As Commencement is upon us, several of our Eberly College graduates reflect on their time at WVU and their plans for the future.
Princeton native Dylan Vest landed on his majors by accident. He was supposed to take Spanish as an eighth grader, but a scheduling fluke placed him in French instead. His journey with the language has led him to a career as a diplomat with many stops around the world along the way.
“French has given me attractive language skills that I can use as a Foreign Service officer,” Vest said. “French is a global language – it is an official language
in 29 countries. Learning French and gaining intercultural competency skills through coursework and study abroad have prepared me for my future career.”
While a WVU student, Vest traveled to nine countries through study abroad and Model United Nations. He spent the 2018-2019 academic year studying at Sciences Po in Grenoble, France.
“Writing, speaking, analyzing current events and assessing situations are key to the Foreign Service. My courses and extracurricular activities, such as Model UN, have prepared me for these expectations,” Vest said. “Learning about international relations and how the world works politically has allowed me to develop a balanced analysis of problems in our world and assess possible outcomes. I have learned how to adapt to changing situations.”
After graduating this May, Vest will begin his journey toward becoming a diplomat as a 2020 Thomas R. Pickering Fellow. This prestigious fellowship prepares recent college grads for diplomatic careers. The experience includes a domestic internship with the U.S. State Department, an internship with a U.S. embassy overseas and a career in the U.S. Foreign Service after completing his master’s degree.
“I am excited for my future career as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service,” Vest said. “Political Science and French have given me the knowledge and skill to excel in this role.”
As the first member of his family to attend college, Vest is already anticipating returning to campus in December 2020 with his family for the special Commencement ceremony honoring May 2020 grads.
“As a first-generation college student, it is very emotional to think about not having a traditional ceremony. I am still dealing with this new reality that we live in,” Vest said. “I have been taking solitary walks around the empty WVU campus. Just walking around Woodburn Circle and even up the Life Sciences Building steps brings back all of the memories that I have made at WVU. It makes me feel connected to the University, and I know that it always will.”