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Meet an Admissions Counselor: Blair Dixon

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Blair Dixon College Coach

Written by Blair Dixonon March 4th, 2024

I come to College Coach having completed my tenure as a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Brandeis University. At Brandeis, I was the territory manager and application reader for high schools in New England, the Mid-West, and my home state of Texas. I reviewed and made decisions on applications for programs including business, the arts, sciences, humanities, and social sciences, as well as many applications from undecided students, In addition to recruiting students and making admissions decisions, I was also a member of the Campus Visit Experience team where I managed nearly 60 student Admissions Ambassadors and Admissions Fellows. We led countless campus tours, information sessions, and panels with the goal of authentically giving prospective students insight into life on campus. Prior to my time in admissions, I worked as the college advisor for two high schools in the Boston Public School system. There, I helped hundreds of high school seniors pursue their post-secondary aspirations, whether that be four-year or community college pathways, or job-training programs and apprenticeships.
Learn More About Blair
We’re bringing back our popular series, Meet an Admissions Counselor, where we introduce students and families to a different member of the College Coach admissions team. Drop in to see what we’re reading, where we went to school, and our strategies for beginning the college essay. As you work with us to find a college admissions consultant who best fits your needs or the needs of your child, we will help you consider the personality and working styles that will bring out the best in you or your student. Today we introduce Blair Dixon. Where are you from, where have you lived, and where do you live now? I am originally from the Houston area and moved up north for undergrad. I lived in rural Maine for college and have spent the last five years in Boston. What are you reading, watching, and/or listening to lately? I love consuming content that digs into the spectrum of experiences within the human psyche. So, right now I’m very into a podcast that highlights the voices of people who have survived cults or other high-control groups. I’m also watching season three of Succession, and reading Jennette McCurdy’s autobiography. What do you do for fun or to relax? I consume television systematically. I have a note in my phone where I have a detailed rating system for every show I ever watch. I also love to travel, and I look forward to my next international trip. I enjoy listening to live music, watching live theater, and restaurant hopping wherever I go. What are some of your interests—things that fascinate you or send you down internet rabbit holes, or things you love to learn more about? I’m actually kind of obsessed with evidence of the supernatural/sci-fci themes in the “real world.” Think aliens, cryptids, ghosts, etc. I enjoy reading or listening to people’s stories describing their experiences with these creatures. I’ve never had an encounter myself (and would prefer not to), but it’s fun and spooky to think about, even if I don’t 100% believe it. Do you do any volunteer work? If so, what, and are there certain causes that are close to your heart? I bring a social justice lens to everything I do, personally and professionally. I engage in discourse and action around racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and education access. -- Where did you go to college and what did you study? I attended Colby College where I was a double major in biology and sociology. I also received my Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from Boston University. What was your favorite thing about college? My favorite thing about college was the living/learning environment. My college was a small community, and I found community even further in the multicultural center on campus. It was awesome being immersed 24/7 with my peers--especially those who shared in my identities, background, and experiences—supporting each other in our academic endeavors. I created lifelong bonds with my friends from college and would have really struggled without their support. What would you say to your high school self if you could coach them through the research and application process? What would you have done differently? Trust the process. Life is going to be full of twists and turns, and the college application process is no different. There are multiple ways to achieve the same academic, professional, and personal goals you may have, and one pathway is no more correct than another. Trust your gut but be open to new and possibly scary experiences. -- Where did you work in admissions? My most recent professional experience was in the admissions office at Brandeis University. Prior to that, I was a college advisor in two Boston public high schools. What aspect of the college admissions process do you most enjoy working on? My favorite thing about my career is helping students find their best fit pathway. The time leading up to and in college is such a transformative time for young people, and I love being in a position to help them find their sense of self and pathway in life. What in your mind makes a good college essay? My favorite essays are the ones that really highlight your interests, passions, and quirks. The personal statement is an open space to share a side of yourself that may not be readily apparent on other aspects of your application. This isn’t an opportunity to just reiterate your resume. Tell me more! How do you guide and nurture students through the college list process, from initial research to narrowing the final list? Listening is central to my counseling process. I know that it can be tempting to let outside factors play into the list-building process, but I enjoy helping students zero in on their actual wants and needs in a future college campus. That means leaning away from prestige and rankings and focusing on the aspects of a campus that really contribute to an individual’s higher education experience. I also want to remind students that there will never be a college that is 100% perfect, which is why we use the phrase “best fit.” At the end of the day, you should be excited about envisioning yourself on the campuses that you put on your list. How would you describe your counseling style? I would describe my counseling style as facilitating. I really listen and hear the needs of the student and am fluid in how I can support those different needs. I’m supportive and encouraging and enjoy helping students build confidence and autonomy. To learn more about Blair, visit her bio.

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