Brandilyn Gilbert

Joined the L&S Office of Undergraduate Advising
March 2018

What is your approach to advising?
I approach the college experience as a time of growth and exploration. Whether it’s immediate concerns or trying to grapple with that ever-nagging question, “What do I want to do with my life?”, I help students explore their options each step of the way.

Education
MA, Social Psychology, San Francisco State University, 2013
BA, Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2007

How did you get here?
In my last year of undergrad, I took a job as a College of Letters and Science Peer Advisor and it completely reframed my career goal. Changing direction at the last moment came with challenges when most advisor positions were frozen during the economic crash. So, I substitute taught in middle and high school, managed a culture and emotion research lab, and ran marketing and events for a tech camp. Finally, I became an intake advisor for UCSB’s College of Letters and Science and worked my way up from there, ultimately moving to UC Berkeley to continue my college advising career. My experiences have given me insights into different fields, but most importantly informed how I approach advising. I encourage students to explore broadly and to develop flexible skill sets so they’re prepared for a variety of opportunities.

About me
My idea of a great day is swapping stories with people, preferably in the sunshine with good food and lots of laughter. Also, I start far too many sentences with, “So I’ve been listening to this podcast…”

What advice do you have for L&S students in general?

During my years of interviews with UC alumni, one of the most interesting pieces of advice from an alum was, “Don’t follow a dream.” He had left a major in Computer Science for Film and Black Studies, then built a highly successful digital media company, using technology that didn’t even exist when he started school. He suggested that “dreams” can keep people too focused on a single idea rather than adapting with an ever-evolving world. So, if you’re ever feeling trapped, or worried that everyone around you “has it figured out,” remember that instead of following a dream, you can be someone who builds one. And if you want to talk about what that might look like, my door is open.