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

I graduated from the University of Arizona in 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a Psychology minor. During undergrad, I pursued activities I was passionate about, such as volunteering in the pediatric hospital wing, working as a caregiver, and doing research on depression in oncology patients. Despite being unaware of genetic counseling at the time, each activity contributed to my skill set and prepared me to pursue my master's.

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?

Early on, I had always been drawn to healthcare, but during my undergraduate, I was focused on the idea of becoming a doctor or nurse. After a distressing experience where I was a patient subject to misdiagnosis, I decided these careers were not for me, and I needed a less intensive role. Upon discovery, I knew genetic counseling was perfect because it combined my interest in genetics with the ability to help patients get answers about their health.

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?

During my undergraduate, I struggled my first year to get the hang of the college workload and viewed the second year as a chance to fix it. Unfortunately, that year I had to withdraw for medical reasons and could not re-enroll until a year later. The year I came back, the pandemic hit and, once again, threw my educational experience for a loop. Almost every year of my undergraduate experience was unconventional, and I doubted my ability to succeed as a graduate student under normal classroom circumstances. Imposter syndrome and adapting to multiple life circumstances were challenging, but ultimately, I feel successful and prepared for graduate-level work.

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

I’m most excited about clinical rotations, especially in the prenatal and preconception specialties, because embryology is fascinating. I am also looking forward to executing my capstone project because these are the first stepping stones into my career.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I taught myself how to surf during the first year of the pandemic, and after many wipeouts later, was finally able to catch a wave.