My name is Miranda, and I am a region 4 dietetic intern! I am almost at the end of my internship and can finally see the finish line! As excited as I am to be done and finally start working as an RD (after passing the exam, of course), I can’t help but look back at the amazing experiences I have had so far.
Going into this internship, I was definitely a mix of nerves and excitement. Hearing the word “clinical” made me so anxious and curious at the same time. Clinical was something that I wondered whether would be the right fit for me. However, my experience turned out to surprise me and really opened my eyes to this world of dietetics. Getting to know patients, the interdisciplinary team, and the dietitians I worked closely with was the best part of the experience. Being hands on and in real life situations was very different than the mock case studies we did during undergrad, and I learned so much more than I ever had. I had the opportunity to watch a tube feed placement procedure in the OR, as well as a barium swallow study that gave me a better understanding of how nutrition plays a huge role in the well-being of patients. Interacting with the patients and connecting with them was definitely the most rewarding part.
The other piece of this internship that I didn’t think would necessarily spark my interest was the food service rotation. I had my fair share of being a dietary aide and knew that being in a kitchen wasn’t for me. However, my experience at my food service rotation changed my whole perspective. I was at a pharmaceutical company serving food for their employees; but this was no average cafeteria. The cafeteria was absolutely beautiful and every single food service employee there was so welcoming and helpful to me. They were well-trained chefs and made amazing food that I was lucky enough to eat for lunch every day. I worked closely with the executive chef and was even able to be a part of 2 cooking classes (Spanish and Italian), along with the dietitian, for the employees and had the best experience ever. I was able to make pasta for the first time (as you can see in the picture), which was a very big highlight. Being a corporate dietitian is something I never thought of, but after this experience, I can most definitely see myself being one.
I’m finishing up my community hours, as well as my concentration. I chose to do my concentration in leadership with a focus on sports nutrition. I will be interning with the sports dietitian at a University in Philadelphia over the next few weeks! I have been looking forward to this since the internship started. I have a deep passion for fitness, and of course dietetics, so I can’t wait to see how these worlds will combine.
Looking back, I have had incredible experiences with incredible preceptors and so much personal growth throughout this internship. One significant lesson I took away from the internship is that facing the unknown is not as scary as it may seem; it is an amazing opportunity for personal growth. I already feel like I’ve grown so much as an intern, and I can’t wait to see where I am a few years from now!