I ended up reaching out to many programs in California, searching for the program and advisor that would jumpstart my career and honestly give me back my passion for academics. I spoke to many advisors, and none were really sticking out... until I met Emily. She was on sabattical in Germany at the time of our first interaction. And yet, she made time to speak to me on a zoom call. Mind you, it was like 8pm her time, and she had been working all day. But she made a point to sit down with me (for literally an hour btw when I assumed this call would be like 10min), speak to me about her project, and even teach me a little background about what microbiological research is.
Coming from a Public Health degree, I did not have much microbiology experience, except for 1 class I took my sophomore year (shout out to my lab TA) in which I completely enjoyed. So that is the direction I decided to go. And Emily knew this, she knew what she was signing up for- a new grad student who has basically no experience in this field. And yet, she wanted me. She went OUT OF HER WAY to make sure I applied properly, had all my documents, and got accepted into her lab. I have never experienced so much support right off the bat from someone who I barely knew. And she knew nothing about me. But she had faith.
Now we are a year into the program, and I could not be more thankful for the consistent encouragement, support, and endless patience I am getting from her.
I truly found a love for research that I firmly believe I may not have obtained working as a Nurse.
Something I always say is "I like bacteria because it doesn't talk back to me." Kinda awkward I know, but funny and true!