On a typical day you will find Dallas Wilson, a senior HOD major and Business minor, sitting in a coffee shop zeroed in on his current task. Whether it’s working with clients, creating content, or editing videos for his YouTube channel, Dallas keeps a busy schedule and a long to-do list.
One would typically think that after securing an offer with Oliver Wyman, a top five consulting company, the average Vanderbilt senior would slow down, relax, and coast through the rest of the year. This could not be more wrong in Dallas’s case. On top of career coaching, he runs his own YouTube channel that talks about his college experience and helps students prepare for the post-graduate world. College YouTubers have become increasingly popular as prospective students like to see their potential life at top universities. However, Dallas hopes to fill a gap in YouTube by sharing valuable insights and information to all students, not just the privileged ones.
“I noticed there is a lot of gatekeeping of information that many students need. This is why I became a career coach, however, I realized that YouTube can reach more people than I have time to coach. Especially when it comes to careers, there are just so many factors that make a huge difference but students, largely black students of course, don’t have access to the correct resources. As a senior, I also wanted to talk about my experiences in college. College YouTubers are apparently a ‘thing’ but they’re mostly freshmen and sophomores, so I want to give a different perspective.”
The YouTube channel represents the pinnacle of Dallas’ goal: “empowering people to get the opportunities they want.” Although hard work, dedication, and commitment were essential in his journey, Dallas always emphasizes the value of connections and relationships. He admits that his chances of securing his post-graduation job were around 1%, but the relationships he fostered allowed him to get the internship and even enticed him to go back after graduation.
However, Dallas admits that he has not had the same connective success in his social life on campus. Creating solid, meaningful relationships came a little harder and the expectations of what college life was ‘supposed’ to be weighed down the experience.
“The greatest challenge [at Vanderbilt] has definitely been adjusting socially. Before college, I moved schools regularly, to multiple private and public schools with drastically different demographics. At every single one I was always a favorite. [In] middle school, I was in the newspaper and random people would stop me at the grocery store. [I] graduated high school as the golden child out of 600+ students. Here, everyone hated me, particularly for things that no one else ever had an issue with. That completely changed my personality and decimated my confidence.”
Although the social transition from high-school to college was difficult, the journey towards his future success was relationship-centric. His expansive network allowed him to see his true potential and open doors to opportunities that were not possible before. Being flown out to companies like Oliver Wyman, Google, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs proved to Dallas that he could be successful through his talents with the help of those who believed in him along the way.
“After the summer with all these companies, I realized a lot of students weren’t getting the professional development resources they needed. After working with a few friends and getting impressive results, I started career coaching. Over the past year I’ve worked with over 30 clients, with several international clients. I was scared to start career coaching, but have solid people in my life who keep encouraging me to do crazy things like starting a YouTube. I just want to pay it forward because I’ve been given so much.”
When asked what values he’s developed while being at Vanderbilt, Dallas simply said: “independence”. Most of his time is spent alone, working with clients or developing content for his YouTube channel. Making himself into a brand has stressed the importance of uninterrupted focus while working. For this reason, Dallas finds an undeniable power in being independent through developing autonomy. While most of his time is spent grinding, Dallas spends his free time hanging with close friends or playing video games in his room. Although college expectations require that students are partying every weekend, Dallas finds himself enjoying a night in instead. Once he released the expectations of what he was ‘supposed’ to be as a Vandy student, he started to thrive even more.
With this same work ethic and determination, Dallas hopes to be an executive in a Fortune 500 company or run his own company one day. He wants his personal story to serve as an inspiration to others who may not currently feel satisfied with their Vanderbilt experience. To those people, Dallas maintains that “Vanderbilt is a small fraction of your life.” He encourages others to take advantage of all of their experiences, good or bad, and leverage these resources to create a future that they want for themselves. His last words to New Dawn readers? “Lions don’t worry about the opinions of sheep.”