Paula brings years of varied and relevant experience to her role as a college advisor. A graduate of Harvard, she was an alumni admissions interviewer for 15 years. With an MBA from UCLA, she enjoyed a successful career as a corporate marketing executive and entrepreneur before deciding to make a career change. As the first in her family to attend college, Paula had been the “go-to” person among her friends and family when they had questions about choosing and applying to schools. She decided to turn her hobby into her career, and received her college counseling training and certification through the College Board Summer Institute. “I absolutely love working with high school students. Although they must ‘own’ this journey for themselves, I hope my expertise and life experiences can help them on their way. Not surprisingly, we inevitably laugh quite a bit as we go…”
Paula’s ongoing professional development activities include membership in the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC), and the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA); annual training with the University of California and California State University systems; and visits to dozens of campuses each year. A 16 year resident of Hermosa Beach, she is married and has two school-aged children.
"Our children were helped immeasurably by Paula's services. We can say with some authority that: with Paula's amazing ability to listen to and understand our children's goals, desires, and fears; her help in suggesting educational institutions that matched their interests (some of which we had never heard of, much less been aware of their strengths); and her step-by-step plan and follow-up for showing them how they can achieve their goals, that Paula Barksdale is truly a college counselor with the ability to change your children's lives!"
- Parents of Kevin, Pomona College class of 2009
and Kayla, Whitman College class of 2011