Business: Hard work pays off

Young retailer: Aaron Lum said being a national buyer for 900 Woolworths stores was like ‘‘running a small business in a large company’’.

Young retailer: Aaron Lum said being a national buyer for 900 Woolworths stores was like ‘‘running a small business in a large company’’.

It's not every day that a young male retailer gets to "feel like a Miss Universe contestant".

But that's exactly how Kings Langley's Aaron Lum felt during an eliminatory live Q&A for the National Retail Association Young Retailer of the Year Awards.

The 25-year-old, who works at the Woolworths head office in Bella Vista, was up against 25 successful young retailers from across Australia, and took home a highly commended award.

"Winning the award was a challenging but awesome experience," he said.

"I met some really ambitious and passionate people on the day."

The challenge he refers to was due to the lengthy elimination process which involved preparing a business case for the application, a business improvement plan, a panel interview and the Q&A.

After finishing high school at Gilroy College, Mr Lum completed a degree in business and commerce at the University of Western Sydney and a master's degree in international business at Macquarie University.

In five years he went from working in a small supermarket to being Woolworths' national buyer for general merchandise, looking after more than 900 stores.

"I can drive a lot of change within the business," he said.

"It's like running a small business in a large company."

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