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

I received my bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University with a major in biology and a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies. In my undergraduate career I was very involved in my campus community in various service organizations and leadership roles. During my senior year at SDSU, I was elected to serve as an Associated Students Representative for the College of Sciences and speak on behalf of the science students! I would say my overall educational background was a mixture of core science classes and involvement in community service organizations.

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 always knew I wanted to have a career that involved science and helping people. I knew that working in healthcare would satisfy my passion for being in a science-based environment, however, I wanted to focus on patient interaction. I knew genetic counseling was the right choice for me because it perfectly blends my passions of education, support, and advocacy in a patient-centered environment. Additionally, prior to applying to graduate school, I spoke with a few genetic counselors, and I loved hearing their perspectives on the field. After a few short conversations, I could tell this career path was filled with passionate and caring individuals and I knew it was something that I needed to be a part of!

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?

One of the obstacles that I overcame on my journey to genetic counseling graduate school was finding my individual passion amongst my peers who had other interests. In my undergraduate experience, I felt there was a bandwagon effect of the science community focusing on medical school and becoming doctors. This was challenging for me because I knew that going to medical school was not my passion and this was truly the first time in my life where I was doing something that no-one else was around me was. At times I felt very lost and isolated, and I wasn’t sure who to reach out to for guidance and support. My family had not attended graduate school and most of my peers and faculty had never heard of genetic counseling before. Luckily, I realized that so many genetic counselors in my area were willing to have conversations with me about graduate school and their work experiences, and this really pushed me to take initiative and apply. Making a decision that impacted the direction of my future career at such a young age was difficult, but very rewarding!

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

I am most looking forward to meeting all the students in my cohort and getting to pursue my dream of becoming a genetic counselor! I am excited to explore a new area and develop lasting relationships with my peers and faculty. I am also looking forward to learning more about myself and growing as an individual throughout this process!

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I love to start my mornings early and outside. Since the pandemic, I have made a conscious effort to move my body and I have developed a passion for intuitive nutrition and exercise. I even decided to become a pescatarian and I am really enjoying it so far!