The belly of the beast regarding professional development as an RD2BE. Especially in the pandemic era, it seems to be a continual struggle for RD2BEs to find a nutrition experience, whether professional or volunteer, that prepares them for DICAS and internships. Discover ways to gain nutrition experience here!
🍃Many dietetic internships and jobs request that an undergraduate student has relevant "nutrition experience". This makes sense, of course; relevant nutrition experience is a great way to gain exposure and necessary skills that prepare you for a career in professional dietetics.
❓That's great and all, but what even could be considered a "nutrition experience"? How do you get it without having much experience in general❓
☝️First and foremost, don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. That is probably the most important thing to learn and experience as an undergraduate nutrition student to prepare you in becoming an RD. Not only that but stepping outside of your comfort zone is the best way of finding and discovering these nutrition experiences. 💡💡
1️⃣Start with opportunities at your university. Examples include:
👉Student Dietetic Associations
👉Working in the dining hall
👉Volunteering at your universities food pantry (if they have one)
👉Applying to be a research assistant in your nutrition department.
‼️If your school doesn't have a nutrition/dietetics-oriented club, consider starting one‼️It doesn't have to be perfect, most learning comes from mistakes and stepping outside of your comfort zone.
🍃One thing we have seen universities do is offer free nutrition counseling to students that are conducted by senior dietetic students! Using your university as a way to propel yourself into a nutrition experience is a great way to get your feet wet.🤿🤿
2️⃣If you are more comfortable stepping outside of a university setting…
👉Volunteering/working in a WIC clinic
👉Any food service job counts as nutrition experience (from fast food to a fancy Italian restaurant!!)
📲Sometimes even cold-calling dietitians or nutrition experts (‼️making sure to tell them specifically how YOU can benefit them‼️) can open yourself to amazing opportunities.
🍃These are examples only scratching the surface. ⭐️There is no perfect formula for a nutrition experience; make it your own⭐️. It is called a personal statement in DICAS for a reason 😉
❓In what ways are you gaining nutrition experience❓