YouTube star David Dobrik, clad in a black Cal Poly hoodie with two friends by his side, logged into Zoom under the name “daveeee” to answer some Cal Poly students’ questions Thursday evening.
Dobrik, who has over 17 million subscribers on his main YouTube channel, was brought on for a Cal Poly student-exclusive virtual Q&A May 14 by Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Events.
“We wanted to stay very positive and upbeat during such a tough time for the world, so we talked about it and David Dobrik’s name came up,” business junior Amber Olson, the musical entertainment student assistant at ASI Events, said. “We thought that he would be such a perfect fit for the people at Cal Poly.”
Dobrik was paid for the event through the ASI Events budget, but Coordinator for ASI Programs Missi Allison-Bullock declined to disclose the amount.
Prior to the Q&A, ASI Events ran a social media contest for students to repost a photo with a question for Dobrik, putting them in the running to win a meet and greet with the star before the live event.
The 10 winners chosen at random for the private pre-event made up the panel of students who asked Dobrik questions during the webinar, which had over 2,130 virtual attendees.
Music sophomore Sheridan Liaw was one of the contest winners.
“It was really cool to see somebody with such a big following just be so genuine and down to earth,” Liaw said. “He is just like a regular guy.”
Liaw, alongside the other winners, had the chance to ask him one question.
Questions asked included how Dobrik got into vlogging, his proudest accomplishment, how he stays motivated and memories from his vlogs that had a great impact on him.
Dobrik has not produced his regular YouTube content since March 10. He’s taking a break as he is scared of “watering down” his content, he said during the Q&A. Dobrik has not filmed in three months, and the only videos he has posted since his hiatus are two bloopers videos on his second channel, David Dobrik Too, and one video on his main channel where he gifted fans money, video game consoles, iPads and cars.
When asked what his proudest accomplishment is, Dobrik mentioned a few different events: moving to Los Angeles, guest appearing on the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, winning two Kids’ Choice Awards and one Teen Choice awards, and meeting his idol Robert Downey Jr.
Dobrik began his career as a social media star on Vine but transitioned to YouTube in late 2014. His YouTube channel sparked his notoriety, being mostly known as the leader of the “Vlog Squad.”
Although YouTube is known as his main platform, he also runs the podcast “Views” with his friend and fellow YouTube star Jason Nash. Dobrik was also featured in the movie “The Angry Birds 2” and is a judge on the Nickelodeon television show “America’s Most Musical Family.”
When asked what job he would have if he wasn’t a famous YouTuber, Dobrik said he would be an Uber driver or a teacher, but that his current job is “the absolute most perfect career” for him.
Experience industry management junior Nick Price moderated the Q&A, who said running a virtual event like this was a new experience, but enjoyed the process.
“As one of the Special Events Student Assistants for ASI Events, I agreed to host because I was excited about the event and the opportunity to lead a discussion for our students,” Price said. “I just loved the energy he brought and how well he engaged with the students even through a Zoom setting.”
Although Dobrik is known for giving away prizes and money to his fans, this didn’t happen at the event. But, business administration freshman Luca Balbi was not upset about this.
“It was just such a cool opportunity to meet somebody that you idolize for so long, but it wasn’t super extraordinary, you know, it’s not like he gave somebody $10,000 in the meet and greet,” Balbi said. “But, he seemed like a normal guy, you know, it really humanizes him I guess because you only see him on a computer screen. It was an amazing experience.”