Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I attended Presentation High School in Northern California. I then graduated from University of San Diego with a Biology degree. At the University of San Diego, I was mostly interested in my genetics courses, and I actually taught a class of fourth graders about genetics and genetic testing for a research project!
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?
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? From a young age, I’ve always wanted to enter a field in which I would be able to help people and to establish a personal connection with them. Additionally, my parents worked in the medical device industry throughout my childhood which helped spark my passion for science at an early age, and led me to study biology in college. At first, I was not sure how to translate these two desires into a specific area of study. Fortunately, in my senior year, my academic adviser arranged for me to meet with a genetic counselor. Right away, I knew this was the career I wanted to pursue! There are many other factors that contributed to this decision, but ultimately, genetic counseling appeals to both my passion for science and to my desire for assisting others.
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?
Being diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age has been a challenge and a blessing throughout my academic years. I require some extra time to take exams; thus, test taking throughout undergraduate school, and taking the GRE to apply to this degree was difficult. However, I intentionally strived to utilize my diagnosis of dyslexia as a motivating factor, one which drove me to overcome these challenges and to maximize the effort which I invested in my work. Another challenge I had to face during the process of pursing my Genetic Counseling degree was becoming a Crisis Counselor. At first, it was difficult to help the callers without absorbing their pain into my personal life. I learned how to listen, empathize, and provide both hope and solutions to the caller, without taking the hurt into my own life; because ultimately, doing so inhibited me from helping the next caller as best as I could. After I learned this, I loved being a Crisis Counselor!
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I’m excited for it all! I can’t wait to learn about the psychological, human-centered elements of genetic counseling. I also am very eager to learn more about cancer and prenatal genetics.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I love to run and be outdoors. Running allows me to release any anxiety I may have, and being in nature allows me to be more present in the moment!