Tyler Berryman on Hydra
Berryman on Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands, with the Aegean Sea behind him.

Finance senior likes a good challenge

The huge roach on the wall didn’t bother Tyler Berryman all that much.

He was tired after the ferry trip across the Mediterranean from Almeria, Spain, to Nador, a Moroccan port city on the Mar Chica lagoon. After a trek from the ferry landing, tailed by a menacing group from the Moroccan night community, he and his friends haggled with a hotel owner even to get a room at five in the morning. Closing the door and getting off the streets was a relief, and the roach didn’t look quite as threatening as what was behind them in the dark.

But Berryman, a senior finance major from Morgantown, W.Va., wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves to travel abroad, “going where the wind blows me.”

During his time at WVU Berryman has visited Germany, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Greece, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Morocco.

In 2009 he participated in a WVU Office of International Programs spring semester trip to Europe, and that fall he went to Spain to study Spanish, his minor. Last spring he did another WVU trip, this time to Greece.  Fortunately, he’s in no hurry to graduate, and expects to get his degree by spring 2012. And he plans to add at least one more country to his list before then, Argentina, where he is hoping to study next spring.

But it was his two and one-half week rail pass trip across Europe with a friend that brings back the best memories --the night in Nador, for example, or a 45-minute dash across Paris from one train station to catch a train in another station. But the best must have been Croatia.

  Berryman in Switzerland  
 
Berryman with friends in a small village in the mountains of Switzerland. "We stopped here as we traveled from Germany to Italy. It was a picturesque morning there. Exactly what you'd think of when you picture a small village in the mountains waking up."
 

“I think we found paradise on an island off Croatia,” he recalls. “We were sitting in a restaurant by the sea on this island where there are no cars -- and a fisherman brought in a huge net full of mussels. It was perfect.”

Seeing the world, Berryman said, is not just fun. “It opens your eyes,” he commented. “Across the ocean, things are so different, and traveling helps you have better understanding of people and events. It’s important in business, also, and you hurt yourself if you can’t communicate and understand people in other countries.”

He likes a challenge, too, in the streets of Morroco or in a Morgantown classroom. This semester he’s enthusiastic about Dr. Ashok Abbott’s class on mergers and acquisitions. “This course is a higher level, and I’m really getting into it. I think it’s going to be hard, but he’s helping us understand the subject. I’m excited.” 

Berryman was among the first 21st Century Scholar group at the College of Business and Economics. This is a program that allows top high school graduates to enroll in the College during their freshman year and offers social and scholastic enhancements.

He was a finance intern at Mylan, Inc., a Morgantown pharmaceutical company, and hopes to do one more, this time in wealth management, before he graduates.

Berryman also wants to be fluent in Spanish. He took the language at Morgantown High School without a lot of zeal, but it grew on him. “Somewhere along the line it clicked,” he said. “I realized that I can understand the language and might be able to communicate in another county.”

All this can’t be contained in a four-year envelope, so Berryman will be back. “I'm actually a senior, credit-wise, so technically I'm going to have two senior years.” Ah, but what do his parents think?

“I feel very comfortable with Tyler’s decision to extend his time at WVU,” said Jeff Berryman, his father, who is also associate director at WVU’s Student Recreation Center. “He has taken full advantage of what the University has to offer academically and internationally. Honestly, the combination of scholarships and the affordability of the overseas studies have made it an easy decision. His mom and I feel that his decision is justified. Tyler enjoys being a student, and we feel he is increasing his marketability. The extra classes will also allow him to place more emphasis toward his minor degree, Spanish, which will hopefully make him more attractive to prospective employers.”

Finance is a family occupation, on his mother’s, Joyce Berryman’s, side. His grandfather, Charles Lanham, is a well-known and respected banker who was president of Citizen’s National Bank in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Lanham was president of the West Virginia Banker's Association and was appointed to the state Senate by Gov. Bob Wise in 2005 to replace a senator from the 4th District who was unable to serve.

“To him, banking is like a hobby,” Berryman said. “He is 78 years old and still working, he likes it so much. I want to follow in his footsteps.”