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Student Perspectives: A Day in the Life of a First Year

About Gus: Prior to Anderson, Gus Avarello (‘23) lived in San Diego and London and worked in Real Estate Valuation at KPMG. Gus is a first-year student at Anderson and in his free time, he likes traveling, surfing, and searching for the best breakfast burritos and sandwiches in Los Angeles.

At Anderson there is a seemingly endless supply of events and activities going on every single day, so it is crucial to what will add the most value to your personal experience while also remembering to prioritize building lasting relationships with your classmates. 

During the fall (core) quarter, I was enrolled in four classes: Managerial Economics, Marketing Management, Data & Decisions, and a course with Parker on career prep. These took place Monday to Thursday. I will share with you what a typical Thursday looked like for me!

6:45 AM: After snoozing for 15 minutes, I roll out of bed and make a (much needed) pot of coffee. 

7:00-9:00 AM: On Thursdays I don’t have class until 2:30, so I like to use my mornings to surf! The proximity to the beach is a big reason I chose Anderson, so I make sure to maximize my ocean time each week. There is a good-sized group of first-years who love to surf (all skill levels!) and we try to go out a few times a week. 

9:00 AM-9:45 AM: Drive home from the beach (most students live about 15-20 minutes away from the beach) and shower before beginning the rest of my day. 

10:00 AM-11:00 AM: Given I am recruiting for a non-traditional industry (real estate) a big part of recruiting is holding coffee chats with Anderson alumni and industry professionals. I generally try and hold about 5 – 10 meetings (usually virtual) per week. On Thursdays I tried to schedule 1 – 2 during this window given my late start to class.  

11:00-11:15 AM: Drive to Anderson!

11:30-12:30 PM: Real Estate ACT (Anderson Career Teams) time! Something unique about Anderson is the opportunity to get coached in your industry of choice by 2nd year students (“ACT Coaches”). Successful 2nd years who recruited in a particular industry share their experience with first years, while teaching industry fundamentals and sharing their perspective on trends. Our ACT Coaches also organized various “101s” where we dove deeper into various real estate functions one evening per week. These sessions were led by recent successful alumni, so they were excellent opportunities to learn about how the functions differed from practicing professionals. 

12:30-1:30 PM: For lunch I would head somewhere on campus with a member of my ACT group. Anderson itself has a café that makes excellent bowls, salads and sandwiches, but I would also venture to the other dining establishments on campus if I felt like poke bowl or fish tacos. In addition to the plethora of options offered on-campus, a short 20-minute walk down the hill to Westwood offers access to almost every fast casual restaurant imaginable.  

1:30-2:30 PM: After lunch I would find a spot on-campus to catch up on emails, potentially have a coffee chat, or do any coursework. 

2:30-4:00 PM: My only class on Thursday was Data & Decisions. During the fall quarter, each class met twice per week for 1.5 hours each session. In Data & Decisions the class sessions alternated between traditional lecture format and “Lab” sessions where we had a chance to apply the theory to actual business problems using RStudio (a statistical program). We worked through these labs in class with our “Learning Teams,” which are study groups you complete your entire core curriculum with. My Learning Team and have gotten incredibly close, and this model has been one of my favorite parts of the Anderson experience. 

4:00-4:45 PM: Similar to before class, I would use this window to catch up on work or have a quick coffee chat before one of Anderson’s greatest traditions…

4:45-6:00 PM: Andernoons! Every Thursday, Anderson students put together an on-campus social event called Andernoons. This includes free beer, wine, and fantastic food. It is a great opportunity to unwind, catch up with classmates, and begin to plot the weekend ahead. 

6:00-8:00 PM: Head back home and get ready for the evening. I would catch up on emails for the day or have a coffee chat. Since we do not have class on Fridays, I typically saved any work on deliverables for the next day or the weekend.  

8:30 PM: Head out for the night! Given that Thursday is our “Friday,” it was one of my favorite nights to get together with friends. Thursdays included everything from getting dinner with classmates at one of the countless awesome restaurants in LA, watching the Anderson Soccer Club play a match against the Marshall (USC) Soccer Club (the most important UCLA / USC rivalry obviously), trivia nights, game nights, wine nights, and of course nights at classic West LA / Anderson establishments (Q’s, Mom’s, Bungalow, Thunderbird, to name a few…)

I hope you enjoyed a walk through my day! While it is incredibly important to attack your professional and academic goals while at Anderson, it is also just as important to unwind and build relationships with your classmates. The two years at Anderson will fly by!

Student Blogger: Gus Avarello ‘23

Undergrad: University of San Diego, ‘16

Pre-MBA: Real Estate Valuation Manager at KPMG

Leadership@Anderson: Director of Alumni, Association for Real Estate at Anderson; Director, Admissions Ambassador Corps

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