mind. Those close to me have even started to pick up on how my mood and actions have changed for the better.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I learned from studying business came at a Catholics in the Marketplace meeting. Professor Kevin McMahon and Dr. Ron Jelinek were running this meeting and it was the first one I was attending. I go to Mass every Sunday here on campus and I was super excited to get involved. At this meeting, Professor McMahon touched on the importance of avoiding the phrase “just this once”. “Just this once” is a phrase that many people use when it comes to cheating on assignment, cheating on partners, cheating on a diet, or just making a bad moral or ethical decision in any walk of life. Professor McMahon walked us through various real-life situations where “just this once” backfired and ruined lives. The biggest takeaway for me here is to continue to act as a moral and ethical man in the business world and to never give up my values for money or any sort of gain.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? For any student looking to major in a business-related field, I have a few pieces of advice. The first and most important piece of advice is: get comfortable being uncomfortable. Yes, you read that correctly. I know nobody is happy to read that, but it is essential to your success as a business student. You must get comfortable failing: you must get comfortable throwing yourself in the fire, or even getting told no. Not that you are going to fail exams and fail homework, but you are going to be wrong many times and that is perfectly fine. Do not view it as right or wrong, rather view it as right or lesson learned. One of the sayings I always tell my friends that I also tell myself every single day is this: “There is no more winning and losing in my life, rather there is winning or learning”. In all aspects of life, it is essential to get comfortable being uncomfortable, but especially if you are entering the business world.

Another piece of advice I would leave for students is make connections and learn how to communicate. Unfortunately, many generations including mine are growing up glued to a phone screen or sitting in front of a television where social and communication skills are completely destroyed. However, if you are entering the business world, you must be good at talking to others and making connections with people. Whether you practice with family and friends or just talk to strangers in passing, work on holding conversation and getting comfortable meeting new people. Having the “little” skills will take you much further in life than you ever imagined.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing to me about majoring in business was the emphasis used on Excel and computers. It could be because I went to a public school and have no business background in my immediate family, so I was not sure what to expect. However, I was really shocked to the extent in which I have been on my laptop and on Excel. I cannot think of a single day the last four years where I did not go on my laptop to run valuations on Excel or open my laptop to check the news of the world around me simply so I could follow the markets. I still have so much more learning to do and I recognize that. I can’t wait to see what surprises await me in the future.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? Looking back on my past four years, if there was one thing I could’ve done differently, that would be to take some sort of entrepreneurship course. I have always had the entrepreneurial mindset and always have been interested in starting my own gym or even running my own personal training gym. Still, I never dedicated the time to study these things in school. I have put in my own time outside of school and even gained a few clients to train along the way. However, a course in entrepreneurship and talking to other entrepreneurs my age really would have enhanced my experience. Luckily enough, it is never too late to start something new.

What business leader do you admire most? The business leader that I admire most is Henry Ford. Yes, I know, old-school; however, he just did things the right way. Ford was able to establish one of the most successful automobile companies we know today. I don’t only love Ford for the way he ran his business and was able to build an empire from the ground up, but Ford was also an incredibly well-spoken man. My all-time favorite quote from Henry Ford reads: “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his greatest surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Ford’s quote gave the me understanding and confidence to be comfortable being uncomfortable, and to jump when it feels most dangerous.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Truthfully speaking, the personal achievement I am most proud of is my personal transformation. I came into college four years ago an absolute trainwreck. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life. I had just left home for the first time, and had lost a few very important people within the first month of my time at school. I was depressed, unmotivated, and simply just another college freshman. I didn’t stand out in any way; I was just like the rest. Waking up to go to class, doing assignments and having my fun on the weekends.

That was until about the end of my junior year when I realized I have big goals in life and I want to achieve them. I started reading again for pleasure; I took my goals in bodybuilding so much more seriously; and I began to do what I wanted to do in life, not what would make me fit in. I went from an anxious mess to someone who saw the beauty in the world around and was able to control my emotions. I stopped taking my time on this world for granted and began to take in every waking moment. Looking back, this personal transformation is easily what I am most proud of in my life and I look forward to continuing this transformation as I move forward with my career.

Which classmate do you most admire? One classmate who I admire and aspire to be like is my best friend, Edward Harry Amodeo. I met Eddie at Providence College on the first day of school. Ironically enough, we met in the gym when I needed someone to spot me on the bench press and ever since then he hasn’t left my side. People around campus make jokes and call us “thing one and thing two” because we always tend to be together, and I could not be more grateful for him. I admire Eddie due to his perseverance, his strength of mind when life gets tough, and his ability to remain focused on the task at hand. Anytime I need advice or someone to back me up, he is always there and has been my right-hand man for the last four years. I appreciate the loyalty and the brotherhood we have developed and I dedicate a lot of my success to him.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? What a lengthy question this is to unpack. Every time I see this question, my mind immediately goes to two people who I essentially view as one: my mother and father. I seriously cannot thank them enough for the way that they raised me. Of course, as a young, arrogant child, I did not understand why they were making me go to bed at 8 pm or why I had to get a job at 14. Looking back now, I owe them the world. I basically tear up every time I think about the two of them because all I want them to understand is how grateful I really am. I could never repay them for all that they have done in my life, and I just hope one day I can be half the parents they were to me. All of my success can be attributed to the values and virtues they instilled in me as a young man, and still hold me accountable to today. God bless the both of them for the fantastic job they did raising myself and my three siblings (Alyssa, Andrew and Addison).

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

My top two items on my professional bucket list include:

  1. Open my own gym.
  2. Be happy and fulfilled in my career.

What are your hobbies? My hobbies include lifting, bodybuilding, self-improvement, hockey, Church, boxing, and family time.

What made Aidan such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“In my experience and those of several professors that I have spoken with, Aidan is always the first to participate in class discussions. His input is always thoughtful and honest. In my courses, where it is important, he is vulnerable when sharing his lived experiences. During class, students have shared how his participation has helped them feel comfortable and, thus, became more engaged in the course and participate in class discussions and contribute in more meaningful ways. During class, he actively acknowledges and supports other students in their learning and development. He puts tremendous effort into his assignments and incorporates my feedback into future assignments.

Aiden is one of the most driven, self-reliant, disciplined, caring, and open to learning of any student I have engaged with at Providence College. He has a bias for action and actively reflects on his experience to learn and grow from them, including his failures which he understands as an inevitable aspect of the performance process. Finally, Aidan knows his values and purpose which are aligned with the job he will enter upon graduation; to paraphrase his purpose – to help others plan for their financial future to be able to meet their life goals (this is based on his experience with respect to not having enough money for college tuition).

Aidan has been the ideal student representative of our department. When he speaks to prospective students and their parents, he commands their attention by candidly and meaningfully sharing his experience, and he solicits any questions they may have and thoughtfully answers them. I was amazed at the ovation he received from the students and their parents at our recently accepted students’ day presentation.  A number of students and parents came up to him afterwards to thank him.  He shared his contact information with them in case they had any further questions.

Outside the classroom, I know he has a leadership role in the investment club (probably wrong name), works at the gym, and supports his fellow students to adopt exercise routines on a consistent basis.”

Matthew Eriksen
Department Chair and Professor of Management


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