Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I completed my bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at University of California, Riverside. I had a wonderful opportunity in South Korea to serve as an international undergraduate research assistant over the summer. Throughout my undergraduate career, I was a clinical volunteer, summer camp counselor and research assistant.
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?
Even though I was hospitalized due to my physical health, my mental health was in urgent need of healing. During my hospital stay, my physical health improved as the dexterous physicians and physical therapist performed their magic, and my mental health healed as the compassionate nurses and child life specialist listened to my pain and shared many tears of grief. From this experience, I knew that I wanted to be a healthcare professional who could provide physical care and mental health care.
Through the numerous informational phone interviews and shadowing opportunities with genetic counselors, I learned that the field strives to create an inclusive environment as I witnessed genetic counselors carefully listening to patient narratives and thoughtfully taking roles as an advocator, listener and educator to efficiently address the patient’s needs. This was when I felt a sense of calling to become a genetic counselor.
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?
After graduating and working, I became complacent with my life. When I discovered genetic counseling, I felt ambivalent about my hunger to enter a foreign and competitive field - the feeling of overjoy to finally find my dream career path accompanied the feeling of fear to leave a familiar and comfortable workforce. Through believing in myself and refocusing my mind to my purpose, values and dreams, I overcame complacency and hope to continue to challenge myself.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
At KGI, I look forward to meeting people with similar and different passions and goals. Additionally, I am excited to be equipped with genetic counseling knowledge, skills and tools!
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I lived in 8 different cities and moved 15 times.