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Meet an Admissions Counselor: Gabbi Tobias

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Gabbi Tobias College Admissions Advisor

Written by Gabbi Tobiason September 30th, 2021

I came to College Coach after being a decision maker in college admissions. I began my career at High Point University where I read and evaluated thousands of applications from territories across the US, including the Midwest and the West Coast. I led essay workshops and case studies to educate prospective families on the college admissions process. Dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion during my time at High Point, I implemented and led the office’s Diversity Recruitment Board, which focused on recruitment, yield, and retention of students from underrepresented communities. And as a recruited collegiate lacrosse player I understand the pressures and demands that the recruitment process entails. Not only have I worked with recruited athletes, but I myself have experienced the process firsthand!
Learn More About Gabbi
Gabbi Tobias Professional HeadshotWe’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 an educational 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 Gabbi Tobias. Where are you from, where have you lived, and where do you live now? I am a “southernish” girl at heart. I was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Grew up and was raised in Greensboro, North Carolina. About three years ago I made the very rash decision to move all the way across the country to Southern California where I currently live. What are you reading, watching, and/or listening to lately?  Please no judgement. In high school I was a big Twilight fan. I recently discovered that the author of the series published a book through Edward’s point of view called Midnight Sun so I am currently working my way through that. I hate to admit this, but my guilty pleasure is reality TV, so you can find me watching anything on Bravo or E! TV. What do you do for fun or to relax? Being from the East Coast, I take advantage of the West Coast weather as much as I can. I love hiking, going to the beach, and being outdoors as much as possible. I am huge foodie so I love trying any new foods or restaurants near me. 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 love anything to do with fashion. I love seeing how history can repeat itself with different looks, styles, and trends. I can spend hours on YouTube and Pinterest researching the history behind fashion trends and how to style different looks. Every year I also research the inspiration behind designer’s Met Gala looks; the concepts behind this stuff is so interesting! -- Where did you go to college? Methodist University What did you study? I earned my B.S. in Justice Studies, which is similar to a Criminal Justice degree. I took a wide array of classes mainly dealing with our criminal justice system, as well as classes in cybersecurity, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and forensics. What was your favorite thing about college? My favorite thing about college was that I was able to make it my own experience. I studied at a very small, private liberal arts university, so I was able to personalize my experience to what I wanted and needed. I was a collegiate athlete, playing four years of Division III lacrosse, so that, plus my major, were the main drivers in choosing a college. Sports actually ended up taking up the least amount of my time because I was involved in so many other things, and I loved that! I loved the feeling of not being pigeonholed in one group and being able to diversify my undergraduate experience: I was an athlete, in Greek Life, in honor societies, on the student justice board, and so much more. I think this helped open my eyes to different experiences and opportunities that were available to me after graduating. What would you say to your high school self if you could coach him/her through the research and application process? What would you have done differently? First, I would have told myself to relax and that it is all going to fall into place. But, most importantly this process is not one size fits all. What is going to be a good fit for your peers may not be a good fit for you. Start your research early and really spend time getting to know yourself and what environment you will thrive in. I spent a lot of time applying to schools for all the wrong reasons (namely, choosing campuses where my peers were applying, and taking into consideration factors that others wanted for me, not what I wanted for myself). It was not until later in the process did I start digging into the “why” behind my college list. Once I did intentional research, I was able to find the perfect fit for me. -- Where did you work in admissions and/or counseling? I worked as a Senior Regional Admissions Counselor at High Point University, though I was based in Southern California. What aspect of the college admissions and/or counseling process do you most enjoy working on? The college search process, and developing the college list. I enjoy guiding students through finding hidden gems, and watching them develop a sense of confidence when they discover the school that is the perfect fit for them. How do you encourage students to look beyond the schools they know to find hidden gems? Take advantage of the local opportunities available to you. Go to college representative’s information sessions when they visit your high school. Attend college fairs, and talk to those schools that don’t have a line outside the door. When you start to diversify the information that you are taking in, this is when you are able to look beyond the status quo. What in your mind makes a good college essay? Being authentic goes a long way. Speak your truth and tell your story; it is called a personal statement for a reason. Admissions counselors want to get to know you in a more personal way, so don’t pick a topic based on what you think you should write about. Pick a topic that is important and relevant to you, and one that clearly articulates your passions and interests. How would you describe your counseling style? I like to see myself as an advocate for any and all students. I love helping students become a better version of who they are. I want to show you how you can thrive and succeed in any environment and in turn give you the tools to properly advocate for yourself. To learn more about Gabbi, visit her bio.

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