Christian Dyer: Dart Scholar Update

Christian Dyer, a 2015 High School Scholar and a 2019 William A. Dart Memorial University Scholar, is in his first year studying Economics at Northwestern University in the United States. Read on to learn more about Christian, his experience as a Dart Scholar and his plans for the year ahead.

What led you to apply for the Dart High School Scholarship?

A few months before applying for the scholarship, I recall Ms Glenda visiting Prep to discuss the Dart High School Scholarship during an assembly. I listened attentively as Glenda outlined the various opportunities which the scholarship provides and decided to apply. Furthermore, I took confidence from the fact that prior recipients of the scholarship had also attended Cayman Prep.

After more than four years of being a Dart Scholar, I can confidently say that my initial expectations of the scholarship have been easily surpassed.

How was being a Dart High School Scholar beneficial throughout your years in high school?

My experience as a Dart High School Scholar was invaluable throughout high school. Each summer, I was afforded the opportunity to go on a summer enrichment trip, expanding my knowledge of STEM subjects and their real-world applications. For example, in 2016, I attended a 10-day summer camp at Stanford University with my fellow Dart Scholars. Additionally, in 2018, I visited Toronto, Canada where I learnt about sustainable energy and waste management technology, issues particularly relevant to Cayman.

I was also able to participate in the Work-X programme and meet with Dart executives at regular luncheons and events and I received advice from some of Cayman’s leading professionals in a range of fields.

You are in your first year at Northwestern. Tell us your experience so far and some of the interesting classes you are taking.

My first quarter at Northwestern has been an enlightening experience. I have been exposed to new economic concepts in my “Introduction to Macro” class and I have developed my understanding of related equations in my math class. In addition, after a brief hiatus for my last two years at Cayman Prep, I have recommenced my studies of French to fulfil the foreign language requirement. I am also enrolled in a class focused on propaganda, in which I have learned about the different forms which propaganda can take and the power it possesses.

My economics class has also fully engrossed my attention. Developing on my antecedent knowledge of economics from high school, I am gaining an understanding of fundamental concepts. My enjoyment of this class has confirmed that I will major in this discipline, and therefore continue to study economics by taking Introduction to Micro next quarter.

Consequently, I will also continue studying maths due to the prevalence of maths in economics. Despite enjoying my philosophy class on propaganda, I would like to explore my interests in other subjects next quarter, taking advantage of the array of courses available at Northwestern.

Are you participating in or planning to participate in any extracurricular activities?

Currently, I am focused only on my academic studies. However, after I have fully adapted to my new environment, I plan on taking advantage of the numerous clubs which Northwestern has to offer. There are a diverse range of students at Northwestern and I have enjoyed getting to know them and am starting to develop some strong friendships. I have always been passionate about sport and have enjoyed attending a number of Northwestern football games (go Wildcats!) although they are having a mediocre season.

How do you enjoy living in Illinois? What’s been the biggest adjustment from the Cayman Islands?

Living in Evanston is drastically different compared to living in Cayman and I have made numerous adjustments to accommodate for this. However, by far the most challenging difference to adapt to has been the weather. After experiencing only sunshine and heat throughout my childhood, I am still getting used to the sub-zero temperatures in Illinois; wrapping myself up with gloves, hats and coats every morning. I have a long winter ahead of me as we get closer to periods of consistent negative temperatures.

You participated in the Work-X programme at Dart over the summer of 2018, tell us about your experience.

In the summer of 2018, I worked as a counsellor at the Camana Bay Sports Camp through the Work-X programme. While this did not guide me towards my current career path, it was a fun and valuable experience. In the future, I look forward to participating in the Work-X programme again, gaining experience in disciplines more closely aligned with my career goals.

Do you have any advice for other students that are looking to apply for Dart Scholar?

Just go for it.

During my application cycle, I remember knowing many other talented students who were also applying for the scholarship, and if you are currently considering whether or not you should apply, you are probably in a similar position. However, don’t let this deter you from sending your application as you have just as good a chance as the other applicants.

Throughout the process, it is important to simply be yourself and try to accurately convey your individual interests and talents, rather than trying to paint yourself as the ideal applicant which you perceive Dart to be looking for.

Although it sounds cliché, sending your application with confidence and being yourself is the best advice I can give you. You may be exactly who Dart is looking for!