6 Tips to Succeed in Dietetics, and 6 Job Options for the Nutrition Grads

8 Apr

I gave a presentation for the Kent State Student Dietetic Association yesterday on 6 tips to success in dietetics and 6 career options/opportunities in the field for after gradation and during undergrad volunteer opportunities. I want to share this useful information that I have learned along the way!


I wish that I had some of these tips as a Freshman in college, because by the time I was a senior it was too late, and I had to continue to get experiences after graduation. I would not change my experiences for the world, but I would have been able to excel a lot faster with these tips. For those of you who did not get an internship, DO NOT WORRY! I am here to tell you that you can still get one, all you need to do is persevere and keep getting more experience. Your hard work will pay off, and it will be worth it in the end! And follow my advice….because I have been through it 3 times!

Dietetic Internships:

  • Join free: www.allaccessinternships.com for information on all internships, tips, articles and work experience opportunities
  • Do not despair if you did not get an internship this matching round, there is only a 50% acceptance rate! You can still gain experience and reapply next year.
  • Consider distance internship. You can tailor your rotations to your professional goals, AND they accept more interns than the traditional intern! I got accepted to the Sodexo Distance Education DI and there were 40 spots open at this internship.
  • I applied for internships the first time in the spring of 2009  and did not get matched, then I applied  Again for the November fall matching in 2009 and after an interview flying out to philly, all  paid by my nonexistent bank account, did not receive a match yet again. I felt completely  defeated and broke. I kept telling myself throughout college that it will be worth it, just  get through this impossible physiology test or nutrition test and deal with this professor  and you will be done and things will get easier. I applied for the internships telling  myself, just take the time to do this and it will be worth the effort put in. But when I did  not match the second time, I felt like all my efforts were for nothing.
  • After about a month of loathing in self-pity I decided that I was not going to work as a server any more, and that I deserved better, because I worked so hard for my college  degree.
  • I started searching the internet for jobs. At that point I was willing to travel, and that is  when I applied for as many jobs where I fit the qualifications. I was called for a phone  interview for a nutrition research assistant position in North Carolina at the Nutrition  Research Institute, and was hired! Hope again filled my eyes. Working in research was a great  experience that opened many doors for me. After research I worked volunteering with the community with the Children’s Hunger Alliance. After applying for the April 2011 matching round, I finally got a match!

Tip 1: Be willing to travel-

  • Your chances of getting a job increase  when you go outside of Ohio or whatever state you reside in. 
  • Consider a temp job somewhere if you  do not want to stay permanently in  another state.
  • Consider a summer position if you  have to come back to school

Job option 1: Research-

  • Check out local and nonlocal hospital websites for job opportunities in research.
  • Www.nutritionjobs.com is a great website for finding nutrition jobs in all areas including research.
  • Consider a Research Assistant position in nutrition, biology, chemistry, physiology or food science.
  • You can be hired with just a bachelor’s degree in nutrition if you have strong statistics, writing skills and research skills or have experience with lab work.
  • Hospitals like the cleveland clinic, universities and laboratories are constantly hiring research assistants for their research
  • You might even be given the opportunity to co-author a paper for a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Get involved in the research going on at your own campus.
  • In college I got a negative view on research from writing papers all the time, but  writing real papers for real journals is way more exciting.
  • It is exciting to be the one actually doing the cutting edge research and finding new  results no one has discovered before.
  • Some research positions can be in the lab or fieldwork where you can be doing the  research first hand

Tip 2: Get your DTR certification-

  • One of the best things you can do for yourself if you did not get an internship this matching round. It shows that you can pass a test like the RD test and gives you more opportunities in the clinical setting.
  • The process to get all the forms takes about a month to complete as well as 120 dollars for the test. (also form to be signed by your director)
  • Once you pass the test you will be able to work under a dietitian in the clinical or long term care settings (basically do everything a dietitian can do, just with her sign off) and gain great experience
  • Looks amazing on DI applications! Some even waive hours. They look to see if you can pass the RD exam, and if you can pass the DTR exam you will be considered.
  • If you have lower than a 3.5 GPA than getting the DTR helps you look better to the DI’s. You need to prove you are good at studying and are a good test taker. They need to know you can pass the RD exam after graduation, and if your grades don”t show that, they might not rank you.
  • Visit: http://cdrnet.org/services-Prospective-RDs-DTRs for more information on how to apply for the test and for eligibility. 

Job Option 2: WIC/Public health-

  • Most WIC facilities hire nutrition graduates without being a RD.
  • You can apply for a Nutritionist I position at WIC without being a RD.
  • Job duties include: Providing basic nutrition services, including individual and group counseling to clients eligible for WIC’s special Supplemental Food program. Providing individual assessment and counseling support for breastfeeding, pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children to age 5
  • Working at WIC looks really good on your resume.
  • Volunteer at WIC

Tip 3: Networking and Shadowing-

  • Connect with Dietitians in the area.
  • Collect business cards
  • Join local and national associations such as your local dietetic association and ADA, and participate in volunteer opportunities, committees for these organizations.
  • Shadowing dietitians not only give you great connections/friendships, but also can give you an idea of where your niche may be in dietetics.
  • Dietitians love to have students. So don’t be shy!!!
  • I highly stress this, I wish I would have started sooner in networking and shadowing dietitians.

Job Option 3: Get involved in the Community-

  • Join the AmeriCorps, HealthCorps or PeaceCorps.
  • Www.AmeriCorps.gov
  • www.healthcorps.gov
  • www.peacecorps.gov
  • Get involved in local nutrition and health organizations.
  • Volunteer at food banks, food pantries, promote food security
  • Find your interest in nutrition and there will probably be somewhere you can volunteer.

Tip 4: Work your way up-

  • Work as a dietary aide in the hospital in which the internship you want is held
  • Working as a dietary aide looks WAY better than working as a server or in retail, even though the pay may be less.

Job Option 4: Work at a summer camp-

  • Working at a weight loss, diabetic, or even an adventure camp as a counselor, fitness instructor or even diet aide in the kitchen can be both rewarding and FUN!

Tip 5: Interviewing

  • 80% you, 20% interviewer talking
  • Take your time
  • Ask what types of questions will be asked (calculations?)
  • Be prepared-have questions already answered!

Common Questions that I have been asked before during dietetic internship interviews:

  1. You don’t know the definition of a word on your clinical rotation, what do you do?
  2. An obese patient for bariatric surgery is not complying, what do you do?
  3. How have you been resourceful?
  4. Your preceptor is does not have the right Nutrition Care Process formula, how do you deal with that?
  5. Your preceptor does not have the right number used for the amount of calories someone should have, how do you approach your preceptor?
  6. Why do you like this internship/program?
  7. How do you think graduate coursework will differ than undergraduate coursework?
  8. If you were giving a presentation and didn’t know the answer to a question someone asked, what would you do?
  9. Why should we pick you?
  10. Tell me about yourself
  11. What are your strengths?
  12. Give an example of your critical thinking skills.
  13. When have you shown emotional stability and maturity?
  14. What are your weaknesses?
  15. Name three words that describe yourself?
  16. Talk about your ability to learn and function in a variety of settings.
  17. What do you know about the internship/company?
  18. What role do you take in group settings?
  19. Why are you interested in dietetics?
  20. What are your professional goals both long term and short term.
  21. What is a recent nutrition topic that has interested you lately and why?
  22. Pediatrics: How will you deal with dying children?
  23. Name a time when you were in a conflict, and how you resolved it.
  24. What got you interested in dietetics?
  25. Name a time when you had an impossible task and how you got it done on time.
  26. What would you do if a preceptor was not cooperating with you, what would you do?
  27. Name a time when you worked with a team and how you worked together.
  28. How are you able to perform under pressure?
  29. What makes you prepared for this program/job/internship?
  30. Do you think that your marks are a true indicator of your academic potential

Questions to ask internship/program/employer:

  1. What do you like about working for this company?
  2. What would you consider to be the company’s strength?
  3. Are there any weaknesses in the department you’re working on improving?
  4. What would you consider to be your leadership style?
  5. What do you like about working for this company?
  6. How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be evaluated? By whom? How often?
  7. How is this internship perceived by the hospital?
  8. What do you see in my personality, work history or skill set that attracts you to me?
  9. What particular computer equipment and software do you use?
  10. How do I compare to the other people you have interviewed so far?
  11. Can you describe and ideal intern?

Job Option 5: Personal Training/Fitness Instructor-

  • Earn 17-45 dollars an hour!
  • Get CPR/AED certified as well as your personal training certifications
  • Certification organizations: NASM; ACSM; AFAA; ACE; IFPA; CSCS; ISSA; NSCA; Cooper Institute
  • Background in nutrition gives you a competitive advantage.

Tip 6: Think Like an Entrepreneur-

  • With your bachelors in nutrition you have some freedom to teach nutrition, just not practice dietetics.
  • Visit http://www.dietetics.ohio.gov/guides.stm to see what is considered practicing dietetics, and what is non-medical nutrition (which you can teach).

Job Option 6: Non profits-

  • Visit www.nonprofitlist.org for a list of non profits across the USA
  • Working with non profit organizations is very rewarding, and I highly recommend volunteering or considering a staff position to one of the many thousands of non profits across the USA.
  • You can find paid and volunteer positions

Other Job Options-

  • Food Technologist/Food Scientist
  • Policy-public health, economic, nutrition related
  • Internet nutrition-
  • livestrong.com-freelance writers
  • Management/administration
  • Marketing/public relations
  • Sales-special formulas companies like Vitaflo USA and Ensure
  • School food service

Bottom Line: GET EXPERIENCE!!! You can do IT! Do NOT give up!!

Best of Luck!

Colleen Poling, RD, LD

 

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56 Responses to “6 Tips to Succeed in Dietetics, and 6 Job Options for the Nutrition Grads”

  1. getfitgirl 19/06/2011 at 1:16 PM #

    this was a great help, thank you!

    • nutritranslator 19/06/2011 at 4:49 PM #

      Your welcome! if you need anything else please let me know how I can help! 🙂

  2. Dani 23/08/2011 at 12:42 AM #

    I did not get a match this past april. I took two classes for my Masters this summer. I do not know if I need to continue with the Master’s degree or get a job at WIC. What do you think it would look better?

    • nutritranslator 23/08/2011 at 2:24 PM #

      Hey Dani,
      I am sorry that you didn’t get matched. I know how hard you are working to get the internship. Keep the determination!
      First I would ask you how your financial situation is. If you can afford to finish grad school i would go ahead and do that. During grad school you can volunteer/work part time at a WIC facility and connect with more dietitians. Make sure you are getting more experience while you are in grad school, this is vital. If you think that you need to start a job and save some money then I would go for the WIC position. Either way you are gaining a competitive advantage! Consider taking the DTR exam to up your chances. Also consider distance internships. Give me a call 330-328-4154 or email me colleen.poling@gmail.com if you have any other questions! Good luck!

      • dani 15/06/2012 at 9:36 AM #

        I finally got matched this year, I emailed you last year seeking for advice, thanks for everything and it took me a year after graduating to get into an internship. Last year I felt so depressed of not getting into one but I am almost done with my Master’s and is important never to give up and persevere if you do not get match the first time. Thanks for everything

      • nutritranslator 17/06/2012 at 10:41 PM #

        Dani!! I am so excited for you!! Everything happens for a reason! I knew your hard work would pay off. Enjoy your internship, and really take advantage of networking (be sure to write every teacher/RD/preceptor a hanwritten thankyou note when you finish w them). Networking will help you get a job when you become a dietitian! Congrats! Keep working hard, you are almost to the finish line! 🙂

  3. nutriswaffy 30/11/2011 at 7:07 AM #

    Love this post. I haven’t applied yet but no undergraduate at my school got matched even if their gpa was a 3.9 and they were really involved. Only grad students made the cut. That was definitely discouraging. However, I’m working at wic and taking the dtr exam before I apply. I still think I might not make it then but I’m going to keep applying! It inspires me to know someone else had to apply more than once or twice. Thanks for letting everyone know dietetics isn’t easy. It’s a struggle how hard the major is in and after school but it’s also a struggle that most others don’t understand the difficulty or work of a dietetics major.

    • nutritranslator 20/06/2013 at 10:09 PM #

      Nutriswaffy, how are things going for you?? Update me! I would love to know how you are doing since you last posted this comment in 2011! 🙂

  4. Lindsey Winfree 02/02/2012 at 11:12 PM #

    I found this super helpful. Thanks so much for writing. I’m currently trying to figure out what my next step is. I have my bachelor’s in nutrition and I’m currently in my master’s program for nutrition as well. While I’m in grad school, I’m not working so I’m living off loans and basically just shadowing dietitians and volunteering at a food shuttle this upcoming summer. I’m thinking of working at WIC after I graduate so that I can save up for the internship. I’m just scared that since the internship takes up so much time that I’m going to be so broke without a paying job. Does taking a year or two for WIC or other nutrition related job sound like a good enough plan? Plus I’m considering taking the DTR exam too.

    Thanks!

    • nutritranslator 03/02/2012 at 6:29 PM #

      Hi Lindsey!
      Thank you for the comment. You are so right about the money situation. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my education award that I received from volunteering the AmeriCorps, and getting scholarship for the internship. It is so crazy that we must pay for the application process and pay for the internship itself. But it is something that we have to do to get to where we want to be! 🙂 I think that taking a year too work at WIC is a fantastic idea! You will gain some great experience, and get to save some money! Plus it will look great on your application for when you apply. If you can get your DTR certification then you will have a bigger competitive advantage! 🙂 I think you will be all set when application time rolls around for you. Good luck, and let me know if I can help in any way!

  5. Afton 08/07/2012 at 3:00 AM #

    Hello!
    I just went to school for my associates in nutrition and graduated back in August ’11. I haven’t taken my DTR exam yet due to my decision to persue a differen career path.I have until September to take the test, but I am not sure if it’s worth it to keep up with the CEU or if I’ll even pass? Please help!

    • nutritranslator 15/08/2012 at 3:15 PM #

      Hi! Email me and we can set up a time to chat on the phone! 🙂

  6. liz 11/07/2012 at 1:59 PM #

    This was a really helpful blog! Thanks so much

    • nutritranslator 15/08/2012 at 3:16 PM #

      You are welcome. Let me know if i can help in any other way!

  7. Vicky 22/09/2012 at 5:18 PM #

    This was a very helpful and inspiring blog. After I graduated I was discouraged to apply for an internship because of its competetive nature, and was also afraid of dealing with tube feedings after I saw it on one of my case studies, so I didn’t even try to apply. Instead I wanted to go for my DTR license and unfortunately had 3 unsuccessful attempts. But after reading this blog I’ve decided to at least try to apply for an internship. I want to thank you for posting this blog. Keep up the good work.

    • nutritranslator 26/09/2012 at 11:30 PM #

      Vicki! Thanks for the comment! I encourage you to try for an internship. If you would like we can speak on the phone. Email me and we can set up a time to chat! 🙂

  8. Brittany 09/11/2012 at 7:59 PM #

    I am currently in my 3rd year of school with a major of nutrition and food science with a concentration in dietetics. I haven’t gotten any volunteer experience yet because i don’t really know where to start looking. I was thinking about going for the DTR exam after i graduate but then i was also thinking about getting certified to become a personal trainer or something along those lines.

    • nutritranslator 10/11/2012 at 6:28 PM #

      Hi brittany, are you planning on applying for internships? What area of nutrition are you interested in? Seems like you might be interested in sports nutrition or community nutrition. If you do, then start getting experience in those areas. Getting certified as a personal trainer is a great idea. Contact dietitians at hospitals, community centers, private practices, fitness centers, or whatever area you are most interested in, getting experience in areas that fit the internships concentration you are applying to would be most beneficial! You can get your DTR as a plan b if you do not get matched. You can only be eligible for the DTR after you graduate. but you will apply in feb of your senior year and find out after you graduate in april if you have been matched. Let me know if you have any questions! Best of luck. Keep that forward thinking!

  9. Nutrition Tips 20/02/2013 at 2:07 AM #

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  10. nikki 28/02/2013 at 9:57 PM #

    I’m currently playing the waiting game, after finishing up my applications for this Spring’s matching. I’m trying to be realistic, with numbers not on my side, but thanks for sharing your story. This page was so helpful!

    This field is so competitive and can be hard to plow through, but hearing your story of perseverance motivates me to not let not getting into †he dietetic internship to bring me down.

    • nutritranslator 28/02/2013 at 11:06 PM #

      Nikki, I hope the odds win in your favor this matching round! But yes there are many things you can get involved in even if you are not a dietitian…..yet! Please keep me posted! I am rooting for you!

      • nikki 28/02/2013 at 11:08 PM #

        You’re too kind! My professor tonight was really advocating for “out of the box” experiences. She suggested looking into becoming a nutritionist with airlines. I’m having hard time “finding” info on how to go about that. Any suggestions?

      • nutritranslator 14/03/2013 at 7:50 PM #

        Wow a nutritionist with the airlines! That sounds awesome. What about for NASA…now that would be amazing! 🙂 do you like camps? I know the american diabetes association always looks for nutritionist for different camps around the US. Research is a great place to get into. Check out research positions in nutrition and biology. Those are a few i can think of off the top of my head that i know would be fun! Let me know how the matching goes!

  11. Elly 14/03/2013 at 5:26 PM #

    Hello Ms. Poling! I stumbled across this post while looking for tips for the interview. I had applied for early admission at my school and did not place which dissapointed me. I retook the GRE and will be finishing up my MS this summer (yay!) My experience also includes the research center in Kannapolis! If I may ask which lab did you work for? Do you have more advice that may help me? Greatly appreciated 🙂

    • nutritranslator 14/03/2013 at 7:46 PM #

      Hi Elly! Thank you for he comment. Looks like you are headed in the right direction! Did you apply for other internships besides the early admission at your school? I was working for Dr. Sharma on epidemiologic research with the inuit’s diet in northern canada! Pretty cool stuff. She is no longer there and is the working at the University of Alberta. Are you looking to get a job after you graduate or are you applying for internships again??

      • Elly 14/03/2013 at 9:26 PM #

        I have applied for the Spring round of internships and I have two interviews (crossing fingers). I am currently with the plants for human health institute, one of the internship directors at school told me it was a negative that a post-doc and my PI had written me recommendation letters because the panel would think I was anti-social. I had never heard that before about people being in research being considered anti-social but I still applied there again. I understand most of the focus is in clinical and community but I think research is a field that more RD’s need to gravitate towards. I am a bit hesitant to bring it up in the interviews though. Not sure what to hold back on.

      • nutritranslator 31/03/2013 at 9:14 PM #

        Don’t hold back bringing it up in interviews! I think this is fantastic that you think this way…and I have a feeling most employers/internship directors would too! In fact, I emphasized that research was one of my long term goals in my personal statement letter to the internships. As nutrition professionals it is our duty to help form the basis of professional practice, and allow for the evolution of evidence based practice by conducting our own research! I have never heard any one say that being in research is considered antisocial either!!! that is just nonsense! 🙂

  12. Gina 24/03/2013 at 12:39 AM #

    Wow love that I found this, I felt lost since I have been out of the nutrition scene for a few years, I was wondering what my chances will be since I have been out of school for two years now and working at a job that is nothing nutrition related. I hope to one day be an RD that’s my passion I just feel discouraged because I have taken so much time off. I am just looking for advice on how to get there.

    • nutritranslator 31/03/2013 at 9:18 PM #

      Hi Gina! I think your chances would still be very good! It is actually possible that you would even have a HIGHER chance of getting an internship. This is because you have gained more experience out of school, even if it isn’t nutrition related. I know you improved on skills such as interpersonal, communication, leadership, working with teams, dealing with conflicts, adaptability, working in fast-paced environments and self-direction, ….all the good stuff that internship directors want their interns to have! I encourage you to reapply! If it is your passion….then don’t let anything hold you back! DO IT! 🙂 Have you ever considered distance internships? I would look more into those as well! Let me know if you have any questions!

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  14. Leng 19/06/2013 at 12:38 AM #

    Thanks for this post. It is extremely helpful. I just recently graduated and passed up on this year’s first round of DIs because I got pregnant. Now I am planning on taking the DTR exam to up the ante a bit because it’s so competitive.

    Also I think this post is inspiring. Your determination and passion is keeping me motivated to study for this DTR exam and pass it! Thank you!

    • nutritranslator 20/06/2013 at 10:06 PM #

      Hi Leng, I am so happy that I could encourage you! Yes, taking the DTR exam is such a fantastic thing to do. You will be putting yourself ahead of your classmates and everyone else applying! I would consider applying for a distance program as well as some traditional programs. Check out my blog on distance programs: https://nutritiontranslator.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/the-distance-dietetic-internship/ I wish you the best of luck on your journey…remember to keep your fire and passion for nutrition alive during the whole application process…sometimes you might find yourself second guessing yourself….but you shouldn’t if you know this is what you are suppose to be doing in life! 🙂

  15. Sara 20/06/2013 at 9:31 PM #

    Hi Ms. Poling! Thank you for the tips.
    I am majoring in Clinical Nutrition at UC and I am almost graduate.
    I have heard from my classmates that we can get the DTR Certification to enhance the chance of getting in the DI.
    I tried the link that you posted about how to get the certificate, but it didnt work.
    I am wondering what are the procedures to get the DTR Certification? Can I self-study and take the examination? Or if there are more requirements that I need to accomplish before taking the examination? Can you please tell me more about how to get the DTR Certificate?
    Thank you very much!!

    • nutritranslator 20/06/2013 at 10:00 PM #

      Hi Sara! Thank you for the comment. It is great you are looking ahead for options to make yourself stand out among your competitors! The CDR must have updated their website. Checkout this link http://cdrnet.org/services-Prospective-RDs-DTRs and email Peggy Anderson. She will give you more details about how to go about registering for the test. Basically what will happen is you will have to get a special paper signed by your director saying you graduated from the program and along with one other form you will sign. Submit that and wait. You will then get an application form mailed to you which you will have to fill out and submit the money. You will then get mailed to you a list of all the testing centers in which you can test and you will have a year to take the exam. That is how it went for me, unless something has changed. You are qualified to take the exam as soon as you graduate! To study I would recommend checking out the DTRstudybuddy.com. I used this and it helped out a lot! You can also checkout a study guide that is listed on the first link I gave. I hope this helps. let me know if you have any other questions! 🙂 -Colleen

      • Sara 21/06/2013 at 3:29 AM #

        Hi Ms. Poling,
        Thank you for the reply! In my case, the director you mentioned is that the faculty or my major advisor in Nutrition Department in my UC? Thank you for recommending the study materials to me! Which one is better actually? The DTRstudybuddy or the study guide from CDR? Honestly my GPA is not high currently due to some roommate problems before, and I am trying to improve it. Also, I have volunteered several internships and am going to look for maybe 2-3 internships over the summer since I know experience can enhance the chance for DI as well. And, I even consider to apply the DI in other states besides CA because I heard that the chance in CA is pretty low. However, I am still very worried if I can get in.

  16. Lauren 23/09/2013 at 6:42 PM #

    Hi Colleen! You spoke to my Student Dietetic Association at Kent State a few years ago. I was thinking about the presentation you gave us while applying for jobs this week and thought I would check out your blog. I graduated from Kent State in May of 2012. I applied to internships this past spring and did not receive a match. I plan on applying again for the upcoming spring round. When I found out I did not receive a match I immediately started studying for the DTR exam and I passed my first time! Yay! However, I still have not found a job :(. I have applied to about five job openings since I passed in July and have not heard back or have received emails that they had pursued other candidates. I was wondering if there are any DTR positions to apply for that aren’t in the clinical or longterm care setting. I am very interested in community dietetics, but I don’t know where to look for these positions. If you have any advice I would be much appreciative! Thank you!

  17. Kristen 30/09/2013 at 9:56 AM #

    I recently graduated with my associates in dietetics, and received my DTR certificate. I want to go on to receive my bachelors or masters and eventually become a RD. The field of nutrition research is what I am really interested in. I am just wondering if becoming an RD is the right education path or should I focus more on a degree in biology or something along those lines?

    • nutritranslator 30/09/2013 at 5:30 PM #

      Hey Kristen! If you want to focus on research than getting your RD certainly will be beneficial! However, you can always go back for that once you have your degree. Plus I know that getting experience after getting your degree will up your chances of getting into a dietetic internship program. You can find some research positions with a bachelors degree, but a masters or phd will get you further. You dont need your RD, but like I said It wouldn’t hurt. But keep in mind the extra year for the internship program and stress of applying. What type of research do you want to do? I think that once you decide the exact type of research you want to get into, then you can decide if nutrition, biology, physiology, or chemistry would be right for you!

  18. Jamane 13/10/2013 at 2:10 AM #

    Hi Colleen, i would love to get some voluntary experience in the various areas of Nutrition just so i know which area i would best fit in. I am living in Jamaica but would love the experience overseas. Graduated with Bachelors in 2010. How can you help me

  19. Joshua Lisan 20/11/2013 at 4:58 PM #

    Colleen,
    My name is Joshua Lisan Reading some of the things that you have been through was really an inspiration for me. I recently graduated from San Francisco State University with a BS in Dietetics (2013). I am currently having a hard time finding entry-level employment even as a Diet Aide. I feel discouraged with applying for a Dietetic Internship because I feel as though my grades are not strong enough. After reading everything you had to say, I have decided to first focus on studying real hard for the DTR exam and later applying for a Dietetic Internship once I get my foot in the door with experience in the field. Do you have any studying tips to help me prepare for the DTR examination? Thank You.

    • nutritranslator 11/12/2013 at 11:17 AM #

      Hey Joshua! Getting the DTR is a great idea! It will really give you an edge. I would check out http://www.dtrstudybuddy.com and buy that material. I used it and i really thought it helped! If you have any other questions please email me at colleen.poling@gmail.com. Keep working toward your goals…it is always worth it in the end when you reach them!!

  20. Dave 11/12/2013 at 12:43 AM #

    Outstanding information. Thank you very much!! I feel for every one of these individuals who worked so hard to get their degree and are now struggling to become a Dietician.
    I graduated in 1998 and have a GPA of 3.2 and 165 credits, and experience.. but it has been so long.. Now that I am in Washington, I would really like to pursue a career as a dietician. Is it too late for me? I came so, so very close to obtaining a job as a Nutrition Assistant job here for the WIC program.. but just missed out..
    (They pay $20-$25/hr for the State!!)
    I feel so lost. All the jobs I am applying to I am only using 20% or less of my abilities… Help!

  21. Efren 10/06/2014 at 1:44 PM #

    Hello! I am currently on my way to earning a food and nutrition b.s., but honestly I am gradually swaying away from this career choice because of the low pay scale. All I have is a culinary diploma and work as a cook under sodexo at a hospital. I have dietitians all around me as they are the managers and meal planners. They also do inspections throughout the kitchen. Do you guys think it’s a strong pair to have a culinary background and becoming a dietitian? I’ve read many reviews of career changes that they should have became an RN or physical therapist, pharmacist, physician assistant etc.. I feel as if many regret diving into this career choice. Anyways what should I be doing now or early before I graduate to be able to qualify for internships much easier? Also are there different career paths that I can change to when studying food and nutrition. I believe one of the dietitians at the hospital mentioned that most courses that this major takes are similar to that of what medical programs require. As you can tell my decisions are not stable im only 19 n I don’t want to mess up.

    • nutritranslator 31/07/2014 at 4:36 PM #

      Hi Efren,
      Great questions. I think that if you are passionate about food and nutrition then follow your dreams! It was a tough road for me, but i regret nothing. End the end we regret only the chances we didnt take. It is definitely beneficial to have culinary and food service experience. You have an advantage over everyone else entering school to become a dietitian…most students do not have any food related experience. So that is great! Have you already entered into a 4 yr dietetics program?

  22. Andrea Sanchez 07/07/2014 at 3:47 PM #

    You have no idea how much this has lifted my spirits! My name is Andrea Sanchez, I’ve been stressing about the next steps I should be taking and I’m feeling so lost. I want to be a dietitian, unfortunately my grades don’t exactly live up to the standards DI’s look for. They’re not bad, they’re simply not as good as other applicants. I’m going to be a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin this fall and I’ve been shadowing and volunteering for dietitians at hospitals in my hometown area this summer, but I feel like I should be doing MORE. Your article has inspired me again. The motivation I had that was dwindling, is now coming back full force!

    I’m thinking of getting the DTR certification after I graduate if I don’t get matched. I love working with and shadowing the clinical dietitians and I feel like that’s where I belong. Everyone keeps telling me to get a masters degree, but how exactly would that help me? I’ve tried applying for Diet Aide positions, but I can’t seem to get hired. I feel like I need all the help I can get to reach my goals. Is there anything else I should be considering? HELP! 😦

    • nutritranslator 31/07/2014 at 4:29 PM #

      Hi Andrea! So happy you are feeling inspired! 🙂 would you want to get your masters? Sometimes this can give the DI applicant a more competitive edge, similar to getting the DTR. Will you be applying to DIs for the fall matching? If so which ones? What experience do you have thus far? Ya getting a dietary aid job as a nutrition grad/almost grad can be tough… Mainly because you are over qualified, and the employers know that you will not stay long. Have you thought about a dietary manager position? This is an easy certification and something that would be great experience. Employers would probably be more intersted in hiring you for this type of position….plus it pays more! 🙂

  23. Samantha 25/07/2014 at 1:31 AM #

    You are wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to share this! I’m eager to get cracking on those interview questions and have my DPD program director review my responses. Awesome insight. You’ve definitely helped to reinvigorate my excitement to keep pushing through my last few quarters.

  24. Suzanne Wachob 30/07/2014 at 9:47 AM #

    Hey, Thank-You! That was so helpful. I am a year from graduation with my B.S. in Alternative Medicine, but I am focusing on Nutrition in Florida. My goal is to go to Bastyr for grad school and complete my DI while I am in Seattle. I am trying to get a Dietary Aide job and its not easy. I am looking into joining the local dietitian association. I am volunteering at the local hospital for nutritional services. Do you have any other suggestions to achieve as a potential RD?
    -Suzanne Wachob

    • nutritranslator 31/07/2014 at 4:21 PM #

      Your plan sounds great! Going to grad school at Bastyr sounds like a dream. I think if you keep volunteering, shadowing and getting experience plus your masters you will be in a good place when you apply for your internship. If you can get a side job that include food service or anything nutrition related will be a bonus, but any type of work experience can be beneficial! And helps us grow! Best of luck! Keep working toward your goals!

      • Suzanne wachob 09/08/2014 at 9:19 AM #

        I have been trying to get a dietary aide job, but haven’t been accepted for the position. Between now and masters may just get the CPT and Dietary Manager Certification? What do you think?

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