SHELLEY HOBBS | Admissions Recruiter and Counselor
Edenton, N.C. | Campbell University (‘09)
BY BILLY LIGGETT, PHOTO BY BRYAN REAGAN
Shelley Hobbs doesn’t have “DO” at the end of her name, nor does she carry the title of “Dr.” at the beginning.
But when the first graduates of Campbell University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine walk the stage with degrees in hand as the Class of 2017 four years from now, Hobbs will have played a big role in the medical education for many of those students.
She’s the one who brought them here.
And if there’s anyone best suited to introduce outsiders to Campbell University, it’s Shelley Hobbs. A 2009 graduate of the school, Hobbs went to work for her alma mater soon after earning her degree in communication studies by joining the admissions staff as the private schools and Christian market counselor. For over two years, that job required her to champion a school she loved.
In other words, it was a job that came naturally.
“At no time as a student did I think I’d end up working for Campbell,” says the native of Edenton. “But over the course of time, I really grew to love it here. There are so many great things happening at Campbell and so many great people. I had no idea I’d love it as much as I did, so I jumped at the chance to work in admissions and witness new students coming here and getting excited about their futures.”
Her time in admissions — in addition to the precognitive choice to take courses in health communication as an undergrad — made Hobbs the perfect fit once a recruiting and admissions staff for the new school of medicine was needed in 2012.
“There was no way to know we’d have a medical school here when I was a student, and I always thought I’d end up in PR for a hospital or elsewhere in the health care industry,” Hobbs says. “But when they announced the new school … oh my goodness, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
She was the third person to join the student affairs team under Executive Director Mattie Bendall and Director of Admissions Joy Henderson. As a recruiter, Hobbs was required to hit the road shortly after joining the staff in August 2012. Three weeks after taking the job, Hobbs spent three months traveling the country — from New York to California — visiting colleges and universities to spread the word about North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years.
Much to her surprise, Campbell’s reputation and name recognition arrived in many of those states before she did.
“When I worked in undergrad admissions, name recognition was always an initial hurdle for out-of-state students,” Hobbs says. “But for whatever reason, students who want to go to medical school are a different breed. They’ve done their homework, so to speak. People would approach me in California and say, ‘You’re the new med school!’ And I’d say, ‘Yes I am. How in the world have you already heard of us?’”
At 25, Hobbs says she’s living the dream. She has a job she loves, she gets to travel the country and she’s meeting some of the nation’s brightest young minds. That happiness makes it much easier for her to exude excitement about Campbell’s new school.
And that’s why she’s here.
“President Wallace has done an outstanding job growing our university, and to be a part of this latest endeavor is really exciting for me and really humbling,” Hobbs says. “I don’t have a PhD, and I’m not a doctor. I tend to think of myself as really nobody special. But here I am, a part of something that will make an impact on our school, our community and our state. Sometimes I just have to take a step back and ask myself, ‘Is this really happening?’”