Hello everyone! I hope you are well! This is my very first post for my very first blog. This post is a version of my personal statement and it will give you a picture of my background, my previous attributes, and how jumped onboard my dreamboat of becoming a genetic counselor.
Those of you who follow me on my Instagram account (@aspiringc2020)would know that I am an aspiring genetic
counselor aiming to be matched into one of the only two graduate programs available for genetic counselling in Australia. This can seem quite surprising to many of my fellow friends from the US and the UK where there are numerous graduate programs at various universities
and college setups.
A peak into my background:
I am a girl of Indian origin who lived in India for the first 23 years of my
life! The first time I ever travelled alone in my life was on my longest flight journey to the UK to pursue my Masters in Applied Biosciences at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge.
It was always my dream to be a researcher or a scientist and this led me
to do a bachelor’s in Biotechnology and further pursue my masters in the
UK. However, while doing these programs I gradually realized that laboratory work was not the right fit for me. And as I had also worked for years in Customer Service and job roles that need people interaction, I
figured out that the perfect dream job for me would be a combination of
genetics or healthcare and client or patient communication. This would
give me the privilege to constantly communicate with people, help
patients identify their genetic conditions and in turn, empower them to make better decisions.
It was not until 2018 that I learned about Genetic Counseling as a profession from the internet. That is the point where my journey to prepare for Genetic counseling began!!
From then on, there was no looking back! Meanwhile I got married and moved again (this time not alone… 😊) to a new country: Australia.!!! Yay Aussie Aussie Aussie…I am in love with this place!
Unlike other countries, there is a small network of genetic counselors
here in Australia with only two universities providing a graduate
program which is the University of Melbourne, fully accredited by
HGSA board and the University of Technology, Sydney which is yet
to be fully accredited. Hence, I had a very short list of programs to apply for. Though this might seem like a plus point, it does come with consequences of lesser chances of being selected if you’re applying for the very first time.
The healthcare regulations here restrict non-students from shadowing or
working as assistant with a genetic counselor. It is also not easy to apply
for a role in any healthcare setup.
However, there are NGO setups and volunteering opportunities in
organizations such as Very special kids, rare disease voice, Alzheimer’s, dementia, aged care facility and so on. One of the most talked about volunteering opportunity which makes a direct impact in personal learning and also on application is Lifeline support, although
this is a paid volunteering. This means you would need to pay to get trained and intern as a lifeline supporter.
That’s all folks! I look forward to posting interesting articles and taking tiny steps in my journey towards becoming a Genetic counselor.
I also look forward to sharing the measures I took to gain
experience, knowledge, the hurdles I faced along, and how
overcame them. I hope this post will inspire all aspiring students and
give all the information they need. I hope to motivate all of you as we
together count-down to MATCH DAY!!!