Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I graduated from UC Davis in 2017 with a BS in Genetics and Genomics and a Minor in History. After graduating, I started working in the Callis Lab at UC Davis studying the genetics of stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana. While I was working, I shadowed genetic counselors at Sutter Children’s and the UCD MIND Institute in Sacramento and volunteered as a crisis counselor for the SPCL.
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 had an interest in the healthcare field ever since I was a clumsy kid who kept injuring himself. So naturally in college, I went the pre-med route but during my senior year, I learned about genetic counseling in a Human Genetics and Genomics class. I’d always loved genetics ever since watching Jurassic Park, but I didn’t know that there were any careers that combined genetics with healthcare…until genetic counseling. Once I started learning more about the field, I realized that the application of genetics to directly helping people in a healthcare setting made it just what I was looking for!
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?
Mostly just finding out about the field! Even as a Genetics and Genomics major, it wasn’t until my last year of college that I heard about genetic counseling. Finding opportunities to shadow genetic counselors in my area was a bit of a challenge, but I was lucky to find people who were more than happy to help out an aspiring genetic counselor!
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
Learning more about human genetics and how to apply that knowledge to helping my future patients! I’m excited to finally be working towards becoming a genetic counselor and joining my fellow GCs. I’ve spent many years studying and preparing so it’s gratifying to officially be part of the MSGC Class of 2022!
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I was once mistaken for a cast member of an obscure children’s show in front of the San Diego Convention Center.