Karin Bennett graduated in December 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology. She currently works in Multicultural Student Affairs. But these are just two facets of this talented Wolfpack alum.
What led you to major in sociology, and what interested you most in your coursework?
I got into sociology in a roundabout way. I went to film school for a while for video post-production but didn’t really like the Hollywood culture. I love understanding how things work, so sociology provided an interesting perspective on how people interact within a larger social framework. I like that the sociological perspective is applicable in many different areas, from city planning to social work, to understanding race and gender inequalities.
What do you do in MSA, and how long have you worked there?
I create promotional flyers for MSA events, create and edit our web pages and compile events for our weekly newsletter. I’ve worked here since August 2016.
What has been your favorite part of working in MSA, and what initially drew you to MSA?
My favorite part of working in MSA is definitely the conversations. Whenever people are hanging out and doing homework, there’s typically a heated discussion happening, whether it’s about the question of the day, current events or politics. It’s great to hear all the different perspectives on social issues. I initially started working here for a sociology internship class and was able to stay on after I graduated.
What other passions, interests, or involvements do you have, either on- or off-campus?
Off campus, I write music and sing in Eo, a band I started with my boyfriend, and I sing occasionally with The Big Strong Arms, a local Raleigh band. I also enjoy creating 3D renderings of tiny homes and co-housing developments in Google SketchUp. I’m passionate about the efficiency and reduced cost of compact homes and hope that I can design and build co-housing solutions that could support low-income families.
Where are you from, and how do you describe the environment at NC State and/or Raleigh, in terms of people, academics and opportunities?
I’m most recently from Denver, Colorado, but I’ve lived in Germany, Michigan, Texas, Wyoming and Illinois before that, in that order. My parents weren’t in the military — I always get asked that. We just moved where the work was located. What I liked most about moving was that I was able to experience different cultural backgrounds in the different places we lived. For example, Wyoming is very big and open and no one locked their doors. Chicago is compact and walkable, and you had better step on the gas as soon as the light turns green or people will honk at you. Raleigh, in comparison, is a unique combination of rural and urban. I love driving 10 minutes from my house and seeing the NC State dairy cows on Lake Wheeler and also appreciate the cool art scene on First Fridays. I like that NC State is right there in the thick of it and how the university and the students are becoming a force for social change. I hope to see even more students being open to learning more about the many different cultures and backgrounds that our students represent. Whether they’ve lived here all their lives or are a transplant like I am, there’s always going to be a person with a cool story to tell. You just have to listen.
What are your career aspirations and goals?
My current career trajectory goals are to work in administrative education and/or policy, but I could just as easily get my contractor’s license and fix and flip houses. Maybe both! I’m still trying to figure it out.
What advice would you give to younger students?
My advice to younger students would be to not rush through school. I graduated after almost six years in undergrad. Graduation day will come sooner or later. Take this time to get some sleep, focus on classwork and try out a few clubs or events on campus, even if that means you’ll be in school for a few extra semesters.