Eugenia Gomez moved to the suburbs of Philadelphia from Manizales, Colombia at age 12. She had a hard time acclimating to the starkly different culture of the United States, but soon felt right at home. “It was a culture and language shock at first,” Eugenia said. “I had studied French in Colombia, but I only knew about four phrases in English.” This experience sparked her interest in different cultures and languages at an early age.
When the time came to visit colleges, Eugenia looked no further than her parents’ alma-mater. “I wanted to do business, but at the same time I loved foreign languages and cultures. The Huntsman Program seemed like the perfect fit.”
The Huntsman Experience
Eugenia loves the family feel in the Huntsman Program. “You grow close quickly because you live together and take classes together from the very beginning,” she says. “The lounge is definitely a home away from home where you can come and hang out with students from all classes, whether you’re having a good day or a bad day.”
At Huntsman Eugenia has enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and seeing how their backgrounds have shape their view of the world, everything from fashion to politics and food. “It’s definitely made me more open-minded and has taught me to be more accepting of other people’s views. Everyone tends to follow their own passions, which can be very different, and it’s great to be part of a network of such amazing people.”
Academically, Eugenia has taken many sociology and anthropology courses in the College and has declared a Wharton concentration in Operations and Information Management. She ultimately wants to work with people and hopes to find a company with a strong social mission. In her Anthropological Study of Culture course, Eugenia learned a lot about corporate culture and says that “it was a really cool way to study the business side of companies from an international studies perspective.”
In 2009, Eugenia started a non-profit with her dad fundraising for Fundación Niños de los Andes, an organization that provides education for homeless children in Colombia. They partner with local entrepreneurs and artisans to host events and donate part of the proceeds to the foundation. They have had the opportunity to meet these children and educate them on the origins of the funds. Eugenia is in charge of marketing, and though the non-profit is not her main focus, it is a big part of her life and definitely something that she wants to continue working on in the future.
This summer Eugenia and a few fellow Huntsman students plan to take a road trip across the US. When she returns, Eugenia will return to Philadelphia to work as a Research Analyst for Logan Circle Partners.
Ars gratia artis
Eugenia has always been an artist, but didn’t want to be an art major in college. However, she didn’t have to sacrifice this interest through the Huntsman Program. Eugenia takes elective courses in the arts whenever she gets the chance. This semester she is taking ceramics and hopes to have time after graduation to take art classes at least once a week.
She is also the Penn Arts Ambassador to the Huntsman Program and encourages her classmates to increase their exposure to the arts, whether around Philadelphia or by taking part in the creative outlets Penn has to offer. “Being at Penn is great because if you want to stay on campus you can, but you have Philadelphia next door. There are art galleries, restaurants, parks, places like the Franklin Institute and the Academy of Science; there is so much history here you never run out of things to do.”