Science Cheerleader Britney here bringing you Rookie Miami Dolphins Cheerleader Rachel! Rachel is pursuing a marketing degree in medical sales. Read below to learn more about Rachel and what motivates her on and off the field.

What turned you on to STEM and when? 

When I was growing up, science was always my best subject. It was something that clicked with me and that I genuinely enjoyed learning about. I was fortunate enough to have teachers who were passionate about this subject and who influenced me to love it in school. I remember always looking forward to joining the science fair in school and having the opportunity to be creative while learning about the things that interested me. 

Why did you try out to be a cheerleader?

I tried out to be a cheerleader because I love to dance. I have been dancing since I was a little girl and it was something that allowed me to express myself creatively. The part that I love the most is performing. Currently, I am in school working toward a degree that will allow me to work in medical sales, but I felt there was something missing. I have always dreamed of cheering, dancing, and performing on the sidelines.

Photo credit: Miami Dolphins

Please describe what you do in your science career on a daily basis.

I am currently working towards my marketing degree for medical sales. While taking classes focused on medical sonography technology, my day consists of managing the technology used to take ultrasounds on patients. This technology is commonly used for pregnancies to see the baby. I needed to learn to be left handed and right handed because of the keyboard and probe tools that are used at the same time. Typically, my time is spent in the classroom learning about both the medical and marketing sides of my degree.

What does it mean for you to be studying in STEM? 

In my future career, my role is to help grow the usage of innovative technology by marketing and selling it to the consumers and doctors who need help. I will go to hospitals and doctors’ offices and explain new types of technology that can be useful in helping their patients. This job is important because new and improved technology enhances the care doctors can provide to their patients.

How do the qualities that make you a great cheerleader benefit you in your STEM career?

Cheerleading has helped me in school and my future career in many ways. It has taught me time management, professionalism, and diligence. Being on a team has taught me many qualities that I find myself using daily.

There are stereotypes about cheerleaders in our society that make it seem unlikely that a cheerleader could be in medical sales. Obviously, these stereotypes are untrue, and you are a great example of that. How do you feel about breaking down negative stereotypes about cheerleaders? Have you faced a situation where you had to challenge a stereotype about cheerleaders [or being a woman in a STEM field]?

I find that there will always be a negative stereotype about cheerleaders. People often mistake a cheerleader for just a cheerleader and nothing else, however we are so much more. We are individuals who are educated, passionate and talented in many ways. We are women who juggle work, school, cheer, families, and life while still expressing a positive attitude. People often judge cheerleaders as being unintelligent or that we are only what we wear such as the sparkly outfits, hair, and makeup. I feel that it is important that people understand that we are just ordinary people and have goals in life and careers that we are passionate about. Cheerleading is not all about the surface level things; it is about the impact we make in our society, the cancer research funds we help initiate, and the people we cheer up in hospitals.

Best cheerleading experience?

My favorite experience as a cheerleader happens every gameday right before we step out onto the field. It’s when we are in the tunnel getting ready to be announced onto the field, we are all smiling from ear to ear yet nervous at the same time and cheering each other on. The adrenaline rush I get just thinking about the performance ahead is an amazing feeling!

Best science/health-related experience?

The best science and health related experience was learning how to properly use unfamiliar technology. I enjoy learning new skills and it has helped me become more adaptable to new things.

What advice would you give your 12-year-old self?

Advice I would give my 12-year-old self would be to stay confident in who I am. I was bullied at this age for being small and quirky and I didn’t have many friends. If I could have been confident, worried about myself and not the people who put me down, I would have been much happier and felt more carefree about what others thought of me.

What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?

Some people find it surprising that I am part Israeli. My dad is from Israel and when my friends meet my family they get caught off guard by his accent or us speaking Hebrew to each other. This is something that is significant in my life that I forget people don’t know about me and my family heritage.

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