Student Spotlight: Anna Gombert C’20

Anna Gombert C’20

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Maryville, Tennessee, 700 miles away from Drew.

What attracted you to Drew?

I really liked Drew’s proximity to New York City. I wanted to be near the city but not in it. I also liked that the campus felt like home even though it was very far away from my actual home.

What is it about English that draws you to it?

I have always loved to read and write, and I would love to be able to be a part of the process of producing new books for people to love.

Have you done any internships?

I did an internship at Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northern Mississippi. I worked as the Storytelling Intern for the Tennessee Stories Project, an initiative to share people’s abortion stories as a way to de-stigmatize them. Not only did I get to work with awesome and passionate people, but I got to learn a lot about community organizing and policy. I also got to attend a conference in Detroit.

Have you done any NYC, short or LongTRECs?

I have done both the NYC Semester on Communications and Media and the Semester on Contemporary Art. The Communications semester opened my eyes to the world of publishing which is what I am now pursuing as a career. I was also able to learn about many companies and fields I am interested in (The NY Times, Audible, NBC, Spotify, Viacom) from an inside perspective. The art semester was one of the coolest experiences I had at Drew. We had a chance to see exhibits at big name museums like the Whitney, MoMA, Dia: Beacon, and Storm King as well as gallery shows and even artists’ studios. Even though I am not an artist, I have always loved art and the NYC semester afforded me a unique experience to see art I might not have had the chance to see otherwise.

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

I performed in The Vagina Monologues both my freshman and junior year, both times were an incredible and moving experience. Though I was not fond of them at the time, the late nights in the  Acorn office, staying up till 5 a.m. working on articles and layout, will always hold a fond place in my heart, and getting to work with all of the wonderful people that are on the Feminist Intersection executive board.

Did you have any mentors at Drew?

My mentor has been Dr. Wendy Kolmar, my academic advisor. She is both an English professor and the head of the Women and Gender Studies Department. Professor Kolmar taught some of my absolute favorite classes I took at Drew, such as Intro Women and Gender Studies and Filming American Feminisms. She is also the advisor for WoCo: A Feminist House, and has been a big support to the house.

What world issue are you most passionate about?

There are too many to list, but I guess I will say abortion access and sex education. They are almost always being threatened, if not slashed or even terminated in some states. I have been advocating these issues since I was 16.

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

During this period of social distancing, I am trying to refine my embroidery and collage skills and I am also fostering a dog. Fun Facts? I have a birthmark that makes my nose look purple/blue and I’m really good at catching salamanders

What is your dream job? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would love to work at a publishing house as an editor. Ideally, I would stay in the NYC area and work for one of the big five publishing houses there, but I am also interested in possibly working for a newspaper or some other kind of online publication.

What advice would you give first-year students?

Go to the events, join clubs or even just attend one meeting if you are interested. Some of the greatest people I know, I met through clubs. Go to sporting events, they’re fun! Also, take Drew up on all the free trips they offer to places like NYC, D.C., and Philly. Don’t sweat the small stuff, you may make some mistakes or have a few hiccups along the way, but you will come out of it okay. Talk to the people on your floor more. Go to the farmer’s market in town and eat some vegetables instead of microwave meals from the C-Store. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do or you change your mind, you are allowed to branch out and try new things.

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