Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I graduated from the University of South Florida in 2014 where I obtained a BGS with a Public Health Concentration. I am also one credit shy from earning a M.S. in Biology, from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
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 became interested in the healthcare field at an early age as I grew up with a cousin who was born with a genetic disorder. Difficulties with obtaining critical health services as well as a lack of social inclusion for my cousin prompted me to pursue a career in the medical field. I entered the healthcare field as a medical assistant to an OBGYN and Midwife, where I cared for and supported pregnant patients. It was through this work that I first was introduced to medical genetics and realized its importance in medical care and impact on affected families. My undertaking as a genetic counselor was driven by an amalgamation of my experiences with my cousin and patients, as well as a personal encounter with a genetic disorder.
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?
My road to a Genetic Counseling degree can best be described as a million-mile trip, which involved reallocating from Poland to the United States, learning the English language along the way, moving between several different states, working two or sometimes three jobs, commuting back and forth to school several times a day, all while fulfilling my family obligations. It was a very long trip, but I would gladly do it all over again just to get here.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I am most excited about finally making it to the point in my academic career where I can solely focus on something that I have always been very passionate about. I am also looking forward to joining a community of people with similar professional interests and objectives.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
My friends would best describe me as adventurous and spontaneous as I am known to go snorkel in shark infested waters, drive from Florida to Chicago over the weekend to get some Polish food, or take a horseback ride down into an inactive volcano.