Anna started her career in the working world as an Executive Secretary for the Business Manager of the Corvallis Gazette-Times (USA) while she was a high school student during the summer. At the same time, she was a contributing writer to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, the city newspaper writing a column and freelance articles as a high school student.

From her childhood, her dream was to be the editor of an international magazine. She entered the School of Journalism at the University of Oregon in the late 1970s. During the late 1970s, she had a radio show on KWAX-FM - the university's radio station and city's classical music station. She was a reporter at the Oregon Daily Emerald, working side-by-side with the famous journalist, Randy Shilts, author of "And the Band Played On..." During her university years, Anna also worked for Eugene Magazine, and for Oregon Congressman James Weaver assisting his press secretary.

In the early 1980s, after being an art gallery owner, and food co-op manager, she moved to California and worked in the tourist region of Lake Tahoe. After two years working at two casinos in Lake Tahoe, she returned to university life in Santa Cruz, California. She earned a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in comparative history from the University of California at Santa Cruz. In graduate school, she focused her studies on recent Chinese history (1911 to the present).