Kelsey Rieger '14

I have the opportunity to explore applications of IE in industries such as healthcare, IT, insurance and other non-traditional areas.

— Kelsey Rieger, Junior
Industrial Engineering with a Management Information Systems Minor
Wrentham, MA

Why did you choose WPI?
The faculty, the community, the seven-week schedule, the projects, the list could go on. I also really like how the Industrial Engineering (IE) program is incorporated into the School of Business and is ABET accredited. Many schools focus their IE program on Manufacturing but IE is becoming more and more popular in almost every industry. Although WPI does offer opportunities for an IE major to engage with manufacturing, I like that I have the opportunity to explore applications of IE in industries such as healthcare, IT, insurance and other non-traditional areas. The curriculum is broad enough to apply IE skills to a variety of different fields which is something I was looking for when choosing an IE program.

What has the coursework been like in your classes?
The coursework that you receive in each class typically includes tests, quizzes, homework and projects. You learn a semester’s worth of material in seven weeks so it is very fast paced. But there is no reason why you wouldn’t be able to adjust to the coursework if you have good time management skills. Because of the fast pace of the term schedule, you’ll find that you are taking your midterms when your friends at other schools are submitting their first homework assignment. Projects are a huge focus here at WPI. It’s one of the reasons I was attracted to the campus in the first place. Working in teams and applying your classroom knowledge to a complex problem is essential in the workplace, especially as an engineer. WPI’s course work definitely helps with preparing you for the real world. One of my favorite projects was developing a Request for Proposal for a fictitious academy. Every day, consultants and engineers put together RFPs so having classroom experience in doing so is extremely marketable when looking for internships or full-time jobs.

What do you like best about WPI?
I love the four-term structure. It allows so much flexibility in your schedule as you will take a different set of classes halfway through the semester. It challenges you to learn at a fast-pace in the seven weeks of the term, but you only have to focus on learning the material of three classes rather than six. Also I love the opportunities that we have to complete projects abroad. I went to London for my Interactive Qualifying Project, which is the social science project completed during junior year. It was a fantastic experience to engage with a different culture where I had to learn and adjust to the differences even in an English-speaking country.

Why should other students attend WPI?
The seven-week schedule and project experience are two major assets of WPI that are hard to find at another school. Also you’re surrounded by so many smart people that you are always constantly challenging yourself to do better. Professors are always willing to help you during and outside of class and always willing to meet with you to explain a problem or to answer a quick question via email.

Student Facts:

Name: Kelsey Rieger
Major: Industrial Engineering with Management Information Systems minor
Hometown: Wrentham, MA
Favorite Activity: Being a part of a sorority in campus. Greek Life offers so many great leadership opportunities and you meet so many awesome people throughout the Greek Community.
Favorite Hangouts: The Campus Center. I always see someone I know, and it’s nice to grab a cup of coffee at Dunkins, sit down, and catch up without having to plan a date in my hectic schedule.
Best Eats: The Goat’s Head Pub is definitely the best place on campus. The Boynton and Thai Time are also delicious places to eat within walking distance.
Favorite Event: Greek Week is definitely my favorite event by far. It is so great to come together with your organization and compete in really fun events like the Talent Show and Dancing with the Greeks.
Travel: I rent an apartment two-blocks from campus so I only have to walk “up the hill” to get to class.
Career Aspirations: I plan to work in a field where I can leverage technology to improve processes based on my Industrial Engineering skillset developed at WPI.

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