Dylan King: Finding a Hometown Career
City life is not for everyone. Community colleges offer a chance for students to start or complete a degree locally, stay connected to their family and get a degree that fits with their local economy. For Beaufort County Community College student Dylan King, a degree in business will help him work locally in the automotive sales industry, with a possibility of joining forces with his family to start a new business.
King is the youngest of four children. He watched his sister Rita earn a degree in graphic design from a larger university where she was just one of thousands.
“There was no personal contact with the teachers,” he says of his sister’s experience. “Compared to here, where you pretty much know everyone on campus, at that university you were lucky if you knew a single staff member.”
This contrasted from the experiences of his sister Savannah, who earned an Associate in Applied Science in Business Administration, and his brother Michael, who earned an AAS in Mechanical Engineering Technology, both at BCCC. Dylan chose to follow Savannah and Michael.
At Northside High School, under instructor Jennifer Woolard, he had been part of a team project to create a feature-length film called School Night. The team produced an award-winning film over the course of two years, but when faced with the prospect of leaving his hometown to work in the film industry, King opted for a career path that allowed him to stay rooted in Washington. This May, he will join his sister Savannah in holding an AAS in Business Administration.
“I was born and raised in Washington, and I want to stay in Washington,” he says. “I really enjoyed making a movie, but you can’t do that around here, so I moved to option two. It’s a little town, where everybody knows everybody. Even if I had to commute to Greenville for work, I would live in Washington for the country aspect and lots of land.”
While at BCCC, King has held work-study positions, first as an assistant in the Continuing Education Division and later in the library. These positions let students fill paid roles on campus, often complimenting their schedules.
“When I first started in Con Ed, I didn’t even want to pick up a phone. It was nerve-wracking,” he recalls. The staff gave him a script and a list of names to call. “I’ve developed my communications skills at Beaufort.”
King feels secure about his future in sales. “People are always going to need a car,” he says. “They need a way to get back and forth.”
After he finishes his associate’s degree, he plans to take notary and auto dealer license classes at the college, which he admits would have sufficed to start him in the industry, but he knows that his degree, with classes like Business Math, will place him above other candidates.
“The degree puts me one step ahead,” he says. “If you have a degree on your resumé, it’s going to look so much better. It says I put in the extra effort.”
While he thinks he will start at a smaller, local dealership, weighing used versus new sales, his family hopes to eventually bring together their different talents in business, auto repair and design in order to open a dealership of their own.
His GMC Yukon, which with its neon green detailing stands out in the BCCC parking lot, carries a sticker designed by his sister Rita reading “Yukon Do It”. That spirit, along with three BCCC graduates working together as a team, will help build a business that can sustain the entire King family in their hometown.