My name is Natalie Kocks; I am a recent graduate of Benedictine University, Lisle IL. I am currently enrolled as a dietetic intern in Purdue University’s ISPP. The journey towards attaining a dietetic internship is most certainly not an easy one. At Benedictine I ran Cross Country and Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field. I was also involved in the SAND (Student Association of Nutrition and Dietetics) club. I volunteered every summer at Parkview Regional Medical Center in the Nutrition and Dietetics department. I also gained experience as an intern; working with an RD who owns her own fitness and nutrition company. I also interned with Foodie on Campus (an online magazine) and helped market the magazine via social media.
My senior year of college I began the DICAS process and unfortunately did not receive a match. So I moved home and began working as a dietary aide at a nursing home and as a recipe developer, chef and barista at a local natural market. In November I reapplied to DICAS and again, the words read “No Match”. I allowed myself to be upset for one day and then I decided that this is what I wanted and I refused to give up. I applied for a nutritionist position at a local WIC office and was offered the job. I have been working at WIC for the last 6 months and love it here! I learned about the Purdue ISPP from a Purdue ISPP intern that was actually doing her community rotation here at my WIC location! I decided to apply and before I knew it, I was being interviewed and accepting my intern spot!
“ISPP’s are an amazing opportunity for good DICAS applicants who slipped through the cracks to gain the internship they deserve.”
ISPP’s are an amazing opportunity for good DICAS applicants who slipped through the cracks to gain the internship they deserve.ISPP’s allow for flexibility, you can focus on areas of dietetics that you’re most interested in and you can complete your entire internship at home!
My advice to future applicants is never give up. Not receiving a match to internships was one of the most devastating experiences I have had to go through. Had it not been for my supportive family and friends, and my deep rooted passion for the field, I do not think I would have kept applying and putting myself out there. The best thing you can do is to start gaining nutrition experience early on in your college career and continue to stay involved while working just as hard in the classroom. Get to know your professors because you’ll need them down the road for positive letters of recommendation when you apply to internships.
Thanks for sharing, Natalie!
P.S. ARE YOU IN YET? As an AAI member, you’ll join hundreds of future dietitians, and get the confidence and clarity you need to get a dietetic internship! Choose your membership