Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I graduated in 2019 from the University of Oregon with a bachelors of science in biology with an emphasis in behavioral and neuroscience with minors in chemistry and psychology. While there, I worked in three different research labs: an electrochemistry lab, a green chemistry/ nanoscience lab, and a neuroscience lab where I studied auditory cognition in mice. Through the connections I made in my first three years, I was able to intern at ThermoFisher Scientific as a cellular biologist the summer before my senior year, and continued into the academic year. Upon graduation, I worked as a clinical trials coordinator for vaccine and oncology trials.
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?
My younger brother has Autism Spectrum Disorder, he has always been a driving factor in my interest in science and how various disorders/syndromes affect the human population. It wasn’t until I was sitting in my college Genomics and Anthropology class that I was introduced to genetic counseling and it clicked- it was a perfect marriage of science and working with families. As a genetic counselor I could be an advocate, scientist, counselor and educator all in one!
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?
Most of my obstacles have been personal/internal that I thought would prevent me from getting into a program and into the field. Everything from my lack of confidence, anxiety and constantly comparing myself to others made it very difficult to continue to work towards obtaining this degree. I always felt a step below others, always trying to improve my grades, or add more experiences, get more exposure. I really had to work on appreciating all of the things that I have done to get me to where I am today- focusing on the good things, especially on the days where it feels like nothing is going your way.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I am most excited about working with my cohort as we all begin this journey. We are all aware it is not going to be easy, especially our first year, but we are all going through it together. Cannot wait to learn, practice and apply these skills with like-minded people.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I really enjoy cooking and baking! During the pandemic and quarantine, I made soft pretzels, English muffins, sourdough, and endless batches of cookies and loaves of banana bread.