What first got you interested in your field of choice?
In middle school, back in Mexico, I was lucky enough to use a microscope in a science class. Looking into it opened the door to a new world that fascinated me and pointed me toward a science-based career. As I grew professionally and learned about how science is applied to healthcare, I developed a passion for the industry's business side and how it opens access for millions of people to life-changing therapies and diagnostics.
What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education?
Microbiology and Molecular Biology majors were not available in Mexico as undergraduate degrees when I was ready for college. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to follow an older sibling and move to the U.S. for college. Funding my education as an international student was an ongoing challenge. One of the constants in my academic journey was the lack of role models that looked and sounded like me or understood my experience. I was fortunate enough to have some of those role models in my personal life and I leaned on their example to not lose sight of my academic goals.
How did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
As I neared the end of my graduate school years (I earned a PhD in Cancer Cell Biology from the University of Virginia), I realized that I wanted to move closer to the commercial side of healthcare and be at the intersection of both fields. I then became aware of KGI at a conference where they were recruiting and found out what type of programs KGI offered, exactly what I was looking for. After learning about the way KGI was connected to the industry and learning about the networking opportunities it could afford me, I knew my path was meant to make a stop at KGI. Attending KGI was such a compelling and clear next step for me that I moved my wife and four children from the East to the West coast, declining in the process a job offer at the University of Chicago technology transfer office.
Why did you want to become an Admissions Ambassador?
I benefitted so much from others that came back to KGI after graduation or from industry experts that gave their time freely to help other newcomers like me that I decided I would do the same when the time was right. I have been involved in supporting KGI students for the last seven years. Hopefully, some of the students I have interacted with gained some perspective on how to best move forward more confidently in their careers.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
Whether for work or pleasure, I love global travel and learning about other people, their cultures, and their food. The first time I traveled around the world was in 2016 with stops in Europe and Asia before returning home to L.A.
Celebrating 25 years of innovation! 25.kgi.edu.