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How to get a head start in becoming a dietitian?

Hello, my name is Caitlin and I am going to be a sophomore in college. I just went and enrolled at Kansas state University and when I talked to my advisor she told me that this is a very competitive field. I have gone and job shadowed and I know this is exactly what I want to do. I just need some advice on how to get a head start. I want to be the best at my job. I'm just not sure what kind of things I could be doing now to help me in the future.
Thank you! #nutrition #dietitian #nutritionist #dietetics #diet

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Marcela’s Answer

Hi, Caitlin.

You already have one of the most important qualities to become a nutritionist, that is being passionate about it, when you want to be the best in what you do, you will not give up regardless of all the obstacles that you may encounter on your path.

There is always a high level of competition in every single profession, not just in nutrition. I strongly believe passion for what you do in life, guarantees success. I encourage you to keep up your attitude towards your career.

Since nutrition has several scopes of knowledge, it would be beneficial for you to attain information about each one so that you can make your decision about which one to pursue and get prepared with additional academic courses. I remember I wanted to work with the community since I began to study, that is why I improved my language skills, learned English, became familiar with technology and took advantage of every communication resource I was able to get.

Keep studying hard, learn as much as you can and do not lose the focus.

Best regards,


Marcela M.
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Stephanie’s Answer

I would suggest that you reach out to those facilities where you interned and stay connected with the individuals that you shadowed: they can provide you with information on upcoming job openings and really give you a realistic idea about the job. As with any career, your goal should be to hone your skills as much as possible, so never stop learning about new advances/philosophies/ trends in the field.
I would also suggest becoming an active member of a few professional organizations within the dietetic field: this is a great way to connect/network with like minded individuals, share best practices, and explore career opportunities. Best of luck to you!
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Jana’s Answer

Hi Caitlin,

I started late in the nutrition game and ended up becoming a nutritional consultant because I couldn't dedicate the time to becoming a dietician. I think it is amazing that you are on this path! Congrats! I would recommend exploring all of the different fields in nutrition. Most people don't look into plant based nutrition, which is actually a very important part of this industry and can give clients results that other doctors cannot achieve. I have worked with clients who are now cured from heart disease, fatty liver, and leaky gut from taking a plant based approach.

If you can intern with not only dietitians, but also health coaches I think you will get a very good understanding of what is really going on in this industry.

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Madeline’s Answer

I noticed during undergrad that many people put such an emphasis on volunteering or trying to get involved any way possible. While this is potentially helpful, I don’t think it is necessary to get matched to a DI program. I had to work all through undergrad (and grad school) to support myself, so I didn’t have time for all the volunteering and bending over backwards to stand out. I made sure to prioritize GPA but still I had no other option but to prioritize paying my bills. I made sure to talk about this on my personal statement when applying for my MS/DI program, and I matched on my first try. Of course I’m sure my GPA (3.7) and reference letters helped, but I truly think my program director was relieved to see that I had YEARS of work experience prior to grad school. Dietetics is an incredibly privileged career path where the students have more time for volunteering and studying HARD to keep their GPA competitive. I was worried that my lack of unpaid labor (volunteering) would prevent me from having the edge I needed when applying for MS/DI. I was proven wrong when I got to my internship. I felt like I was leaps ahead of my peers thanks to my years of balancing work/school. I also received glowing reviews from preceptors, which was further affirmation that my unconventional path had led me to the right place. Truth being told, take it at your own pace and have faith in whatever approach you take. Another word of advice is don’t listen to all the stuff people will try to scare you with. I also noticed a lot of negativity prior to applying for DI like “oh my friend didn’t get matched” or “you need to have X GPA to or you’ll get auto rejected”. People just want to discourage you. Work hard and don’t compare your dietetics path to others, there’s a lot of comparison that goes on.
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