Conversation with Robin Aklu

Interview & Article by: Ejin Zandi

Robin graduated from our Digital Business Management Bachelor of Commerce program in 2007, that was called “e-Business” at the time.

Robin is an experienced business and IT leader who has been working with government of Ontario since 2008. In addition, he is highly skilled in E-commerce, strategic planning, CRM management, business process improvement and human resources. In an interview, he was presented with a few questions that can potentially help current student who would like to pursue a career in his field.

Why did you choose Humber e-business program and how helpful was it in getting you a job?

Robin selected Humber college because they were one of the first colleges that offered e-business which was a fairly new concept in 2003 which is when he started his degree. He believes that Humber gave him the applied skills and knowledge needed to start his career.

Any recommendation for students in my program to get noticed by hiring managers?

Students should layer their transferable skills with theoretical point of view. For example, if in assignment one person’s job was to lead the group, then that person should not only understand her contributions but also use those skills to apply it to what a hiring manager could potentially expect from a new hire.

His second suggestion was to work on your resume and cover letter. For example, they need to be checked for spelling mistakes and they are more preferred in PDF format.

What are the most important and relevant skills in your field?

In his role, individuals need to have variety of skills such as: leadership, time management and interpersonal skills. He also emphasized on the importance of learning; Students must prepare themselves for continuously learning even after graduation. This is because the IT world is continuously growing and changing. He mentioned that individuals interested in business especially “e-business” should adapt themselves to these continuous changes by learning more every day.

What kinds of problems do you have to deal with on daily bases in regards to technology or remote work?

Overall technology has saved their company a lot of hassles especially with the pandemic — they have been working remotely since March 2020 without significant disruption. He said although technology has helped them tremendously, there have been certain challenges such as lack of human element. For example, with the remote work people barely get to see one another in person. Some of the other challenges are lack of proper technology for every member of the company and adapting to the fast-paced changes of the technological world.

How did you begin your career/ any advice?

His journey started with a summer placement opportunity and after that position he was able to transfer his skills to better positions out in the market and was able to land at the job he is currently doing. He suggested that students should explore as many opportunities as they can even if it is not a high-end position that they have in mind; students should find something that they enjoy and motivates them beyond just a salary. Broader experience is one of the most important key factors for landing a good job.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same path? If not, what would you change?

He noted that one thing that he would change is “applying himself more”. He suggested that students should apply themselves more by reading the books and class materials with the intention of learning, rather than being so focused on grades. Knowledge is what sets you apart!

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