Christian Erben

Joined Admission Staff
June 2021

Austin, Texas

What would be your advice to prospective students about the college search?
Be as specific as possible when researching what you want in a school. If you have a list of wants and things you want to see in a school, it makes it easier not only to narrow down your search, but also what questions to ask when you are able to either visit a school, or talk to someone from there. If you are not sure what you want, make pros and cons lists about schools you have researched or visited to see what it is that you want in a school, and what feels positive about the ones you have seen. An admission counselor’s job is not to force you to go to a specific school, but is to see if you would be a good fit, and the more you know about what you want, the easier that job will be for both of you. 

Why should students attend Southwestern?
The academic caliber and the faculty’s attention to students is the main reason I think someone should attend Southwestern. Southwestern is a community: not only of students interacting with other students, but students interacting with professors and faculty members. At Southwestern, you are not in a lecture hall of 1,000+ students: you are one in a class of less than 20, and your professors know you by name and desire to get to know you further. Southwestern fosters an environment where professors have time and resources to give to students inside and outside the classroom, and this attention to each student and their academic needs really sets this university apart from others. This community also goes beyond the classroom: The amount of different organizations and opportunities to meet with and interact with other students really gives you a network and family at SU. 

What are your favorite restaurants in Georgetown and why?
One of my favorite restaurants in Georgetown is Sweet Lemon Kitchen, because of it’s bistro style meals and cute vibe, plus it has great outdoor seating and amazing desserts! I also love Blue Corn Harvest, because of it’s farm to table food and variety of dishes they serve. Lastly, I love the pizza and atmosphere of Roots, a restaurant and bar on the square that does karaoke nights and has live music!  

What is your favorite thing to do in Georgetown and why?
My favorite thing to do in Georgetown is go to the lake with my friends! Lake Georgetown is gorgeous, and has lots of natural rocks and cliffs to hike and places to jump off into the water! The water is also nice and cold, especially when it is hot outside, and I love to picnic with my friends, hike and walk around, and then finish by floating or swimming in the lake.  

What are your favorite restaurants in Austin and why?
I grew up in Austin, and my favorite restaurants are Austin Diner, an Austin original that serves amazing breakfast food, and Ramen Tatsu-ya that serves homemade ramen with a variety of incredible broths and toppings. My sister and I are both semi-vegetarian, and one of the best places for vegetarian eats is Bouldin Creek Cafe: you will not miss the meat with their amazing adaptations and flavors! If you are looking for higher end eats, one of my family’s favorites is Foreign and Domestic, with fresh, innovative dishes and to-die-for popover rolls.

What is your favorite thing to do in Austin and why?
In Austin, the hike and bike trail at Lake Austin is so fun to walk, run, or just explore! If you get hot after your run, you can rent a kayak, canoe or paddle board and hop into Lake Austin as well. Walking around downtown and shopping is also a must, and looking for live music!

What is your favorite SU fun fact?
My favorite fun fact is that we are actually the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of Texas! 

What is your favorite SU tradition?
My favorite tradition is our annual SING! competition, where student organizations perform short skits featuring song and dance. I graduated from SU, and always loved performing in it as a student, and always love watching the other acts as well! I also love the tradition of Late Night Breakfast, where during finals week, the Commons opens up for a late night “breakfast for dinner” served by our professors! It’s a great study break, and also features students singing karaoke!  

What is your favorite place on campus?
My favorite place on campus is the Sarofim School of Fine Arts. The theatre majors and other fine art majors find a home in the Fine Arts Building, or the FAB, and I love finding a comfy chair or couch and doing my homework in that building.  

What are your hobbies?
Outside of work, I do theatre in community and regional theaters, and also work with a non-profit! I love to sing, and am a member of the Round Rock Community Choir. I love cooking and baking, and love bullet journaling as well. 

What would your pirate name be?
To answer this question, I just googled “what is your pirate name”, and the first one gave me the name “Mad McSwaggers” based on my name and birth month… So I think that’s pretty accurate. 

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
When I attended Southwestern, I was a theatre major and very active in our theatre department. Most people don’t know that I played sports for twelve years before coming to college, and I actually was supposed to be a D3 athlete at Southwestern! I was going to be the goalie for our Varsity Women’s team, but decided to focus more on theatre and my other interests. I played varsity lacrosse for three years in high school, and have been playing goalie since I was 12. I also played volleyball, soccer, and varsity basketball throughout middle school and high school. 

If you could have coffee in the Cove with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would like to meet Susan B. Anthony! She is one of my favorite historical figures and feminist icons. I got to portray her in a play in high school and ever since I have been so interested in her story and history of women’s rights and suffrage. 

When not at work, you can find me…
The theater, or at a coffee shop! 

If you could choose one superpower, what would it be?
I would choose the ability to manipulate time– So I could go back to moments or freeze time to enjoy moments more! I could also reverse embarrassing situations I am in and redo them. 

What advice would you give your college self?
Look around and take it all in. College flew by for me, and I cannot believe how fast those four years flew by. There were so many amazing memories… so take pictures, write things down, and make the most of your time. Say yes to adventurous things and make time for your friends. 

What is your anthem?
Every morning, I start my day by blasting the song “Break My Stride” by Matthew Wilder multiple times. I listen to it while getting ready, eating breakfast, making coffee, and driving to work. It’s my morning jam and my favorite pump-up song! 

What is your go-to emoji?
My go-to emoji is the group of yellow sparkles. I use them to emphasize words or phrases in my texts for effect. 

What app do you use the most?
I love TikTok! I tried not to give in to getting it when it was becoming popular, but with the pandemic and lockdown, I got it and never turned back. 

What is your favorite get-to-know-you question, and what would your answer be?
On my first day of this job, I was asked what kind of potato I am, and this question has always resonated with me. I would say I am a crispy smashed potato. I think this question can help you discover a lot about a person.