Student Spotlight: Monique Sempertegui C’20

Monique Sempertegui C’20

 What attracted you to Drew?

Drew was what I was looking for – a college that had a student culture focused on academics over other things. The campus is also very warm, familiar, and felt down to earth and real.

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

I came to Drew wanting to be a history major with an interest in education and teaching, but after learning about the Semester on Communications & Media in NYC and all the new classes added as I was transferring, I quickly switched my major to Media & Communications. I felt like it was the right thing to do since I always wanted to work in entertainment but was too afraid to take the risk.

What is it about Media & Communications that draws you to it?

I consider myself a creative, so by being able to work in a field that promotes creativity sounds like a dream. It’s an incredibly competitive industry but it is proven that you can break into this industry with hard work and connections. There are also a variety of opportunities.

Do you work on or off campus?

I am a tutor and I help teach English, history, ESL, Spanish, Computer Literacy, and Sociology at Raritan Community College (the college I transferred from). Prior to that I was a manager of a French patisserie as well as a barista and server.

Have you done any internships?

In my first internship I did social media management with Urban Tea Co., a tea company that wanted to expand its online retail business and platform. I was able to make and submit a short commercial for a contest Target was hosting for black business women, which I had total creative control over. I also helped schedule posts and designed some on Photoshop.

My second internship was in video production/video editing, also in social media, for DiverseToons., a company that hosts panels on diversity in the animation world (as well as the lack of it) and shares stories from real people within the animation industry. I worked there from early summer to the end of the year and was responsible for adding more followers. I edited previously recorded footage, added music and effects to make them more appealing for their social media pages, and sometimes I filmed the panels myself, editing them afterwards. I was able to meet several great animators that worked for Netflix, Dreamworks, Blue Sky Studios, Nickelodeon, and other animation studios

I made lifelong relationships and developed skills in both of my internship opportunities.

Have you done any NYC, short or longTRECs?

Yes, I did the Semester on Communications & Media in NYC last year (2019). It was great to see the different facets of media, and to see which ones I could see myself in and which ones I could not. It was very stressful at times but overall a great experience, and helped me further understand that I am supposed to be working as a video editor or behind the scenes on set, doing production work.

Did you have any mentors at Drew?

Jeremy Blatter and Lisa Lynch are definitely my campus mentors. They helped me figure a lot of stuff out in both my personal life and academic career. Also, I would add two alumni that work in entertainment outside of campus: Lisa Beddows who worked at Comedy Central and Katie Chambers who works with New York Women in Film and Television. Both women gave me great tips on how to navigate the industry.

What world issue(s) are you most passionate about?

I have a fiery passion for pushing for universal healthcare. I think humans not having basic access to see a doctor/get medication and then thrown into debt, is a crime and should not be experienced anywhere. I would like to see universal healthcare here in the US within my lifetime, and hopefully with this pandemic the message will be undeniably clear that it is needed here.

What are some of your favorite memories of Drew over the last 4 years?

My favorite memories are the friends I made here. I was not expecting to make lifelong bonds here but I am happy that I have had the privilege to do so.

Are there are any activities, hobbies, or fun facts you want to share?

Music is my first love; I am a musician first and foremost. I grew up playing the violin, and eventually learned to play the electric guitar, and the synthesizer. This is what I look forward to playing after all my responsibilities are completed.

I also had my head shaved twice! In Bolivia (where my family is from) it is common for children to have their head shaved two-three times so that their hair can grow back longer, thicker, and fuller. This is a tradition in my family and I love telling people about it.

I’m also planning my wedding so I’m a busy girl!

What are your career goals? Dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I want to have achieved something, and have done it with complete confidence and knowledge. I also do not want to lose who I am because of my work, so the right job for me will allow me to comfortably be myself. My dream job is working as a film director, or in the film industry in general. In five years I see myself working on set or working from home on editing content as a freelancer.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Just do your work and everything will be cool. It’s okay if you procrastinate – just get it in on time! Also, I really stress networking early. Make that commitment to meet with people in your interested field even if it scares you. It will pay off.

 

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