Interview With Nicole Odom, Forensic Scientist, Virginia DFS

Nicole, you started out in chemistry and biological sciences before moving from orthopedics to digital forensics. What prompted you to pivot into the cyber world?

I actually get asked that question quite frequently, as my background has a little bit of everything; however, all of my experiences are centered on some type of science. I have always enjoyed researching and building from small ideas, so I knew that I wanted to pursue science in my undergraduate studies. Chemistry was the most inviting because it was so hands-on, and I knew I could focus on something I really enjoyed while taking the extra classes that would allow me to pursue the medical sciences. Once I graduated, I looked for a job in medical research and got the opportunity to experience the human-related aspect; however, I quickly realized that I wanted to go back to school and pursue a degree that allowed me to work in a setting where every day is different within the lab. It was actually a friend who told me that I should look into the forensic sciences because he felt like it was right up my alley, and I’m so grateful for his push.

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