Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I attended community college for several years before transferring to UCLA to attend their undergraduate psychology program where I graduated in 2014.
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 was always interested in biology and psychology, but never imagined a career existed that combined the two. Although I had worked in the healthcare field post-graduation, I had not been introduced to genetic counseling until I began working at the hematology oncology clinic at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). I found clinical work rewarding as well as exciting and saw genetic counseling as an opportunity to empower through knowledge, counseling through uncertainty with the support of the ever growing field of genetics and genetic technology.
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?
It was difficult to find biology and research-based positions in the competitive health care field with a degree in psychology. I was incredibly motivated to contribute to research since I think the value of sharing knowledge is immeasurable. Unfortunately, I did not have a background that made me as appealing as those with STEM degrees. It took much determination and countless hours revising my resume to eventually be offered a position with direct patient contact. This proved to be a priceless experience as it confirmed I truly enjoy working with patients in a clinic with a multidisciplinary team.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
Taking in all the new and interesting information about the world of genetic counseling. There isn’t one class that I haven’t enjoyed. There is no doubt that they are all very challenging but rewarding to learn the foundations of what I will eventually be using to support patients through their journey. I am also very excited to get back into the clinic.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I am a meticulous and talented packer. There is nothing that I cannot pack into a suitcase.