Student Spotlight: Sophia McGee C’23

Sophia McGee C’23                            

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in New York City and spent the first 6 years of my life there and then moved to Ireland in 2007 for ten years.

What attracted you to Drew?

The Fencing program was what initially attracted me to Drew. I also liked the small size of the school and how this allows you to develop close relationships with your professors.

Why did you choose marketing as a major?

I chose marketing because I had firsthand experience watching my mom work in the marketing field. We traveled all over Ireland meeting new companies and tasting amazing foods and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Watching my mom at an early age, I became fascinated with how to promote either food or a company. I also learned that the way you interact with people helps you build important connections.

When did you first start fencing and why do you enjoy this sport?

I started fencing in 2012 when I was 11 years old and living in Ireland.  I was visiting my grandparents in the U.S. and was watching a 2012 Olympics gymnastics video on YouTube which led me to a video on fencing, I immediately had a feeling I would be good at the sport. I did some research and found out that a friend’s dad was a fencer and was bringing it to my hometown in Ireland. I started fencing immediately and instantly fell in love with the sport. I have been fencing now for almost 10 years and have had the most amazing opportunity to fence in both Ireland and the U.S. I have also been able to compete collegiately in the sport that I love.

Do you have any mentors at Drew?

As far as academics, Philosophy Professor Dr. Erik Anderson is the best professor I ever had. I try to register for his classes as often as possible.  My real mentors are my coaches, Vincent Paragano, Michael Bindas and Keri Ecker. They have helped me push myself beyond my limits. They believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.

What issue in the world means the most to you?

Equality in the workplace.

You mentioned you have an invisible disability.  How has your invisible disability affected your journey at Drew?

Having an invisible disability has helped me advocate for myself and also for others who have disabilities. It has also allowed me to seek resources on campus to improve my educational experience. These resources help me do better in my classes.  Dana Giroux, the Director of the Office of Accessibility, is an excellent resource. Also, Drew has inspired me to be open about having a disability. I want to normalize these experiences for those who struggle in and outside of the classroom. We have all come to Drew for an education, and no matter what things separate you from your peers, at the end of the day we are all just students pursuing a degree.

What advice would you give students who are just starting out that you wish you had when you started?

Don’t be afraid to get involved at Drew. I am just learning now as a Junior that getting involved in organizations and clubs helps you build your own network of friends and provides a sense of belonging.

What are your career goals? Where do you hope to be in 5 years?

My career goal is a job in marketing or real estate. I would also love to travel the world as part of my work. In 5 years, I hope to be at a job I love that helps make a difference in the world.

Are there any fun fact(s) you would like to share?

In my freshman year, I qualified for the NCAA Regionals and competed with the Drew Ranger Fencing Team at Duke University.

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