Prospective Genetic Counselor Day (Remote too!)

It’s that time of year again! (For me to plug GeneDx’s Prospective Genetic Counselor Day)

Are you interested in a career in Genetic Counseling?


Prospective GC Day.PNG
Consider attending the Prospective GC info session on April 27, 2018
RSVP: Meg Bradbury, MS, CGC, MSHS ( by April 20, 2018
Not onsite? Join in remotely by video conference.
For further information please contact




Genetic Counseling Case Series – Online series for prospective genetic counseling students

#expose yourself

Speaking of resume boosters… here’s an opportunity for individuals looking for more exposure to the field of genetic counseling before applying to graduate school:

The Genetic Counseling Program of the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center offers several online courses for genetic counselors and prospective students. The newest course, Genetic Counseling Case Series, provides an introduction to the genetic counseling profession through clinical and laboratory case examples. This would be a great option for prospective genetic counseling students who are looking to get more exposure to the field.

The course includes adult, cancer, laboratory, pediatric, preconception, and prenatal case presentations that can be accessed on demand from work or home at any time of day or night. Goals of the course include:

  • Introduce students to the genetic counseling profession through case examples
  • Describe the role of genetic counselors in healthcare and the major aspects of a genetic counseling session
  • Familiarize students with medical, genetic, and psychosocial issues that can present in genetic counseling cases.


More information on their online courses can be found here

Additional info:


  • Cost: $95
  • Hours of content: 5.3




Job Opportunity – Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA)

Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA) positions are a great introduction to the field and a wonderful way to gain experience before applying to graduate school.


GCA positions are popping up more frequently. Some prospective students may wish to inquire whether there is a position available at a local genetic counseling facility, or even whether the facility would be willing to create a position.

Great job opportunity for those in the Maryland/DC area or those able to relocate. See details below.

To apply, head over to


To learn how some facilities are implementing GCAs, see the following literature:

  • Trepanier, A. M., Cohen, S. A., & Allain, D. C. (2015). Thinking Differently About Genetic Counseling Service Delivery. Current Genetic Medicine Reports, 3(2), 49-56. doi:10.1007/s40142-015-0069-7
  • Rahm, A. K., Sukhanova, A., Ellis, J., & Mouchawar, J. (2007). Increasing Utilization of Cancer Genetic Counseling Services Using a Patient Navigator Model. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 16(2), 171-177. doi:10.1007/s10897-006-9051-6
  • Presented Abstract from the Thirty Fifth Annual Education Conference of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (Seattle, WA, September 2016): The genetic counseling assistant: Dana-Farber’s experience in establishing a new role
  • Concurrent Paper for GC Professional Roles from the Thirty Third Annual Education Conference of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (New Orleans, LA, September 2014): The Genetic Counseling Assistant: Is Our Profession Ready for Multiple Career Levels?
    1. Robinson1, B. Crawford2, S. Pirzadeh-Miller1, P. Read3, S. Pass1
    2. Simmons Cancer Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    3. Cancer Risk Program, University of California San Francisco
    4. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • Presented Abstracts from the Thirty Fifth Annual Education Conference of the National Society of Genetic Counselors (Seattle, WA, September 2016): Finding the right mix: Optimizing the utilization of the genetic counseling skill set
    • P. Read1, M. Marvin1, B. Yashar1, L. Robinson2
    • 1. University of Michigan
    • 2. UT Southwestern Medical Center

How to Build a Resume and Cover Letter for your First Genetic Counseling Position

Did you all tune into the Student/New Member SIG Webinar on November 29th?

Cindy Soliday (Kaiser HR hiring manager for GCs) & MaryAnn Campion, MS, CGC (co-director of Stanford program) discussed how to obtain your first GC position. And while I coudn’t stay on the line for the entire lecture, I jotted down some notes on resume and cover letters.

Quick Notes on Resumes:

  • Keep it short (1-2 pages)
  • Use simple, obvious formatting
  • Use the formatting to draw attention to your key points; don’t bury them
  • Include (1) personal contact information (2) education (3) experience (clinical placements, relevant work experience, relevant volunteer work) (3) professional organizations (4) awards (5) special skills (bilingual, etc.) (6) major publications and presentations
  • Indicating “References available upon request” is OK
    • However, choose your references wisely and always ask your references in advance
    • Prep your references and give them a heads-up as to which jobs you’re applying for
  • Ensure your resume is TARGETED to the specific job; create multiple versions of your resume that are tailored to each job opportunity
  • Absolutely no excuse for typos! Have multiple people proof read
  • Tips:
    • Keep one long continuous (all-purpose) resume/CV saved, then cull the long version for specific jobs/opportunities
    • Turn resumes into PDFs before submitting so they remain visually appealing. Otherwise, formatting may get messy depending on how it’s saved into the system.

Quick Notes on Cover Letters:

  • Intended to introduce and complement your resume/CV (should NOT be a repetition of your resume)
  • 1 page, simple, NO TYPOS
  • Address the letter to the specific hiring person or company
  • Explain why you are writing
  • Main body should list major accomplishments or experience; convince the employer to interview you
  • Tailor the letter to the position
  • Emphasize your specific career goals at this position
  • Encourage the employer to contact you in the last paragraph



My understanding is that the presentation slides will eventually be posted on the SIG board. If you’re not already a member, consider joining. The rest of the webinar provides information regarding job searching, salary and benefit negotiation techniques, and
examining what HR hiring managers and lead genetic counselors are looking for in an applicant.

Happy job searching!

Happy Genetic Counselor Awareness Day!


Today, November 9th, is genetic counselor awareness day! Take a minute to learn about what a genetic counselor does. Check out this blog and for more information about genetic counseling.

Check out the video from the National Society of Genetic Counselors:


“A Day in the Life of a Genetic Counselor” Webinar on 11/19/17

Are you interested in a career in genetic counseling? Are you preparing to apply to genetic counseling programs? Curious to learn what different roles a genetic counselor may have day-to-day?

Check out our webinar sponsored by the Student/New Member Special Interest Group of National Society of Genetic Counselors to learn more about this fast-growing profession! This hour-long webinar will feature two practicing genetic counselors and one genetic counseling student sharing their journey to genetic counseling and current day-to-day roles.

When? Sunday, November 19th, 2017 at 6pm CST

Register here:


U of Manitoba MSc Open House

The University of Manitoba is hosting an open house for prospective genetic counselling students (counselling spelled with two L’s for our Canadian friends!)

PDF w/ details: UM-GC Open House

U Manitoba

When: November 7, 2017, 5:30pm
Where: Basic Medical Sciences Building, Room 341, 745 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg, MB

RSVP: by Nov 3, 2017

Prospectives in Genetic Counseling: Transitioning into the role of genetic counseling student

The following is a publication from the Prospective Students Task Force, part of the NSGC Student/New Member Special Interest Group (SIG). If you’re not familiar with SIGs, keep reading!

You’ll also find:

  • Information on transitioning to graduate school
  • Reflections from a re-applicant
  • Resources and information on NSGC

Publication: Prospectives Newsletter_June2017

Grad Student

The 2017 Edition: Want to be a Genetic Counselor? ((By Brynna))

Hello readers!

The crew from M&G would love to welcome our first guest post of 2017! This amazing list of resources are from prospective GC student, Brynna. Deciding if the GC profession is right for you? Just cannot find enough information out there regarding Genetic Counseling? Well, friends, this one is for you!

For basic/general information on what a genetic counselor is:

  • As most of you know, the National Society of Genetic Counselors has a fantastic website which details the job responsibilities of genetic counselors, provides the latest news on genetics, and a GC database. It has also been recently updated – yay, user friendly! If you are unsure as to what a genetic counselor does or are looking to read up on genetics literature, this is the place to go. However, some of the features on the website (publications, job connection tool, etc.) are accessible only through NSGC membership.
  • This is definitely one of my favorite websites! This website breaks down the job responsibilities of genetic counseling and various job environments. It also provides information on how to prepare for a career in the field, how to pick a program, and how to pay for school. This website is for those who are just starting to learn about the field, as well as those who want to learn more to become a competitive applicant.
  • Explorehealthcareers is a great website to dip your toes in the world of genetic counseling, but also to gain exposure to other health career options. This helpful site lists a general overview (including average salary and job outlook), outlines working conditions and academic requirements, and additional resources for further information. Genetic counseling is a great field, but it is not a field for everyone. Use this website to explore different health careers that will best suit you.
  • This website is for all of those statistic junkies out there! The Bureau of Labor Statistics collects, analyzes, and distributes economic information that reflects labor market activity and working conditions in the economy. Their website provides information on occupations within the U.S. including the education required, work environment, job outlook, and how to attain that career goal. The website also includes data regarding employment change, job outlook, and occupations employment statistics based on state and city.
  • Truity is a website for those who wish to explore various careers through a personality standpoint. The site considers personality scores based on the Briggs Myers 16 personality types. The Myer-Briggs type indicator is a questionnaire developed by psychologists Briggs and Myers to evaluate an individual’s perception of the world and the criteria on which someone bases their decisions. Information is available on the diverse personality types regarding careers, relationships, core motivations, and values. If you do not know your personality type, you can take this free tests to find out!

So, you have decided to be a genetic counselor? Great! Below are more resources on the next steps.

Steps to getting there:

  • “How to Become a Genetic Counselor” by Jason Flanagan (NSGC): Jason provides information on how to determine if the profession is a good fit and quick tips on boosting your resume for graduate school. It also provides a general overview of things to keep in mind while beginning a GC career.
  • Read the biographies of current students on GC graduate program websites: This tip will sound familiar if you are familiar with M&G. Camille gave this advice in her March post and I cannot emphasize enough how helpful this was for me. If you are interested in a specific program, it is helpful to see the types of experiences that current grad students add onto their resumes. The majority of GC graduate programs have a website and the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) provides a list of all of the GC graduate programs United States and Canada (
  • Contact program directors: While this may sound crazy, program directors are approachable people that want you to succeed! Therefore, reach out to program directors near you to schedule an informational interview or meeting to discuss your strengths and weaknesses as an applicant. If you do not have a program nearby, emailing directors is a great way to seek application advice and get your name out there! I have spoken with several genetic counselors who contacted program directors before their acceptance into grad programs.

How can you still be sure that this is the right career for you? Shadow a GC!

Contacting a Genetic Counselor:

  • NSGC Find a Genetic Counselor: On the NSGC web page, there is a handy “Find a GC” tool. You can search for GCs in your area based on institution or specialty and reach out to them for shadowing opportunities. In contacting a GC, you will be learning more information about the field and a recount of what it is like to be a GC firsthand.
  • University of Cincinnati Meet-a-Graduate ( Finding a genetic counselor may be the easy step, but finding shadow time with a GC is definitely more challenging. For those who live in areas where GCs are scarce, the University of Cincinnati offers a great opportunity to get in touch with alumni. The meeting may also provide the Admissions Committee at UC with additional information regarding a prospective student’s application.
  • Email EVERYWHERE – Try sending an email to reach GCs in specific settings: hospitals, clinics, fertility centers, universities, or biotechnology companies. Genetic counselors can be found everywhere and all it takes is a quick search on the internet!

Miscellaneous Information:

  • Open forums: For me, I was not satisfied with the amount of information I gathered about genetic counseling. I was able to learn about the application processes and the graduate programs, but I wanted to know about the experiences of prospective students. Enter open forums. Open forums are essentially online discussion boards. A few that I like to read are from Grad Café, Reddit (r/clinicalgenetics and r/science), and There is also a great AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit by NSGC genetic counselors. In these forums, you will find current graduate students discussing their experiences, prospective students describing their resumes and where they received interviews and acceptance, and current GCs answering genetics questions from the public. Downside? The information on these forums may NOT be accurate.
  • NSGC blog: NSGC maintains a blog that focuses on providing information about current events in genetic testing relating to cancer screening, mental health, and other topics. This is a great website to go to regarding all things genetics!

We hope that you were able to find some new resources that will help you on your path to becoming a genetic counselor!

Is your favorite resource not on this list? We would love to hear what sources you find helpful in the comments below!

%d bloggers like this: