Oliver Debe

New Student Specialist & Adjunct Instructor

Gateway Technical College

1. What did you study in college?  Was your plan to enter the school counseling world?

I completed my undergraduate degree at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois and earned a B.S. in Business Administration and Hospitality Management. I continued on at DePaul for graduate school and earned a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and College Student Development. My time at DePaul and involvement in a wide variety of extracurricular activities and student leadership development positions opened my eyes to see a career path in higher education and college admissions recruitment and outreach. I did not plan to work in higher education originally as I wanted to become a general manager at a city club in Chicago. However, my time at DePaul helped me realize my passion for higher education and college access for students, and I decided to shift my career path into this field. 

2. What inspires you most about your job?

The myriad of students that I have the honor to work with each day inspire me most in my role at Gateway Technical College. They are resilient, passionate, caring, and inspiring to me. The best part of my job is to help students learn about their passions, career path options, and how Gateway Technical College can support them in their journey into and through higher education.

3. How has being a member of WACAC helped you?

Becoming a member of WACAC since 2017 has made a significant impact in my life and professional career development in higher education. I have made fantastic connections and friendships on both sides of the desk with admissions professionals and high school counselors due to WACAC. From assisting and leading WACAC's New Counselor Institute Programs for the past three years to co-leading the MIDWest 2021 Conference, WACAC and its members have helped me grow as a young higher education and admissions professional. I am grateful to WACAC and so many of our peers in this organization who continually push me to grow and become a better higher education and admissions professional.

    4. What is one piece of advice you would give a new admissions counselor or high school counselor?

    Give yourself some grace and time to learn your new role at your institution or high school. Your students will teach you so much about this profession and how to aid them in good and bad times during their college search and journey process. Be eager to learn, ask questions often, volunteer for extra events outside of your normal work duties, and get involved with WACAC. There are many committees and events that you can get involved within WACAC! 

      5. If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

      Pizza! I could eat it every day, and in the Kenosha/Racine area there are great pizza spots to try and enjoy a great piece of pizza. If you are ever visiting or working in Southeast Wisconsin, be sure to check out our great pizza spots!

      6. What's an interesting fact about you that has nothing to do with admissions counseling?

      I love to travel and have visited every island in the Caribbean Sea with the exception of Cuba. I hope to get there someday to visit and experience the vibrant culture there. Traveling is a way for me to escape and explore new cultures, people, food, music, and nature in our world. It brings me joy and happiness often, but I also always enjoy coming home to Wisconsin!

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