What first got you interested in your field of choice?
I was always interested in the field of medicine. At the end of my undergraduate, I was unsure whether I would want to pursue a career in practicing medicine or performing research in the medical field. The MS in Translational Medicine Program at KGI and the Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope provided a great gateway for getting involved with state-of-the-art research and also being able to shadow/intern with world-renowned physicians to understand how, as clinicians, they use research to serve their patients better.
What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education?
Coming from a disadvantaged background, it was not easy to receive the same resources as my peers. Whether studying for MCAT or preparing my medical school application, I struggled in undergraduate to get the correct guidance and support. At KGI and City of Hope, I was blessed with some great mentors that helped me overcome these obstacles and gave me the support system I needed to navigate my academic and career path.
How did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
Coming from Pitzer College, I was well-aware of the curriculum and resources that KGI provides their students. During the summer of my freshman year at Pitzer, I was a part of the first summer pre-med program with Dr. Joon Kim. From that experience, I felt that KGI would definitely give me great opportunities to explore my interest in science and medicine. I was particularly drawn to the MSTM program after hearing what Dr. Liu and Dr. Levitin had in mind for the program's future. Their focus on research really interested me, and I was glad I could excel with the curriculum.
Why did you want to become an Admissions Ambassador?
Being part of the inaugural class, I noticed that both my directors worked very hard to ensure the best curriculum my colleagues and I could receive. To show my appreciation for their hard work and determination, I decided to give back to my program to see it grow and flourish. I also realized that being one of the first students to navigate the curriculum, I could give current students some constructive advice.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I actually come from a family devoted to martial arts. In Washington State, my father was a well-known karate instructor for the Wado-Ryu style, and my brother was known for getting first place in Japan for the U.S. Wado-Ryu team. Having such a strong karate lineage, my father began training me at the age of three. As I grew older and sharpened my skills further, I got my black belt, competed nationally, and won several tournaments.