I want to talk about dietetics experience. The whole point of getting dietetics experience is because internship directors want to know how prepared you are for an internship and a career in dietetics. What better way to prepare for clinical rotations than to actually volunteer or work in a clinical setting, am I right!?
While you are exposing yourself to these areas, you’ll also start to figure out what your interests are. These can obviously change later, but it is really wise to start your career exploration sooner rather than later. Plus, it could lead to a job later on because of the connections you made!
But you might be thinking, “Jenny, if I do any more things, I’ll pass out from exhaustion!” Oh man! That makes me have flashbacks to my senior year fall semester when I was doing about 5 different outside-the-classroom activities trying to squeeze in as much as I could before applying. At one point, I did pass out (fall asleep) in the halls of the nutrition department. It’s tough, people. But it’s worth it.
Here’s one pro tip for getting more experience: do it virtually! Hashtag efficiency. Doing a virtual internship with a dietitian is flexible and doesn’t require as many hours. This shouldn’t replace on-site experience, but it can be in addition to that.
Awesome dietitians email me all the time asking to spread the word about their virtual internships (and some are on-site, too). So, we have these opportunities in the Members Only section.
ON THAT NOTE…
We post dietetics experience opportunities in the Facebook group all the time. Make sure you are in the group (not the page) to see them!
ON ANOTHER RELATED NOTE…
A common question I get is about what type of experience is best. First, the higher your level of responsibility the better. This means that being a paid employee is better than being a volunteer, which is better than being a shadow (zero responsibility, you just sit there!). While any experience is good, if you are faced with deciding the opportunities to pursue, that is my thought process for you.
Then, it is important to have a variety of experiences, but the 3 I like to talk about in the personal statement are:
1. FOUNDATIONAL – the most dietetics-y experience you have, ideally in clinical
2. LEADERSHIP – something where you led a group or showed leadership in a job
3. GOAL-RELATED – also dietetics-y, but related to the area you have goals in
Go out there and get experience. And then when it comes time to apply, work with a coach to make sure you SELL IT!