Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I majored in Biology with a Pre-medical concentration.
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 am naturally driven to help people, so pursuing a career within healthcare better suited my desires to help make people feel understood and included. It was important for me to be able to express and utilize empathy on a daily basis to impact people’s lives. Of all the other career options I considered pursuing, genetic counseling was the only one I could genuinely see myself enjoying for a long time and still manage to find some flexibility with my social life. It also excited me that this career provides a great balance between Biology and Psychology, which have always been two great areas of interest for me.
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?
Being a first-generation student presented me with a lot of difficult situations during my undergraduate years, as well as the process to continue onto graduate school. Financial issues definitely took a toll on me – ending up with 3 different jobs, while being a full-time student during undergrad and also having to delay a lot of my graduate plans because I had to support my family financially, while. A lot of the time I felt overwhelmed with not having much guidance, since no one in my family has had previous experience with higher education. I had to figure out a lot on my own, even starting fresh with no networking connections to find the appropriate guidance that would help fulfill my journey to becoming a Genetic Counselor. I was determined to pursue my career in Genetic Counseling, but in order to be fully focused and dedicated I had to look to therapy to help me cope with my depression and anxiety, which helped me recognize my potential and I learned to trust myself again; to succeed in what I felt passionate about – it became the catalyst to my future endeavors.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I’m really excited to be going back to school! I am really looking forward to learning new things, specifically related Genetic Counseling. Although I will not be able to meet my classmates in person, I still look forwards to building great relationships with them and meeting new people in general.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
I am a very competitive person, which is why I love sports, baseball and soccer being my favorite sports that I follow closely. In my family I am the only one with a different name – my mom and sister share the same name and my dad and brother share the same name – the only one who wear glasses; since I was 4 years old, the only one who enjoys school and the only left-handed family member . . . I am the middle child, that might explain why I am the outlier in the family!