Skiing and The White House with Dylan Gerstel ’17

You’re involved in a lot of different clubs and activities on campus. If you had to pick a favorite, which would it be, and why?

If I had to pick a favorite club I’m involved in I think it would be Club Soccer, mostly because it’s become my main social group on campus. A lot of my best friends are on it, and it’s also a great way to blow off steam from Swat. In terms of favorite activity itself, I really like Salsa. It’s something that I definitely didn’t see myself doing as a freshman, but I joined one day and loved it and have been doing it ever since.

You also are pretty involved in the ski club. Can you talk about your role in that and what activities you guys run?

Sure. I’m co-president of ski club with Tyler Alexander. We run 2-3 trips every spring, and it’s an awesome way to get people skiing because it’s so cheap. SBC subsidizes it so it’s only $20 for a lesson, a lift ticket, and transportation. Usually skiing is much more expensive, but this low price gives people more of an incentive to go. Each of the 3 trips has about 45 people, so between all of them, usually about 100 people end up going. Some have never skied before and some like me have skied a lot, so we have a good range of experience levels.

Awesome! How do you get the word about Ski Club out to Swatties?

Well my freshman year we were struggling with membership, but since then we’ve launched a Facebook page, we’ve been much more active with emails, and last year we actually went on a weekend trip to Vermont which was a lot of fun and a big hit. We usually go to Camelback and Blue Mountains in the Poconos which are both about an hour north of here so to venture to Vermont was a pretty exciting experience.

Switching gears a bit, you did an internship at the White House this past summer. What was your role there and do you think it changed your approach to Swat at all when you came back to school this year?

I was an intern for Joe Biden’s office, doing economic policy mostly. I don’t think it changed my approach to Swat as much as it did change my faith in government, at least maybe until the election. I interned on the Hill after my freshman year, which, unlike working at the White House, was pretty disillusioning—Congress is pretty broken, like what you hear on TV. But at the White House everyone was super motivated, inspired by the Obama administration, and passionate about the work they did. These people put in long hours and worked towards something they believed in. This definitely gave me a sense of renewed faith in government.

Did anyone really stand out to you during your time at the White House? In terms of leadership style, innovation, drive or just interesting ways of thinking?

Sure, so I think my boss there really stood out to me. She was a great boss. She was only 24, working as an Associate Policy Director for the VP, so it was really impressive that she managed to get there so young. She really got to know her team as friends, which is something that I hadn’t previously ever had a boss do before. Every morning we would talk to her about her lives and how our weeks were going and stuff. She really cared about what we were doing, which in turn made us want to put forth our best effort.

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