Top 5 Lessons I’ve learned as a dietetic intern:
You DO NOT have to know everything on day one.
A dietetic internship is required for RDs because there are things that you can’t or don’t learn in school. Your preceptors know this and are there to help you learn and master them. Do what you can to prepare for each rotation but do not stress yourself out about being able to do the entire job perfectly by yourself on the first day. Having a growth-mindset is a key to success in life.
It’s YOUR education.
No matter what homework assignments or learning experiences are required by the internship, it is your responsibility to get out of it the experience that you want. You can coast and check boxes, or you can fully immerse yourself into the various roles that you’ll be playing. If you are not getting an experience that you thought you would or should, don’t be afraid to have a hard conversation and see how your preceptor and/or director may assist you in making that happen.
Get OUT of your comfort zone.
Living outside of your comfort zone can be scary. But it is also exciting and what makes life worthwhile. You will be put into numerous situations that you have never been in and possibly never saw yourself being in. That is okay. It’s actually good because it means that you are growing. Don’t be afraid to ask for more opportunities to learn and grow.
It is a SMALL world after all.
It can be easy to get lost in a task or job and forget to acknowledge the people around you. Getting to know the person on your right and left has a powerful impact. No matter what their title is or where they are from, you will never regret making connections with people. Whether they can help you get a project rolling or maybe even your dream job down the road, these connections make life more vibrant and rewarding.
Roll UP those sleeves!
Dietetics is a field that can lead you in so many different directions with various job responsibilities. Although, never underestimate the power of rolling up your sleeves and jumping in to help those around you. You are never too big or too small for a task. Smile. Say thank you. Be a good person first, and a professional second. Get to work!