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Meilin Obinata: Senior College Admissions Counselor

Hi! I am Meilin Obinata. I love working with students because they keep my brain fresh – I am always learning from them as I encourage them in their adventures, whether traveling the landscape of open-source software or photography. 

The Bay Area is my home. My memories of Aptos High School include P.E. runs up and down the hills of campus in foggy mornings as well as entertaining my teachers with a BBC-inspired accent as I read passages aloud. I graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Mathematics and earned a J.D. from Mitchell Hamline in St. Paul, Minnesota. The generous full-tuition scholarship for all three years of law school enticed me there! In my pre-education life, I gained experience in tech, business incubation, government and nonprofits.  

My history of working with scientists, artists, lawyers, teachers, activists, engineers and entrepreneurs in high technology companies, social justice institutions and non-profits helps me build a vision for what my students can do with their futures as unique adults. This is very helpful when I work with students who are finding their strengths in 9th, 10th and 11th grades.  

I began working as a college consultant in late 2012, in the Bay Area which is how I became very familiar with local and international schools, such as Monta Vista, Lynbrook, Cupertino, Fremont, Gunn, Paly, Menlo Atherton, Valley Christian, Amador Valley, Dougherty, Lowell, St. Francis, Archbishop Mitty, King’s Academy, Harker, Carlmont, Crystal Springs UplandShanghai American (Puxi, Pudong), Taipei American, and Mount Madonna. Whether encouraging students to work on their applications with the promise of pizza, using a whiteboard to capture ideas for essays, or discussing college lists with families, I have found various ways to make the application process easier and am happy to share those methods with students and families.  

I believe education is a creative endeavor and that we are all in the process of constantly learning and growing, at all ages. I make a point to truly listen, paying close attention so that I can create a space that allows my students to consider new ideas for themselves so that they can see what is truly important and thus discover who they are.   

My students have been accepted into undergraduate, graduate and summer programs for engineering, business and other academic destinations, including: University of California (all nine undergraduate  campuses), California State University campuses, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, Rutgers University, Arizona State University, The State University of New York at Buffalo, University of Arizona, Evergreen State University, UC Berkeley Global Management at Haas, Brown University, Boston University BS/MD, Case Western University, University of Chicago (undergraduate and MBA), Columbia, Cornell Engineering, Carnegie Mellon College of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Johns Hopkins University, Hampshire College, NYU Stern School of Business,  Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Purdue University, University of Michigan, Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Santa Clara University, Pitzer College, Colgate University, University of Southern California, USC Marshall School of Business (undergraduate and MBA), University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington Honors, Washington University at Saint Louis, Stanford Institutes of Medicine Summer Research Program, Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, The Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop, Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference, University of Chicago Research in the Biological Sciences and UC COSMOS.   

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What Are Insight Students & Parents saying?
  • Thank you so much for helping me formulate my thoughts into words and help me write my essays. I got into Ut Austin for biology – still waiting for the Honors decision. I also got into Drexel undergrad – still waiting for the BSMD decision. I will be sure to update you when I hear […]

  • I just wanted to thank you again for your help during the college admission process. My family and I have been scrambling to figure out the process for years, and especially coming from an immigrant family and being the first in my family to go to college in the US, there was a lot of […]

  • I really couldn’t have gotten to Harvard without you. In shock. Thank you x10000000000000! I have the best college counselor in the world!

  • I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time out of your day to organize a meeting with me and help me in writing my summer program essays. Your feedback really helped my writing and me as a writer. 

  • I just got my SAT scores on Friday, and I am happy to let you know that I scored an 800 on both the Biology-M and Math II tests. Thank you so much for your help and constantly encouraging me. Also, please thank the rest of the Insight team for me for providing complimentary practice […]

  • Our ACT instructor methods were so helpful and wonderful to have.

  • Zach, thank you so much for helping me become a confident and successful writer

  • We were extremely happy throughout the process – got much more than what we invested in Insight counseling.

  • From their knowledge of all the colleges and resources, professionalism and the hands-on coaching, Insight has raised the bar!  

  • Insight counselors truly care about students not only during their time at Insight but further along the road.

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