Monday, February 4, 2013

A Seemingly Unusual Place for a Dietitian

In school, we were always taught that the "bread and butter" of RD's is in the clinical setting.  Heading up the clinical nutrition department and working one on one with patients and their families.  Foodservice was probably the one other place I knew dietitians found careers.  When entering this internship, I was intrigued that the focus was on information technology and nutrition informatics.  RD's in technology?  How'd that work?  I wasn't really sure and very eager to get into my "IT" rotations to see RD's in action.

My two information technology rotations were at the International Food and Information Council (IFIC) and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) under the USDA.  Drastically different, both of these unique work places featured RD's working with information technology, nutrition informatics and social media campaigns.  It was an amazing opportunity see this out-of-the-box career path for dietitians.  I think it was a unique opportunity that the UMD internship was able to provide us.

IFIC was a really fun place to work.  We were there for a total of 3 weeks and spent a lot of time learning how the RD's on staff worked with the food industry to promote sound nutrition knowledge and facts to the public.  They relied heavily on social media and a lot of marketing and PR techniques to promote the nutrition information.  I was able to help them write blogs, create graphics and research social media campaigns.  The second rotation was (and currently I'm still here) at CNPP.  This rotation is very fun because I get to work at a government facility and be able to participate with the MyPlate project!  It's a great to really feel like you're working on and adding to projects that go out nationally to the public.  Much of the work done at CNPP is "top secret" and I can't divulge everything that I get to do.  But I can promise you this, it's a very cool opportunity for dietitians!

Overall, both of these rotations have exposed me to really unique career opportunities for dietitians.  It might not be something you think you'll be interested in, but once you see how passionate these dietitians are about educating the public you'll get hooked!  I love being able to work with these "nutrition experts" and feel confident in the information and facts they promote to the public.  It's great to feel like you're helping out our country in this very unique way.  I'm thoroughly enjoying these weeks and will update you on the remainder of my rotations on my next post!

1 comment:

  1. great post - glad to see you are seeing many more sides of nutrition