Katelyn Krajenka, BS

Hometown: Derry, NH

Degree earned at WPI:
BS, Humanities & Arts, Concentration in Music
BS, International Studies, Concentration in Asian Studies

Degrees earned from other institutions:
I am currently working on my MS in international business and development from Birkbeck College, University of London.

Why did you choose to attend WPI?
I chose to go to WPI after speaking with Professor Delorey about the various musical opportunities that WPI had to offer. The projects available to music students were unlike any I had heard about at other schools. I wanted to actively perform my art, not just learn how to perform it, and the opportunities at WPI were clearer than at other schools to which I had been accepted.

How did your studies and experiences at WPI prepare you for graduate school?
WPI taught me how to work smart. Throughout my four years at WPI, I learned how to be efficient and analytical with my schoolwork. My experiences, especially my projects, gave me solid presentation and writing skills that I use almost daily for various classes or coursework. Also, fulfilling two of my projects at foreign sites helped me sensitize my own thoughts and opinions to those of other cultures; this has made my move to Europe significantly easier because I was better prepared for the mental challenges presented by moving to a new country.

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?
WPI’s philosophy of Theory and Practice shapes my approach to academic work. It has become instinctive to seek ways to practically apply learned materials. I find I have an easier time than my fellow students with applying our academic literature to the real world, since WPI conditioned me to grasp the significance of doing in addition to just learning.

Teamwork, so integral to WPI’s curriculum, enabled me to interact with other students, often across disciplines. I learned how to turn the tacit knowledge from my areas of study into applicable academic contributions that would benefit students and projects, even outside of the humanities. Now I find I have a much easier time making myself understood in group settings, as well as being able to understand and accept other’s opinions and areas of expertise.

Groups or extracurricular activities you participated in at WPI:

  • I sang with Alden Voices, WPI’s women’s chorus, for four years, during which time I served three years as the tour manager.
  • I sang with The Technichords: WPI’s No Fella A Capella for two years and was elected stage manager during my sophomore year.
  • I performed with VOX in various musical productions, such as Cabaret and the musicals South Pacific and Guys and Dolls.
  • I danced with and competed as a member of WPI’s Ballroom Dance Team for four years. I was elected to the position of social coordinator as a sophomore, and the following two years, I served as the team’s president.
  • I helped cofound the Classical Music Club and sat on the board as vice president.
  • My freshman year, I joined the Pep Band as a member of the Color Guard.
  • I was selected to sit on the Worcester Committee on Foreign Relations as WPI’s student representative.

Academic or professional awards you have received:

  • I graduated WPI with distinction.
  • I was on the Dean’s List for years 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Additional comments:
While I might have been a double humanities major at a technical school, I never felt like I was in the wrong place. People used to ask me if I had thought about transferring, and for a short while I had considered it. But once I realized all the potential WPI held for a student like me, I knew I had chosen the right school. The faculty was always so enthusiastic about helping me achieve my academic goals that I never felt like I had any limitations. WPI obviously caters to students wishing to pursue the STEM fields, but the Humanities & Arts department is like a hidden gem at a technical school. There are opportunities to be had. At WPI, I was not just a number; I was a name and a person.

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