Team Profile: Aaron Brenner
With experience in the world of tech and urban planning, Aaron is the man with a plan. He strives to keep his cool in all situations, which might explain the origin of his nickname.
You do a lot of work with clients, so getting along with them is a pretty big deal. Explain your dream client using only 3 words.
Fun, creative, and understanding.
At the end of the day, we like to have fun with our clients.
What’s the weirdest task you’ve done with Raison?
Some photo and video shoots have been weird. One time I had to put on a full body “bunny suit.” It’s a protective suit you have to wear in clean rooms—the places where things like medicines are made.
I had to act as a hand model for wiping techniques while Michael took pictures of my cleaning skills. That’s pretty tame but for video shoots you never know what kind of character you might have to get into. Definitely not a task you’d have at most jobs. At least I haven’t been put into the parrot suit yet.
What do your friends and family know you for?
One of my friends used to call me “Chill Aaron.” He worked at a restaurant that was tough to get reservations at, especially under plain old “Aaron Brenner.” But if I name dropped “Chill Aaron” at the door, I’d be taken right to my table.
What overused industry buzzword do you hate the most? Why?
The word “resources” when it refers to people. Some managers tend to just think in 1’s and 0’s so everything to them is “how many resources do we have?” But truthfully, they’re people. People do real work in the real world, so why think of them as a commodity?
Raison d’etre is some fancy French-ness. What’s your favorite fancy and French thing?
I love to cook, so my favorite French thing is mirepoix. It’s the base of most things you cook. (…necessary link to the mirepoix Wiki for those of us who aren’t fancy chef types.)
Recently, you came back from a trip to Peru and gave everyone coca candies. What did yours taste like to you?
It tasted like sugar and it was kind of grainy. The texture was kind of off. While I was there, I drank a bunch of coca tea, and that had a very unique, herbal taste which I grew very fond of.
Everyone at Raison wears lots of hats. And not the beret type. What’s your favorite hat? Figuratively and literally.
My favorite hat sounds a bit nerdy, but I really like pricing and scoping projects and intaking new work.
Job intake, which is all about communicating with the client, is an interesting challenge. You figure out what they think they need and add what you know they can use. The problem is different every time so it’s a unique process. And I love talking to the team to piece together our solutions for whatever problem they may have.
The reason I said it’s nerdy and weird is because it’s not traditionally creative, despite being unique, interesting, and definitely creative.
My favorite literal hat is the standard baseball cap—minimally branded, total dadcore. But because I’m being affected by male pattern baldness, I may need to take it further. My dad wears Indiana Jones style hats but I don’t think I’m mustachioed enough yet.
What’s your favorite playlist for the office?
I have a playlist for every mood. My favorite right now is called “Film Noir/Jazz Noir/Quiet Dark Jazz” and it’s amazing for a rainy summer afternoon or any gloomy Monday.
Do you know how to jump rope? How confident are you in this skill?
I can jump rope but I don’t know how to do the crossing of arms. I feel much more confident with pogo sticking, I used to be really into that. I was able to go up stairs and spin it in the air. But then I discovered skateboarding was way cooler.
What’s one thing about work that keeps you up at night?
It used to be sending stuff to print but I don’t do that as much anymore. Now, it’s sending proposals—making sure you’ve crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s.
But generally, if a client is unhappy about something, that will keep me up, trying to resolve whatever the problem is in the best way possible.