Griffin Thayer Saunders is a 2018 Chapman University graduate with a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate and a minor in Psychology. His Chapman experience was defined by a balance between a lively social atmosphere and the cultivation of authentic connections. “My Chapman experience was perfect for me,” he says, “since I wanted a school that was big enough to meet new people all the time, but also small enough that I can make genuine friendships and connections with people in classes, extracurriculars, etc.” The university’s size allowed him to actively participate in Greek life, engaging in events such as Skit, Airbands, and Banner & Chant, facilitating interactions with peers from various campus chapters and all walks of life.
Campus to Career
Currently, Griffin serves as a Sales Associate at CAIN Group, a team operating within Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. His entry into the real estate arena was guided by an inclination toward residential properties. Initially, he was not sure if he wanted to do residential or commercial real estate, but veered into residential real estate because he loved meeting people and families rather than investors. The human-centric aspect of aiding families in significant life transactions resonated deeply with him.
Before joining CAIN Group, Griffin contributed his expertise to two separate brokerages, streamlining processes for smaller agents. This track record of consistent and reliable support captured the attention of CAIN Group’s team manager, paving the way for Saunders’ ascent from a Field Coordinator to a Client Services Coordinator, culminating in his appointment as one of five Sales Associates in January 2021.
Chapman University’s Argyros School of Business and Economics played a pivotal role in Saunders’ post-graduate career preparation. “It was a goal of mine to have my real estate license before graduating college so that I could immediately jump into getting experience at a brokerage,” he says. The specialized Real Estate emphasis not only ensured compliance with state-mandated collegiate-level courses but also granted him access to professors with extensive real-world expertise in both Residential and Commercial real estate domains. The classroom experience fostered a comprehensive understanding of different career avenues within the industry.
His active participation on campus significantly influenced his career trajectory. Involvement in Greek Life, Track & Field, and the ultimate frisbee club honed his ability to communicate effectively across diverse personalities and backgrounds. This skill set became invaluable in his interactions with clients during open houses and fellow agents during property showings.
Among the influential figures during his time at Chapman, Professor Fadel Lawandy stood out. His guidance extended beyond classroom content, offering personal insights and addressing questions across multiple topics, particularly Investments and Real Estate Finance.
Saunders’ fondest memories revolve around his senior year, where his passion for Real Estate flourished. Focused studies allowed him to fully engage in the subject, resulting in heightened enthusiasm, attentiveness, and eagerness to learn. While foundational business courses provided essential background knowledge, discovering his true calling amplified his academic experience.
For students or recent graduates aspiring to tread a similar path, Saunders emphasizes the virtues of patience and persistence. The early stages of a career in Residential or Commercial real estate can be arduous and gradual, leading many to reconsider their choices. However, developing a robust knowledge base, nurturing a solid foundation, and fostering confidence will ultimately pave the way for substantial growth and achievement.
As a Chapman alum, Saunders remains deeply appreciative of the university’s formative role in his real estate journey. Academic excellence, practical exposure, and a vibrant campus community has undoubtedly contributed to his accomplishments. To his fellow Argyros Alumni and current students, he imparts a message of embracing every facet of the journey, staying the course, and witnessing one’s aspirations unfold in unforeseen and remarkable ways.