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

I graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from UCI in the Spring of 2020. While I was there, I worked in a psychology lab studying the impact of stress on the relationship between mothers and their children. I became one of the study managers and continued managing the study for a year post-graduation. Before attending UCI, I went to Orange Coast Community college for three years, and I actually continued to take my science prerequisite courses thereafter, I transferred to UCI.

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 had so many wonderful science teachers who captivated me early on in life. The medical field always called to me because I was fascinated by the puzzles that came with treating the human body. Eventually, I also became entranced by psychology and how the mind and body work in conjunction and are inseparable. Many healthcare fields only focus on treating or addressing physical things and are felt colder and more clinical to me. There is a very different and special sense of community in genetic counseling. More than in any medical field I’ve seen, there’s a real focus on patient care and compassion. Genetic Counselors are trained to bring more humanity into medical care, and I’m so excited to be a part of that!

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?

My biggest obstacle in pursuing Genetic Counseling and really all higher education was figuring out how my brain worked and building confidence in my academic abilities. It took a while to convince the little me that failed high school chemistry, AP bio, and many a math class that I actually was smart and capable; I just had to figure out how to manage my ADHD. My time at community college was invaluable because I got to start at the beginning and build my confidence back up. I fell in love with science again, as well as psychology, and learned about Genetic Counseling as a career. I became persistent and resilient, and after two application cycles, here I am!

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

I’m most looking forward to learning more about psychiatric genetic counseling; I would love to work in that burgeoning specialty. I’m also really looking forward to completing my capstone, I think research is fascinating, and I enjoy being able to contribute to it. Outside of academics, I look forward to bonding with my cohort even more!

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I learned to swim before I could walk. I then went on to be a swim teacher for 7 years as an adult and taught a whole new generation of babies how to swim!