Student Spotlight: Gwen Lyne Wong C’20

Gwen Lyne Wong C’20

Where were you born and raised?
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia!

What attracted you to Drew?
When I was applying to schools in the United States, I knew that I wanted a small liberal arts college located near New York City and Drew checked all of the boxes for me. What really drew me in (no pun intended) was learning about the Semester on Social Entrepreneurship in New York City that Drew offered.

Did you know what you wanted to major in your first year?

I’m a transfer student so yes, I knew that I wanted to major in Psychology before coming to Drew. I took Psychology 101 and Social Psychology in my college in Malaysia before transferring and had never felt so passionate or interested in a subject before so I knew then that this was what I wanted to pursue.

 What draws you to psychology?
I love learning about the fundamentals of being human. I’ve always been inclined to understand why we behave the way we do and with that understanding, it allows me to be more self-aware and helps me to view the world through an empathetic lens.

Have you done any internships?
I did my internship at Family Promise in Summit, New Jersey. It was a great experience for me because it was my first exposure to the nonprofit world and I was able to learn so much from it. I worked under Affiliate Services doing administrative related work.

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs?
I am currently doing the Semester on Social Entrepreneurship and it has been my favorite class I have taken at Drew. My goal was to learn about management and organization of the nonprofits sector but I am gaining knowledge beyond what I hoped for and I feel even more passionate about joining the field after I graduate. Due to Covid-19, our remaining physical field trips have been canceled but we are still lucky enough to be able to meet nonprofit leaders virtually, and hear their experiences firsthand on how they are dealing with this crisis.

Did you have any mentors at Drew?
Dr. Jill Cermele has been more than a mentor to me at Drew. She’s been there for me through my ups and downs, provides me with advice and guidance, and pushes me out of my comfort zone. If it weren’t for her, I would not have taken what has been the most impactful class I’ve had at Drew — Gender Violence and Women’s Resistance, nor would I be graduating on time! She is someone I look up to greatly and I definitely would not be where I am today without her.

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?
The issues I am most passionate about are the development of at-risk youths and climate change! My volunteer work mostly revolves around helping at-risk youths grow and develop their leadership skills to realize their full potential. I firmly believe that every child deserves an equal chance to be the leaders of their own lives. I’m also doing my best to reduce my waste through practicing a zero-waste lifestyle, although I am far from perfect.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?
I only had two years at Drew but I have to say my favorite memories are those spent with friends. Whether it’s having take-out and movie nights, going on service trips, or planning a TEDx conference together, they are all precious memories I will keep for a lifetime.

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My dream job is being able to create social impact with a team of driven people working in the nonprofit sector, focusing on the issues of children and youth. I hope to see myself doing just that in 5 years and possibly having a Master’s degree related to the field.

Are there any hobbies, activities, or fun facts you would like to share?

I love to dance! Dance has been a big part of my life and it’s something that brings me a lot of joy. If I had been at Drew longer, I would have minored in Dance.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Seize every opportunity, every moment. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Make meaningful connections and relationships. Love who you are and be comfortable in your own skin, and most importantly, always stand up for what you believe in.


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