Ariel poses in front of the Musco Center for her graduation in 2022.

Ariel Gavriliuc‘s journey at Chapman University and the Argyros College is a transfer student’s tale of finding the perfect fit. Originally a music major, Ariel made a pivotal decision to switch to Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance during the challenging times of COVID-19. Reflecting on her time at Chapman, Ariel highlights the factors that made the university the ideal fit for her – the intimate class sizes, vibrant campus life, and a diverse range of events that enriched her college experience.

The Influence of Hands-On Learning at the Argyros College

Graduating in December 2022, Ariel is now thriving as an Investment Analyst at Canterbury Consulting, a prominent professional services firm specializing in investment advice. Her role involves managing portfolios for institutional clients, ranging from tax-exempt foundations to high-net-worth individuals. Ariel emphasizes how her education at the Argyros College went beyond textbook knowledge, providing her with a hands-on approach to real-world career work.

“The professors in the business school have worked in the fields they are teaching on, meaning they have real-world experience that they bring into the classroom. That made a huge difference in my learning experience at the school and the preparation I had for my career post-grad,” Ariel shares.

Life Lessons In and Beyond the Classroom

Before securing her position at Canterbury, Ariel worked in various jobs such as a server, barista, and makeup artist. She acknowledges the invaluable life lessons gained from these experiences, emphasizing the importance of communication skills, adaptability, quick learning, and teamwork – skills that are crucial in any professional setting. “Many college students think that just because they are not interning or getting ‘in-field’ experience, that it won’t help them in the future. In reality, every single life experience is molding you and preparing you,” Ariel wisely notes.

Ariel was involved in the Janes Financial Center’s student-run endowment fund as an equities analyst.

Ariel’s career at Canterbury reached a pivotal moment when she was offered a full-time position after interning with the company. This opened doors for her to speak at various events and join “WIIIN” (Women in Institutional Investment Network), showcasing the exponential growth in her career. Reflecting on her time at Chapman, Ariel highlights her involvement in the Janes Financial Center. “I was involved in the Janes Financial Center student-run endowment,” she says. “I worked as an equities analyst and got to help make investment decisions for a portion of the school’s endowment. This was the most impactful part of my time at Chapman University. It equipped me with presentation skills, analytical skills, and a deeper understanding of finance as a whole.”

Influential Professors and Favorite Classes

Fadel Lawandy and Jim Dusserre emerge as Ariel’s most influential professors at Chapman. Dusserre, her marketing professor, sparked her passion for business, while Lawandy mentored her into the world of finance and currently leads the Janes Financial Center. Ariel’s favorite class, Portfolio Management, provided her with hands-on experience that directly correlates with her current career: “This was the most real-life class – taking into account macroeconomics, basics of finance, intuition, analytics, and then mixing that all together to create the best portfolio,” she says.

Navigating the “Real World” Transition: Ariel’s Advice

For those transitioning from college to the real world, Ariel offers valuable advice: “Get organized, get networking, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Coming out of college into the real world, it feels like you are competing with everyone for a position, a chance to prove yourself. My advice is to switch that mindset. You are your biggest competition. If you focus on others, you will never advance. Focus on being the best candidate you can be.”

Ariel emphasizes the importance of honesty, both with oneself and colleagues, and recommends asking questions at work to enhance understanding and foster growth. Lastly, she advises staying persistent and not getting discouraged if the dream job doesn’t materialize immediately.

As Ariel Gavriliuc’s journey unfolds, her story becomes a source of inspiration for aspiring students navigating the intersection of passion, education, and career aspirations. From a music major to a successful Investment Analyst, Ariel’s story exemplifies the transformative potential of higher education and the diverse experiences that shape a well-rounded professional.


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