As a double major in English and music, Katya Hrichak ’17 is creative, precise and expressive. She’s also a deep thinker with plans to make a difference as a journalist. Here, she talks about why she chose her double major, her passion for knitting, her internship at a small newspaper and more.
Clubs and organizations:
The Dickinsonian, Dickinson Improvisation and Collaboration Ensemble (DICE) and chamber music.
Alpha Lambda Delta and Omicron Delta Kappa.
As a kid, I wanted to be …
... an artist or author/illustrator. Then it was marine biologist, then a music educator. It took a little while to recognize that I had much more potential in music than I did in art and that, in general, I’m much more geared towards the humanities than the sciences.
On choosing a major:
When I was preparing to start visiting and applying to colleges, I thought the obvious choice would be music, since I’ve been heavily involved in musical ensembles since I began playing music in third grade. The more I thought about it, though, I realized that writing was the one thing I did every day without fail, and that writing, in some way, shape or form, would be a career that would be most fulfilling to me. From those two ideas, I declared my English and music majors during freshman year.
Little-known hobby or talent:
I knit constantly. When I’m not completing assignments for classes or performing in various musical ensembles, I’m working on some knitting project or another. Socks are my favorite.
On studying abroad:
I studied abroad at the University of East Anglia last semester in Norwich, England. It’s difficult to choose one highlight of the trip, since the program gave the Norwich Humanities group so many great experiences. Being able to travel to Ireland and Austria with friends, learning how to be more independent and being able to study English in England were all incredible opportunities that I’m happy I got the chance to take.
Winning a first-place Keystone Award for a series on student loan debt, which I wrote during my internship following freshman year. I put a lot of effort into that piece, and it was a wonderful feeling to be recognized for my hard work in a professional competition.
About my internship:
I interned at the Bethlehem Press newspaper in my hometown of Bethlehem, Pa. My bosses treated me as a co-worker, rather than just an intern. With the small in-office team, I got a lot of individualized attention and feedback on my work, which helped me improve a lot as a journalist.
What my internship taught me:
That every experience has something to offer in terms of wisdom and knowledge. The paper I worked for might have been relatively small, but I learned and improved skills there that I can now bring to every team I work with, everywhere else I go. Each experience is valuable.
Following graduation, I hope to enter the field of journalism. As of this point, I’m still exploring options, and I haven’t quite decided whether I would rather write for newspapers or magazines, but I want to take my passion for writing and put it to good use. All of my professional experiences so far, between working on the campus newspaper and performing assorted tasks for my summer internships, have made me realize this is what I want to do with my future.
Published September 9, 2016