Campus Celebrity: Austin Averna

This week’s Campus Celebrity goes by the name of Austin Averna, who originally hails from Millstone, New Jersey. He is a sophomore here at Lasell College, currently living in Woodland Hall as a resident assistant (RA).  Averna said his major is, “fashion merchandising with a double minor in Graphic Design and Event Planning.” Even though Averna is only a sophomore he is excited to learn more about his major and the retail industry.  He said, “I’m really into my major and I feel like I have really high energy. I’ll talk up Lasell like it’s nobody’s business and I think I did them justice.”  Averna not only enjoys his major, he loves being a part of the Lasell RA community as well.

His bubbly personality and ability to carry on a meaningful conversation with anyone, makes for an outstanding RA. Averna said, “I met all these different RA’s and I started talking to them more and they were such a good group of people. I want to surround myself with people who I know are going to prosper and I know are brilliant intellectuals and just fun to be around.” He hopes to make a difference as an RA by teaching values to his residents.  More specifically he said, “I try to instill respect in them. To respect me, to respect my co-workers, each other, respect the people that clean the bathrooms. Were all part of cogs in this giant machine.”

Being respectful and working hard are important values that Averna stands by.  He said, “If I want something I have to go out and work for it. Letting that dissolve into college, it just makes life so much easier because I have the motivation and the drive to do all this stuff.”  Averna’s dedication to his work gave him the opportunity to travel to New York for the National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference.

Averna excitedly said, “It was really, really fun and anyone can go. Luckily Professor Weiss chose me to represent Lasell, so I got a free ticket to go, which made me ecstatic!”  The retail management Professor, Averna had during last year’s spring semester was so impressed with his work ethic that she wrote him a letter of recommendation for a scholarship funding his experience at the NRF.  The conference took place during the second week of January from the 14th to the 17th, where Averna traveled with over thirty students from Lasell.   

When asked what the conference entailed he said, “It’s all retail, so anything you could sell. There was food, Walmart, Home Depot and we got to talk to people who were CEO’s of this company.” Averna’s passion for this industry was highly evident as he discussed what he learned on the trip.  He said, “Mainly you got to hear about VP’s of social purpose, social media, and director of technologies. They were brilliant. And never in my life have I seen adults get so giddy talking to a twenty year old.”  At the NRF conference Averna found people who were just as passionate for their work, as he is.

Averna mentioned, “It was really amazing that Lasell was one of the top schools with the most amount of kids there and we’re all well-educated on the industry and enthusiastic about what we want to do in life.”  He feels that it is extremely valuable for Lasell to continue opportunities like participating in the NRF conference for its students and that he can’t wait to see what’s next.

Picture courtesy of Celebrity.