Student Success Story: Kristina Todini


Student Success Story: Kristina Todini

Kristina Todini




Dietetic Internship: 

Napa State Hospital (Napa, CA)

Was this your first time applying for a dietetic internship? 


What do you believe was the part of your application that set you above other applicants? 

I believe that my extensive leadership and volunteer experiences set me apart, as well as the care and attention to detail that I put into my application. Napa State Hospital was my top choice internship from the beginning and I got my hands on any and all information related to the program. I attended the open house, researched past and current interns for tips and advice, and met with the director to ask questions—I didn’t even have any questions because I knew everything there was to know about the program, so I had to dig deep to come up with something new! I then tailored my application to meet the main objectives that the director said were important in intern selection and then crossed my fingers and waited for an interview.

What during your collegiate career do you think aided in your success as a dietetic internship applicant?

Other than working hard to keep a stellar GPA, I believe my clinical volunteering and involvement with dietetics associations aided in my success. As a volunteer at the San Francisco VA Medical Center I was very comfortable working directly with patients and in a hospital kitchen and diet office, and these experiences were vital because I applied to only clinically focused internships. My positions with campus, local, and state dietetic associations showed that I have initiative and drive to become a leader in the dietetics profession.

What are your short term and long term goals?

My very short term goal is to have a great experience in my internship, but after registration I plan to finish a master’s degree and obtain a position as a clinical dietitian. I also am very interested in global health issues and would like the chance to work internationally. My work with the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG has been amazing and I have been so inspired by the RDNs in that group that opening my own business is not out of the question either. The great thing about dietetics is that there are so many options and avenues for growth!

What/where you most excited to do during your internship? 

I’m starting the internship with the mindset that “every rotation is my favorite rotation” to keep an open mind and enjoy the process. Having said that, I’m especially interested in clinical rotations in the ICU and pediatrics, as well as working with the local health department to get a macro view of public health. I would also like to do my elective rotation in research and/or business.

What advice would you have for people applying for dietetic internships?

My advice is to be realistic about yourself and where you are applying but don’t hold yourself back from a lack of confidence. I had many friends in my program decide that they wanted to take a year after graduation to gain more experience and focus rather than haphazardly throwing together their DICAS applications—which I think is very smart.  On the other hand, if you have done all you can and are a great applicant then don’t let anxiety hold you back. I almost did not apply to NSH because I was worried about the high number of applicants and that they only accept six interns. If I had let this mentality take over then I would have never been matched to my top choice program and have the opportunity to live and work in Napa for the next year. Be realistic, but also believe in yourself! You will look back at this stressful time and be proud of the work you put in.