Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I completed my Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in Biology at the University of La Verne in 2017. While I was in undergrad, I had the opportunity to study abroad in England at the University of Gloucestershire and take a few psychology courses there. I also had the chance to interned at the Acacia Counseling Center where I learned about group counseling in English and in Spanish. After graduating, I took few more genetics courses online to help expand my knowledge in human genetics.
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 known I wanted to work with people for a while, and I liked that healthcare was centered around that. I remember looking at what healthcare careers I could possibly be in, but I did not feel a connection to any until I found genetic counseling at a Biology career fair at my university. A genetic counselor from Kaiser open my eyes to the profession and I remember thinking “Wow, this profession sounds amazing!” The more research into the career I did, the more I knew it was for me. I liked how genetic information could help patients make the best medical decision for them and could possibly help in prevention. My passion for the field grew more while I worked at USC where I had the opportunity to shadow amazing genetic counselors who conducted research and advocated for their patients.
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 knew early on in undergrad that I wanted to pursue genetic counseling. I had difficulty trying to get exposure to the field due to hospital/clinic restrictions. I ended up applying to programs in the fall of 2017 but did not get any interviews. I was devastated for a while, but then transformed those feelings into motivation. I was not going to give up. I spent the past two years putting myself out there by reaching out to different genetic counselors and trying to improve my application.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I am looking forward to learning more from the lectures, the clinical rotations, my fellow classmates, and faculty. This has been a long time coming and I am excited to start my career.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I used to be a police explorer, which is a youth program that teaches adolescence about law enforcement. This experience taught me to be confident, work hard, and be self-disciplined. During my time there, I had the opportunity to go to the police explorer academy, which is like a bootcamp, for a week and got peppered sprayed.