Erica Poole MS '18

Erica is from a small town in southeastern Ohio. She earned a BS in Biology and certificates in both Deaf Studies and Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati. After graduating, she continued to live and work in the area in a local hospital's microbiology lab as a Tech Aide II while working part-time with a campus ministry at the University of Cincinnati. She volunteered with a genetic counselor at the Good Samaritan Cancer Institute and completed an online genetic counseling course through the University of South Carolina. She also began the training process to become a CASA volunteer through an organization called ProKids, which works with children in the foster care system. In her free time Erica likes to try different foods and experiences with friends in the city. She enjoys Disney, musicals, puppies, traveling, classical civilizations, and country music. She also loves a good game night or cozy night in to celebrate being young and being alive!

Why did you decide to come to Sarah Lawrence College’s genetic counseling program after working for several years?

I graduated from undergrad during the most recent recession, when you were lucky to find and keep a job. I had a degree that I did not know what to do with, nor did I know if I wanted to be in those professions. So I continued working full-time in the lab where I worked during college and tried out a couple of other part-time jobs, but I did not see myself content in any of those positions long-term. Genetic counseling offered a great balance of science and interaction with people, which is what drew me to the field and kept my interest. There are so many things changing in the field and so many different career possibilities as well.

What do you think makes a student successful in your program?

I think it's important to be both flexible and organized, without getting overwhelmed. You have to put in the work to know the material, regardless of all the distractions and hurdles around you. Have confidence in your abilities and do not let those doubts or fears hold you back from seeking help or reaching out to your classmates either. We are all part of a team to get through this together. Procrastination is not your friend.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before beginning your graduate program?

This is going to be an adjustment in so many different aspects of your life. No matter how you prepare, you will always come across things that you never expected were going to be a complication or that will make you feel or see things in a different light. A challenge is good for your soul. It stretches and strengthens you if you allow it. Embrace it. It's introducing so many new things into your life that you would not have if you were not here in this moment. Also, your program is not perfect. Accept it, but work with it.