Arts & Humanities: Don't Leave College Without Them

Talking to Current College Students about their Choice of Major INTERVIEWS

Interviewed by MaryGrace Wajda

KARLEE BERGENDORFF B.A. in Art History and Political Sci- ence

experience (thesis). I think that my past experiences and classes helped diversify my resume and set me apart.

Karlee Bergendorff is majoring in political science and art history/fine arts. She is also a Watson Fellow and will be traveling around the world after graduation to complete her project, which she describes as follows: “Textbook versions of history often focus on ‘greatness’ and monumental events, where I take the shreds of history, pieces of junk, and abandoned spaces, and piece together untold stories through my art. I hope to rediscover a history that fills in the gaps of traditional, historical narratives. I will search for meaning in material remains and create reflective art in each location based on what I discover.” After her Watson year, Karlee plans to attend law school, to which she has already been accepted, for international human rights. She kindly found time in her busy schedule to answer some questions.

MGW: Wow! That’s amazing. So who or what inspires you?

Karlee : My mother inspires me because she has been raising me since she was 23, and has her own business. She is resilient, and that is what I hope to be. MGW: You said you have had some internship experience. Can you tell me more about those, and about any other jobs you may have had? Karlee: I have worked at my mother’s restaurant since I was 12. I have also worked at a local law office and as a secretary at a construction company since I was a first- year in college. I have interned for Congressman Paul Tonko and Greene County Council on the Arts. MGW : Do you think studying the arts/humanities gets a bad reputation in relation to practical concerns, such as getting a job? Have you experienced this stigma and if so, how did you handle it?

wanted to do after college but most people are excited for me when I tell them about my plans and intentions.

MGW : If you could advise your high school or first-year of college self in terms of your academic and professional goals and how to best set yourself up for success, what would you say?

MGW: Do you think your major is practical? Why or why not? Does it even matter?

Karlee : I would tell myself that it will all click eventually. Starting out college was a little difficult for me because I did not have a strong academic background. I would encourage myself to keep my two majors, and to use them both to my advantage because there are opportunities in both fields.

Karlee : I believe my major is practical because it has already allowed me many opportunities. It has helped me to get a fellowship, acceptance into law school, plenty of internships, and a strenuous writing

Thank you again, Karlee! I would also like to add that I attended Karlee’s senior art exhibit, and it was incredible. She also won an award for best senior thesis in the political science. She is a true inspiration

Karlee : Yes and no. Some people questioned what I


Arts & Humanities

Don’t Leave College Without Them


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