Wescott shares insights for incoming students

"Being involved at Roanoke taught me how to manage diverse opportunities, just like at a job"

Imagine skiing in the Alps, getting stranded and having to build a snow cave for protection. Ben Wescott '09 had such an adventure and credits survival television shows and his time at Roanoke for saving him.

Wescott, a native of Lynchburg, Va., visited his relatives last winter in Egypt and went on a ski trip with one of his cousins for a few days in St. Johann of Tirol. Much to his surprise, they became separated, and he was forced to stay on the slopes for about seven hours. Wescott made a snow cave for safety and waited for help to arrive.

"Of course, this happened the first day of the trip," Wescott says with a laugh. "It was pouring snow, and it was impossible to ski anywhere because it was pitch dark and other villages were too far."

But the problem-solving skills he learned at Roanoke got him through. The sociology major with a communications concentration learned to manage time and face challenges while serving the campus as a tour guide, head Resident Advisor, brother of Pi Kappa Phi, member of Roanoke College's Choir, and president of Looking for An Echo. He also interned with Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and completed an independent study on citizen journalism and the effects of blogging on the presidential election. Wescott says staying on the go is his forte.

"I'm good at being busy," Wescott says. "Being involved at Roanoke taught me how to manage diverse opportunities, just like at a job."

And in June, it became a real job. Wescott became a new admissions counselor for the College and is sharing his experiences with would-be students from different parts of the country.

Released: September 14, 2009