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

I graduated from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Biological Sciences. During my time at Cal Poly, I was able to explore my passions for both genetics and psychology by taking coursework in both subjects. As a leader in my undergraduate institution’s genetic counseling student interest group, I further explored the field of genetic counseling and created experiences for myself and others to practice the skills we were learning along the way. Acting as a research assistant in a psychology lab also helped to substantiate my passion for understanding the human mind and developing interpersonal relationships.

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?

My personal experience with a health crisis first ignited my passion for the healthcare field. I was able to meet many medical professionals with a wide range of specialties. Not only was I initially attracted to the kinds of interpersonal relationships these medical professionals were able to make, but I was also fascinated by the technical aspects that come with these patient-facing positions. After exploring many career options, I ultimately landed on genetic counseling because it felt like the best fit for me. The non-directive nature of genetic counselors aligned with my personal values and career goals. Ultimately, the genetic counselor I met with during my health crisis made a strong impact on me. I hope to be this person to someone else in the future!

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?

Most of the obstacles that I faced while pursuing a career in genetic counseling were intrinsic challenges. While my family is extremely privileged to have had multiple people complete their undergraduate-level education, I am the first person in my family to seek out postgraduate-level education. At times, I found it difficult to discuss parts of my journey with my loved ones as we found it challenging to relate to one another. Furthermore, being surrounded by other amazing individuals who also wanted to pursue a field of genetic counseling was sometimes intimidating. I felt grossly inadequate and underqualified. However, connecting with other people who were interested in genetic counseling actually helped me overcome some of the feelings I was struggling with. Having a community that understands what you are going through and how you might feel is truly uplifting and rewarding, or at least it was to me!

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

I am most excited to connect with my cohort. In fact, one of the reasons why I loved KGI’s program was the larger-than-average cohort size. I am looking forward to continuing to learn about and from some of the most talented people I know. Additionally, I am eager to have the privilege of hearing the stories of patients. I think that a genetic counseling session can be an immensely vulnerable experience, and I am very grateful to be able to hear from and support my future patients.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I am a skincare enthusiast! I love combining my background in STEM with my love for skincare; I am a big advocate for using evidence-based practices in skincare regimes. It always makes me happy to put my organic chemistry coursework to good use!