Hey y’all! I’m Hillary, a graduate of the University of Mississippi where I received my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics. This past August I completed my Dietetic Internship through the University of Delaware and am now about to sit for the Registered Dietitian Board Licensure Exam. (cue the Jaws theme song)….
Working in the dietetics profession simply feels right for me. I was not always familiar with the word dietetics, nor did I think it could be a potential career path until I started researching jobs in the field of nutrition. My strong desire resulted from a culmination of small experiences over time as I tested different flavors to see what suited me. During my time as an undergraduate I was worked as a Nutrition Assistant and assisted dietitian’s at local hospitals in St. Louis. I formulated calorie controlled meal plans for diabetic patients, participated in nutritional counseling sessions and was also put in charge of creating educational materials for the patients. Dietitians truly have such a profound impact on patient’s lives, and I was able to witness that firsthand while volunteering in a clinical setting.
However, it was my time spent volunteering at a local food bank called Operation Food Search that solidified my decision to pursue dietetics. I volunteered to teach nutrition classes to underprivileged foster children, as well as how to prepare healthy meals during my freshman year of college. One particular girl told me how badly she wanted to lose weight and become healthier, despite her limited access to healthy food. Throughout the week I told her some simple things she could do to begin to be physically active, and printed her detailed recipes of the meals we taught the foster children to cook. I encouraged her to try and cook these meals at home, and gave her a list of healthy snacks she could obtain from the food bank at the organization. After a couple of weeks, she came to me with tears rolling down her face and told me that for the first time in years she was able to lose a few pounds, and could not have done it without my help. At that moment I knew I would never be able to find a more satisfying career doing something that I truly loved.
For those of you girls unsure of what you want to major in or what career path you want to take and have a passion to help others live happy, healthy lives, then I encourage you to pursue a career in dietetics. Dietitians are becoming more and more needed in today’s health-crazed society and the field allows you to work in more settings than just a hospital. You have the chance to truly motivate and build the confidence of others through good food and habits. And let’s be honest who doesn’t love good food?! Dietitians can work in health clubs/fitness centers, in a community based setting (think food pantry or non-profit organizations), outpatient counseling, foodservice facilities, restaurant headquarters, and so much more. I would be more than happy to answer any questions you have! There is so much more I could say, but I could bore some of you that have already decided on a future career 😉 So I’ll be here, studying away for boards, and there is no better distraction than to get to talk about the field that I am so passionate about! Feel free to contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org J