Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I received my Bachelors of Science in Biology and a minor in counseling from the University at Buffalo in 2019. I’ve spent the last two years working at Rockefeller University in their Laboratory of Genome Maintenance as a Research Study Coordinator for multiple studies exploring the natural history of Fanconi Anemia and its associated cancers.
What first got you interested in the healthcare field as a career choice? There are a lot of career options in the field -nursing, physician assistant, etc., what made you decide that genetic counseling was the right practice area/career choice for you?
I’ve always loved Genetics as a science, and I wanted to find a way to combine that passion with my desire to work with people and make a difference in their lives. A genetic counselor is like a teacher, a physician, a researcher, and a therapist all in one. We help our patients in such dynamic ways that are so unique to this specialty and this specialty alone, which is a big part of what drew me to this career.
What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education and in particular in pursuing your Genetic Counseling degree?
I took me two admissions cycles to be accepted into a program. Just like a lot of prospective genetic counseling students, I applied directly out of undergrad and found that I did not have the experience that was really needed for such a rigorous program. After taking two years off to do research in rare genetic disease and experience the wonderful opportunity to work with patients, I felt like I had a better understanding of what genetic counseling is really about and decided I was ready to apply again. The rest is history.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I’m really looking forward to learning the best ways to be an advocate for my patients. How to create safe spaces for them and their families where they know they will find comfort, answers, and support.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I love art. I have a couple sketch books that I love drawing, painting, sketching in in my free time. It’s one of my favorite self-care activities because it really takes your mind off everything else going on. I’ve even painted a couple murals in my parents apartment in New York.