Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?

I completed my bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of California, Riverside, in the spring of 2021. After graduating, I worked as a research intern for a hereditary cancer program and a genetic counseling assistant.

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 been interested in the healthcare field since I was in preschool when I was admitted to a hospital. I remember feeling scared and overwhelmed to be in an unfamiliar environment with a condition no one initially knew the cause of. The endless support of my healthcare team throughout my surgical process and recovery has inspired me to also pursue a career where I can make a difference in someone’s life and make a challenging time a little easier. Additionally, my mom is a nurse and I’ve always looked up to her. I thought I might want to be a nurse too, but after I taking a few genetics courses during college, the topic of genetic testing caught my attention. After doing some research and talking to professors about the profession, I knew I wanted to pursue genetic counseling.

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 struggled with imposter syndrome; I would compare myself to others and feel incompetent no matter what I did. Furthermore, as the first in my family to pursue higher education, it was challenging to build my resume and find mentors. By finding my own opportunities, stepping out of my comfort zone, and always trying to give 110% of myself, I was able to persevere. I am grateful for all experiences I’ve had as it has shaped me to who I am today.

What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?

I am eager to learn, grow, and develop the skills I will need to become a genetic counselor. I’m also looking forward to making genetic counseling more known and accessible.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I know how to dance hula (and also participated in a competition before!).