Debra Gips

Debra Gips | Bio

I spent 23 years (1986-2009) working for The Johns Hopkins University. For the first eight years, the focus of my work was computing and helping people use new technology. A great deal of my time was spent training users and writing documentation to make learning new software applications and office procedures easy and straightforward. For the next fifteen years, I served as webmaster and information manager for the JHU Web, the top-level Johns Hopkins University web presence. My responsibilities in this capacity centered on information architecture, organizing and formatting content, and considering the best way to present and promote the university in an engaging manner. Strong written communication and presentation skills were central to my success in this position. The ability to work collaboratively with individuals, groups and countless departments across the university was also key.

I received my B.A. and M.A. in English Language & Literature from the University of Michigan, graduating with honors in 1984 and 1985. Because of my degrees and higher education background, over the years I have been provided with many opportunities to assist the children of friends and family with their college admissions essays. It has always been my pleasure to lend a hand. I like working with young people and helping them tell their stories and underscore the activities and experiences that make them special. More important, I am good at it.

In September 2009, my son entered his senior year at Moorestown High School in New Jersey. Now it was our turn, as a family, to experience the unique combination of excitement, anticipation, promise and stress that applying to college has always inspired. And so, from the moment the common app became available on July 1 to November 1, the early application deadline for most schools, I did what all parents do in this situation. I encouraged my son to dig in and get moving. Populating all of those online applications is time-consuming, but relatively routine. Responding to all of those essay prompts, meanwhile, takes considerably more thought and creative energy. I think we can all agree that effectively communicating your strengths and aspirations in 500 words or less is no small feat.

Long story short, I have a first-hand understanding of how the college application process works and also how it feels. Moreover, I understand the type of organization and discipline that is required to tackle projects of this significance. Setting deadlines is key, and so is staying on-task and rigorously editing and fine-tuning those essays. Organization, discipline, deadlines, staying on-task, editing ... anyone who knows me even a little, knows that these are words that best describe me. So, if you need a hand getting started with the college application process, staying on track, or wrapping everything up please get in touch. I am ready to help.