Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Psychology from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo. In the summers I participated in the research, which included studying heart regeneration after heart attacks, qPCR and microfluidics, and neuropathology. I learned about genetic counseling during my sophomore year of college through the genetic counseling student interest group at my school.
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 didn’t want to go into healthcare at first. There was a lot that I liked about the field, but I thought that research would be a better fit for me. My experiences in teaching and my interest in clinical genetics research drove me to look for a career that wasn’t limited to a laboratory. With the help of the genetic counseling student interest group on my campus, I found that genetic counseling would allow me to explore clinical genetics research, education, and advocacy, and allow me to maintain a work-life balance through my education and career. Talking to many genetic counselors and seeking opportunities to prepare for my master's affirmed that this was a field I wanted to be a part of.
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?
The biggest obstacle was the COVID-19 pandemic, which limited my ability to get the experiences I was seeking to prepare for graduate school. Additionally, my university didn’t have a large genetics focus within the biology department, so finding coursework that was relevant to genetic counseling was difficult.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I have already gotten so close with my cohort and learned so much from collaborating with them! Genetic counselors can make such an impact on an individual’s or family’s medical journey, a privilege I greatly look forward to. This field is so dynamic and collaborative! I am eager to work with other genetic counselors to advance the field and expand what genetic counselors can offer. I am also looking forward to collaborating with other professionals and communities to spread awareness and empower people to understand how their genetics can affect them.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I really like to do acrobatic yoga! It’s a great workout and a fun way to meet new people.
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