true stories- Kathleen Fetterly

Kathleen Fetterly '24

I've been selling my whole life as a way to just move myself along. Selling antique typewriters is one thing I've been doing to support myself while at St. Kate’s. Applying to St. Kate's was a long time in the making. I was gone for about 12 years during my career. First, my broadcasting career took me all over—Wyoming, Iowa, Wisconsin. I was 24 when I was laid off from radio and it broke my heart a million ways. Then I  worked my way up to a sales specialist with a meat company, but that ended because of a corporate change.

Some friends encouraged me to become the first in my family to get a bachelor's degree. I started at Normandale Community College. The regular presence of a St. Kate's representative helped build a strong relationship before I ever applied. To have someone say to me, ‘you belong’ is an important part of my story.

I've always held St. Catherine University in high regard having grown up here. I thought, ‘Oh, that's a private college that’s so hard to get into and it's demanding.’ It is demanding! You have to earn your education because there's a legacy here. You become the endowment of St. Kate's—an ambassador—by becoming part of the college. I see people out in the world and can almost pin it—they went to St. Kate’s.  They have this spirit running through them. I find St. Kate’s to be welcoming of all people which is important to me, especially being a returning adult college student. They’ve been super helpful to me having followed a non-traditional path to college.

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For me, the financial investment was not the focus, it's the quality of the education and knowing I have instructors who give me focused attention. One of the biggest things about St. Kate’s is the professors truly do invest in their students. The Counseling Center surprised me because they cared and were able to get a broad look at my situation. I struggle with learning, and they put supports in place I wouldn't be able to get anywhere else.

I started to learn there are people out there making a difference by following what matters to them and their values. I’m interested in food—I love selling and talking about it. I was going to St. Kate’s for dietetics, but found myself less interested in healthcare, so I switched majors right away. Leaning into what my heart says is important, I shifted from food and dietetics to business and sales because it makes better use of my natural ability to sell and write. I want to continue into something with gourmet foods. Possibly a startup bringing a solution to the environment. Something nourishing for people that makes use of our existing resources. Someone considering St. Kate’s should take a deep look at the resources available for students of all walks of life. There is something for you at St. Kate's. There's a safe community here—safe physically and a safe place to find people to confide into deal with whatever issues you're struggling with. You’ll become stronger in many ways. I really do feel like attending St. Catherine University is leveling up my whole life.

We're an inclusive, educational college focused on women. Because women have been underserved in our society. They’ve had to pay for our culture and have not been lifted up. That’s what it is—St. Kate's is lifting women up. We’re free to be who we are.

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