Mount O Country


This is Mount O Country

Highlighting a new generation of ideal cigarette models, but without the tar and nicotine. Taste the difference of students and young professionals who are setting a new paradigm.

First impressions matter. We know this. Yet, never has it been more difficult to make a great first impression. In a world with fast news cycles, endless social media posts, and a scarcity for attention--your integrity and brand are paramount. It is challenging enough to stand out in a constant firehose of content, even harder when there are expectations to be carried, or shadows have been cast. Aaron Volf, a student at Baylor and the son of a prominent intellectual and theologian made a choice to carry the wisdom gleaned from his parents, but to set out on his own path, in his way.

Volf very well knows the challenge of stepping out of expectations, choosing to be true to himself and building a reputation which stands out. As such, he has leveraged his resources and time in college to grow Shiners LLC. Shiners is a fully end to end comprehensive service starting from that crucial first impression to long term legacy branding. Whether it is creating a resume or knowing how to dress to impress, Volf has you covered. Borrowing from his own experience and extensive research, Volf's services helps people intentionally build their brand capital.

Here is our Reverse Office Hours with Aaron Volf.

What is the inspiration behind Shiners? How many different services are you looking to start? Which one are you most proud of?

The inspiration behind Shiners came from two main problems/areas that tie into each other. The first being that when I was in my last couple years of high school. I felt lost when trying to figure out how to present myself or communicate in a professional manner with the schools and jobs that I was trying to get accepted into. And I knew my friends and other kids my age also were struggling with this problem. This was the main inspiration behind Shiners because it led me to start trying to solve this problem for both myself, as well as others in similar situations.

That led me to creating the services I offer now: Resume Development, LinkedIn Optimization, and Email Development, all which help individuals develop and present a professional brand. I plan on expanding the range of services that Shiners offers, because I want to help individuals present themselves professionally in as many forms as possible that will be beneficial and advantageous to achieving their goals.

Out of these 3 services, I would say that I am most proud of my LinkedIn Optimization service because I have personally used this platform to land opportunities for myself, and I understand the value that comes from establishing yourself in a professional manner on platforms like this. I understand the opportunities that individuals have the potential to attain, and if they can professionally present themselves on platforms like LinkedIn, it makes the chance of receiving that opportunity 10x more likely.

Graphic of Shiner's 3 main services

Flagship Services from Shiners LLC

You also have been looking into merchandising and other forms of branding creation, where do you want to go with this? What makes you stand out from other service-based businesses?

I have recently started designing some merchandise, starting with hats, and plan on releasing a drop soon. I have always had an eye for and respected fashion, and I see clothing as a way for someone to portray themselves to others. This ties into the reason why I started Shiners, to help people professional portray themselves. So by designing clothing and accessories, I am able to further the impact of Shiners and help people portray themselves not only online, but through clothing and style as well.

Shiners hat being embroidered

Shiners hat being embroidered

Shiners stands out from other service-based businesses because the services I offer go along with each other in a particular way that promotes and grows not only how someone’s brand is portrayed, but also so that those who use my services can maintain their professional brand throughout time. Once one of my services is purchased, it prepares you and positions you in a more professional manner not just for a limited period, but indefinitely. The knowledge and insight gained stays with you and now you can continue to adapt and present yourself as you grow throughout time and achieve more of your goals. My business and brand differentiate me from competitors because in this niche of the professional brand development market, there really is nothing offered that is coupled together like my services are.     

You are a Connecticut kid living in Waco, Texas! What was your experience transitioning to a college as an out of state student?

Right when the plane was landing, I noticed the differences between Texas and Connecticut. Everything was different, from the environment and land, to how people interacted and talked to each other. I knew that it would take some time to transition and get adjusted, but it happened quicker than I expected. I think this is because growing up, I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and experienced a lot of different cultures, which helped me adapt and get along with others easily. Also, all my roommates were from different regions of the United States, so I knew that I was not the only one who was transitioning from a different state. For these reasons, my college experience has been great, and I can call Texas my “home” along with Connecticut.  

Aaron at the skeet shooting range

Connecticut Volf Taking in a little Texas

You have laser focus on your business, but also make time for Greek Life. What drew you to join KA at Baylor? What is your favorite part of being in Greek Life?

I never thought that I would get involved with Greek Life in college and join an organization such as a fraternity. However, this changed when I got to school and met my roommates who were talking about joining a fraternity. One of my roommates, Reece, invited me to come out with him to an event that KA was having, and I got to experience for the first time, what a fraternity was all about. What stuck out to me was the brotherhood within the group of guys. I noticed that every person at the event got along and seemed to have been close friends forever. Looking back, this is what drew me in and caused me to want to join. Especially since I was a long way from home and did not have many friends in Texas besides my roommates who I had just met.   

Aaron Volf sitting with fraternity friends

Volf and the KA Brotherhood

Your father, Miroslav Volf is very prominent and recently released a book, “Life Worth Living.” What have you used from your upbringing to help influence who you are today? How has that been received and what are your future plans?

Growing up I was fortunate to have great parents who were very supportive and ultimately had positive influences on me and my life. They taught me the importance of working hard and taught me to apply myself to everything I do in life. Although they were hard on me at times, I understand why and now that I am older, I can see the value that came from the way I was raised and would not have wanted it any other way. I often find myself reflecting on the past, and every time I look back, I see how what I have experienced and gone through in life has only made me a better person. One thing my dad said that I strongly agree with is that “Pain matters because it opens us up to who we truly are.” In my own life I have seen this come true, and often I notice that we come out stronger and better as individuals, after the suffering is over.

What is some advice to college students who want to pursue a business while in school?  

My advice to college students who want to pursue a business while in school is that your mindset is the most important aspect, and really the only aspect in the world that you have control over. If you can control your habits, actions, thoughts, and beliefs, then you can shape yourself into whatever you want to be. Also, it is important to know that if you are serious about your business, you will have to give up on certain comforts of life and spend the time you would have been relaxing, on working on yourself and developing your business. So, if you think you can handle working harder and longer than others, and going against the grain that everyone else is doing, I say go for it. If you value comfort and taking it easy, I would recommend finishing school before trying to pursue your own business because you will not have the time do chill and build a business while also getting your degree, it is not for everyone.   

Aaron presenting in a suit at Baylor

Strictly Business Volf

Biggest personal life lesson(s) you’ve learned through experience in college that you think others might benefit from.  

I have two main life lessons that I have learned from my experiences in college, and that I think is most valuable for others to hear and benefit from. These two lessons are the value of accountability, and the value of time-management. Both lessons have taught me extremely valuable things for how to live my life. Time management is crucial for when starting a business, going to school, and being involved in other extracurriculars too. Without the ability to plan out my days and write down the tasks or things I must do each day, I would not be able to survive the workload and responsibilities I have every day. Tying into this, accountability is equally important. Your word is your bond, and if you want to build a reputation that is professional, honorable, and respected, then you must not only keep yourself accountable, but also those around you. You are only as strong as the weakest link, so holding those around you to the standard you hold yourself is very important in growing in life.

Be sure to hit up Volf on LinkedIn or on IG or visit the Shiners Website to get some help shaping your brand and future.

Shiners Logo

Shiners LLC

If you enjoyed this story, please feel free to share. And if you know someone we should highlight, definitely drop us a note.

About Mount O and Mount O Country

Mount O is the fastest growing network and value-add resources for motivated college-aged students and young professionals.

"Peak with us"

Follow for the occasional meme and content on our instagram.

Check out the networking app here on iOS.