University of Southern California

USC Student Affairs and Campus Life

Eric Andrada

Keeps the Campus Center Running

By Diane Ver Steeg Anderson

Eric AndradaPhoto by Joel ZinkEric Andrada

When the Tutor Campus Center opened on August 23, 2010, it was not only a memorable day for the USC community but also for Eric Andrada, who started his job as the center’s assistant director of operations.

“I am as old as this building,” joked Andrada about his USC career. “I remember that day very clearly. I was hired to help open this place up.”

Since the center’s grand opening, Andrada has been working hard to make sure daily operations run smoothly.

“He jumped right in and helped make the day’s festivities a huge success,” said Jason Cruz, interim director of operations. “Since then, he has been an integral part of our team and goes above and beyond the call of duty with everything and anything. He is always determined to enhance the experience of our students and guests of the Campus Center by improving and developing services in the building.”

Now associate director of operations, Andrada works with his team to run the front desk, where student consultants answer questions and give directions, set up meeting rooms, and take care of the center’s public spaces.

“Basically anything that goes on in the Campus Center, I have a hand in it,” said Andrada.

He also supervises the two operations coordinators, manages security and access, upgrades technology and maintains such things as lights and elevators.

Working with students is a favorite aspect of his job.

“I have always loved working with students. When students realize their position is more than a paycheck, and they are invested in the position, it is really rewarding to see them put in more than just the minimum,” said Andrada.

With 70 to 80 students working for the Campus Center, what he finds most challenging is getting everybody on the same page.

“We are still discovering the nuances of the facility and, once we figure them out, we have to communicate them to the rest of the team,” said Andrada. “And to really communicate clearly and make sure procedures are followed has been a challenge.”

Andrada got his start working in facilities as a student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in computer engineering. His student assistant job at the university’s Student Union eventually turned into a full-time position as the audiovisual coordinator for the facility.

His life changed when he took a tour of the Tutor Campus Center and Cruz, a colleague from the Association of College Unions International, a professional organization, asked him if he knew anyone who might be interested in an assistant director of operations position. Andrada’s wife as well as his supervisor encouraged him to apply.

“I talked to Jason, came for an interview and here I am,” Andrada said.

Outside of work, Andrada is an avid runner, a freelance DJ and the proud father of five-month-old Lucy.

“I think Eric is a rock star,” said Patrick Bailey, senior associate dean and executive director, Student Life and Involvement. “Since his very first day, Eric has proved to be a dependable, responsible and invaluable addition to our Trojan Family.”