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

I initially started undergrad as an Environmental Biology major, where I started to gravitate toward genetics. During my third year of college, I switched my major to Cellular and Molecular biology with a minor in chemistry. I also participated in some research on oncogenes which helped solidify my interest in cancer and genetics!

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’ve actually always been interested in the medical field since I was a kid, and I used to think I wanted to be a doctor. In college, I was a residential advisor, and I also realized that I loved supporting other students psychosocially while also still remaining passionate about science and genetics in general. My genetics professor brought up genetic counseling, and it sounded like the perfect combination of two things I loved! And since the field of genetics is constantly expanding, I find it really exciting that there will always be new things to learn about to keep me on my toes.

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, which I’m sure is true for many others as well, was trying to pursue grad school during a pandemic. I had a hard time finding other genetic counselors to shadow, and also had a geographic barrier due to the fact that the northern California town I lived in was very rural. However, I was able to overcome this by participating in online webinars, attending information sessions over zoom, and reaching out to current students and genetic counselors virtually.

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

I am definitely looking forward to learning about all of the different possibilities, opportunities, and directions there are to go within the field of genetic counseling. The two specialties I am most interested in are cancer and prenatal, but I believe it’s so important to keep an open mind and see where my education at KGI will take me.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I was a dancer for 17 years before I started grad school!