Sergio Cherenzia, BS
Hometown: Westerly, RI
Degree earned at WPI: BS, Civil Engineering
Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I chose WPI because it was like a second home to me. My father, who graduated in 1973, influenced my decision by taking me to Homecomings since before I can remember. I also have two cousins who graduated from WPI. The campus was always familiar to me, a very safe and fun place to be. I was always interested in math and science and after attending Frontiers Camp, I knew that it was where I wanted to be. I was also enticed by the study abroad program (I ended up doing my IQP in Venice, Italy).
I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life; I had a great experience there, both academically and personally. The relationships, experiences, and memories that were made in a four-year span (and have continued as an alumnus) are invaluable.
How did your studies and experiences at WPI prepare you for graduate school?
I am currently pursuing a master’s of Environmental Science and Management from the University of Rhode Island. I have a unique background, which allows me to approach the curriculum from an engineer’s perspective as compared to an environmentalist, biologist, soil scientist, etc. The short term schedule at WPI conditions you to work expeditiously, which prepared me well as a part-time graduate student while employed as a full-time professional. My main focus at WPI was in hydrology, which has been immensely helpful in an environmentally based curriculum. WPI helped me sharpen my technical writing skills as well.
Present job title:
I am currently working as a civil engineer, managing design and permitting of land development projects.
How do you feel your experiences at WPI prepared you for working in your field?
The curriculum at WPI prepared me with the technical background I needed for my field, and the project-based programming taught me how to work with others on a team to methodically and strategically solve problems.
How has WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice, and working with teams, prepared you for facing real-world challenges in the workplace or graduate school?
At WPI, the problems that we needed to solve were real; they were not hypothetical. The theory was the technical tools that could be utilized in analyzing and solving the problem, but WPI really taught me to think outside the box, be creative, and look at a problem at all angles. In the professional world of consulting, your success is measured on how well you can solve a problem with the least resistance and at the lowest cost. Also, in the real world, you are always working with other specialized professionals. Through the project-based programming, WPI does a great job in preparing you to work with a group towards a common goal, combining each team member’s strengths and skill with proper communication and cooperation.
Groups or extracurricular activities you participated in at WPI:
- Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity
- Varsity Soccer
- Chi Epsilon
- Concrete Canoe Competition
- Steel Bridge Competition
- Tau Beta Pi
- Order of Omega