Gage Gomez isn’t your typical influencer. The PreMed track student is aiming higher; moving the bar for the burgeoning influencer industry. In fact, a recent survey found that among young people, influencer was the most sought after career selected by over 29% of those surveyed, quickly supplanting traditional aspirational occupations such as doctors and lawyers. Not so fast says Gage Gomez: you can do both. The quickly rising influencer has proven influence can extend beyond merch and product plugs. In addition to a Discord he runs that offers free tutoring services for students, Gomez has raised money for cancer research and childhood cancer with Sloan Kettering.
We caught up with Gage in an exclusive interview to learn how he is changing the social media game.
Mark Benjamin: You grew up in Long Island and now you live in New York. What is it about the city that keeps you here?
Gage Gomez: Definitely the speed that the city operates at. People are up at all times of the day, depending on what their job is, getting what they need to get done, done. I love the grind, hustle and bustle that is tied into New York City’s dynamic and diverse culture; there really is no other city like it.
MB: Where else have you been that has inspired you?
GG: Because I haven’t been out of the country yet, my travel experiences and influences that come along with those have been pretty limited. One of my favorite places that I’ve been to so far is Hawaii; it’s such a beautiful place and I would definitely consider living there for sometime. Whenever I go, I get extremely motivated and have a lot of visions for my future. I also think it’s good that there aren’t that many distractions out there to develop unhealthy habits like there are in larger cities.
“I think a lot of kids get caught up in praising these unrealistic lives where you’re living in a mansion making TikToks all day thinking you’re going to become extremely wealthy off of that.”
MB: You’re in college on a PreMed track. I think that’s interesting because a lot of people think being an influencer is an end all be all. In a way you’re promoting higher education and challenging your followers to keep learning. Is that something you’ve thought about?
GG: Yes, absolutely. That has been my narrative from day one. Being an influencer is not the end all be all. I truly do believe in higher education or some sort of education if it pertains to your goals in life, of course. Being a PreMed student was always my number one priority before anything else. Social media is a tool that I use to amplify my outlook on how you can be successful doing both, and how you don’t have to drop out.
I think a lot of kids get caught up in praising these unrealistic lives where you’re living in a mansion making TikToks all day thinking you’re going to become extremely wealthy off of that. That being said, it can be done but you need someone who’s been through it to help you capitalize on the opportunity before it’s too late which is a short window.
MB: How was preparing for the MCAT? That’s a seriously difficult test to score well on.
GG: Preparing for the MCAT was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, physically and mentally. I was supposed to take it back in January 2021 but after studying 10 to 15 hours a day every single day for three months with no days off, I realized that my mental health was suffering without me noticing. So, I decided not to submit my exam so that I can take time off and get back after it for the following application cycle.
This eight hour long exam requires more preparation than any bio, chemistry, physics, and humanities final all together, because you need to know it all. Clearly, they can’t test everything so you need to prioritize what you think is most important and what is OK not look at to some extent and being OK with that. I’m not going to go into this exam with less than 100% confidence in my abilities so that I can get into the best schools that I want to. I don’t want to get into a med school. I want to get into my top choices, so I won’t rush that process.
MB: Is there something you want to share that people may not know about you from scrolling your page?
GG: Surprisingly, even though it’s the first thing in my bio, people still don’t know that I’m actually a PreMed student. They assume I am an influencer who probably isn’t in school, who also models on the side. Also, my name is in my bio, but it seems to slip past people that I am Hispanic. Three-quarters. The rest is Italian.
Also, I’m going to take this time to promote my tutoring service that I started recently. We have about 3,000 students and it is a free service for anyone in the field of stem; highschoolers and undergraduate students are welcome to discuss any topics with the volunteer tutors that I have personally selected. That link is in my bio.
MB: Tell us about your workout/gym routine. Any advice for people just starting out?
GG: So, in terms of fitness, I actually used to be a personal trainer. Recently, I stopped taking clients. I was surrounded by sports and fitness my entire life and with some of the knowledge I had from required bio courses, I took a certification test and had some friends help me get clients in New York City.
My personal routine is kind of nonexistent right now, although I am getting really addicted to rock climbing again. I used to do general workouts and simple routines but I just got bored. I love rock climbing because it requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills in the moment while you’re getting one of the best exercises possible throughout your entire body.
MB: Where did your interest in fashion begin? Are there any brands or designers you follow closely?
GG: My fashion has never really been a stand out piece of my page or personal brand, but this past summer I met a lot of really cool friends who are super into that industry and they’ve definitely motivated me creatively to test out those waters more. All the high fashion brands of course are super cool in their own ways but on the smaller spectrum, or my own niche opinion, I really like brands such as: old D&G, Yohji Yamamoto, Dries Van Noten, Kapital, Martin Myaka, as well as a bunch of small owned companies in Russia and Korea which I can’t recall off of the top of my head.
MB: In addition to Travis Scott what other musicians are you into?
MB: You seem to have a knack for fun/interesting historical facts. What are some of your favorite films or books?
GG: Goodwill Hunting is hands-down my favorite movie. “How to Win Friends and “Influence People” by Rockefeller is tied with “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, and a few others. As far as films go, I tend to like anything with Matt Damon, Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, Leo, Margot Robbie, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson and a few others.
MB: You’ve also used your platform for good by partnering with Sloan Kettering for childhood cancer and research fundraisers. Are there any other causes you’re passionate about or would like to invite followers to look into?
GG: There are always two links in my bio for pediatric cancer research fundraisers that I am a part of: cookies for kids cancer and Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital, so please always take a look at those and share them with friends and family. I host fundraisers for both of those when I can. I’m usually in Washington Square Park in Manhattan.
As I mentioned before, I started a free tutoring aid which gained a lot of traction very fast that I’m about to revamp, so keep a lookout for that. You can always hop in the discord if you need fast assistance. We are hoping to do some sort of partnership with Kaplan down the line.