March 14, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Senior Gabriel Alvarado has been a member of two national championship teams during his time on The Farm. The economics major from Miami, Fla. talked about his plans after graduation, the importance of family and his transition from Miami to the Bay Area.
How did you get involved in gymnastics?
I first started when I was eight. I ended up in gymnastics because I wanted to do whatever my sister was doing that summer and she was doing gymnastics. The camp coach took interest in me and I joined the team and it all built from there."
What are your plans after graduation?
"I redshirted my freshman year along with the entire freshman class so I'm a senior this year but I'll be around next year, I have a fifth year of eligibility. I was accepted to the Management Science and Engineering co-term so I'll be working on my master's next year. After graduate school I want to work. I'm an economics major and my interests are in business, something in the medical sector or medical device technology is where I'd like to be. Going forward, I'd like to be in venture capital working with medical start-ups. After a few years I'd like to go back and go to medical school, that's something I've wanted to do from a very young age."
Why did you end up at Stanford?
"I was looking to get into the best school I could academically and when I got in to Stanford, it as a school I was always interested in. Thom called me when he found out that I was accepted and asked me to join the team and it was a no-brainer. They had one of the best gymnastics teams in the nation at the time and the best academics in the country. I'm really glad I made that decision. It's been a great experience and I wouldn't do anything differently. I really enjoy this area. I'd like to get an internship around here for the next couple of summers and this is the best area for the field I want to be in."
How hard was the transition from Miami to the Bay Area?
"The nicest thing about coming out here was not having to deal with the snow. That was one of the things that made my decision even easier. Once I got out here, I realized it's still a lot colder than Miami. The weather is beautiful but it was a bit of an adjustment. The biggest challenge was coming out her on my own to the furthest school possible from my home. I'm really close with my parents and the time change makes it a little difficult to talk to them as much as I'd like. I went from being in an area where I was very comfortable to completely separating myself and not knowing anyone out here and being across the country."
What role has your family played in your life?
"My parents have been really supportive with gymnastics. It took a lot of sacrifice on their part when I was younger getting me to meets and practices six days a week. They helped me develop a structure and organizational skills early on and that was really important once I got older and taught me how to prioritize and be efficient with my work and my time and how to enjoy it. It wasn't all about studying and going to practice, they made sure I had enough time to spend with my friends and have a normal childhood and it encouraged me to try new things. The mentality of going for my dreams and never backing down was a huge part of getting me where I am today."
If you had a day free of gymnastics and school, how would you spend it?
"If I had a day to do anything I wanted, I'd like to travel with my teammates. Go somewhere in the area and explore California. That's what we like to do, have a relaxing day and enjoy where we go to school and take advantage of the area."