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Crystal Perez
My name's Crystal and I was wondering if there are any forensic scientists that would be able to answer a few questions for a school project. I am interested in being a forensic scientist in the future so if someone could answer my questions that would be great.

When did you decide you wanted to do this for a living and why?
How long did it take for you to become a forensic scientist?
Is analyzing blood, finger prints, DNA etc. hard?
Is the life of a forensic scientist like it is shown on TV ?
Where did you go to school to become a forensic scientist?
Is there anything about this job that you don't like?
How many hours do you work in a week?
What is your annual salary?
What is your favorite part of your job?
Have you ever testified in court?
And lastly do you have any advice for people who want to become forensic scientists?
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Re: interview

Hello Crystal, first of all wish you all the very best for your future in an intense and interesting field.

Q1) I actually wanted to become a Gynecologist but due to financial issues I stepped back and went to Plan B which is Forensic Science and I am glad I chose this field as I do love it. I have been watching shows of course related to this field and since a very young age I just loved connected the dots and puzzles and figuring things out, I love the enigma of this whole thing and the feel it gives when you solve something or figure something out.

Q2) It took me three years to finish my B. Sc. Forensic Science course.

Q3) The difficulty in analyzing any evidence solely depends on how well it has been collected and preserved as well the the quantity/quality of it and where it  has been found and even how it has been found. Evidences are tricky to handle as you have to be so meticulous in collecting it and preservation is so important to maintain the integrity of the evidence. Sometimes blood would be found in such small quantities that it wont be enough for a simple DNA analysis or fingerprints found would be smudged or partial. As well as the techniques being used in the laboratory, have a mind of their own, where you cant expect on the spot result for a positive/negative outcome, that takes time as well depending on what you are analyzing for.

Q4) No, it isn't at all like how it is shown on TV, it is much more serious than that and very surreal. Those are actors and dummies, but this is reality. It is a dark field to work in as mostly it is related to death, although there are other cases apart from dead bodies and so on. Basically we are like the doctors for the dead or in other instances the extra pair of eyes for the judiciary system. Once, you get into this field you will know how it is to actually be present in all those instances shown in the TV but the feeling is way different than what is shown and what you are facing. The TV shows are just spiced up and ofcourse the cases aren't solved in just under 40 to 60 minutes.

Q5) I did my degree in United Arab Emirates.

Q6) Yes, I do. It's dealing with dead bodies, as I tend to get emotionally attached to it and just can't seem to stop thinking about it, after all I am human and this is the most common issues faced by people working in such a field. But it is something we all have to get used to, and I don't know if I would ever get used to it. I am not afraid of it but just the thought of another human who lived and now is just laying on the autopsy table not knowing what even happened to him/her is just sad, especially when children are the victims, makes everything else worse.

Q7, Q8 & Q9) I am a recent graduate so I am currently unemployed and looking to join somewhere, hopefully.

Q10) No, I haven't testified in court.

Q11) If you want to become a forensic scientist, always keep an open mind to everything that is been thrown at you, patience is essential when analyzing evidences, time is significant, never over look an evidence, keep you eyes open more, regardless of what you may not see, something will always be there. Try to be open with your options, like study further branches of forensic science than just sticking to one. More importantly team work is a must!!
When solving a case, there are a lot of possibilities as to what could have happened, so try to critically analyze the possibilities than just going towards the simpler things and just shutting the case.
Be honest to yourself in what you do and passionate.

Hope I've helped you and answered well.

All the best Crytal! :)