This past Tuesday, the UMD interns attended the 2014 Spring Workshop hosted by Maryland Dietetics in Health Care Communities. I had previously attended their 2013 Fall Workshop back in October, and I can’t help but reflect on how far I have come since then.
Then: I was only a couple months into my internship and attending conferences was a new experience for me. Heck, wearing business professional attire was a new experience for me! I was basically the equivalent of a freshman. I was overwhelmed by all of the lectures throughout the day and furiously wrote down every single word each of the speakers said. All of the information was new and if I was going to be a good dietitian one day, I was going to need to know all of it. Our preceptor discouraged the interns from sitting together in order for us to network better. While I understood her intention, I was simply too intimidated to talk to any of the RDs. I mean, I was just an intern, what could I possibly say?
Now: This time I didn’t attend the conference as just an intern, I attended as an invited speaker. I, along with the rest of my internship class, was given the opportunity to present to over 94 registered dietitians and other health care providers about up-and-coming technology tools that can be used in the field of dietetics. The tables turned as the RDs were the ones furiously writing down notes instead of me! They came to me to ask questions and praise me for giving such a great presentation. During the other lectures, I didn’t have to jot every little word down. I understood a majority of the clinical concepts they discussed and could nod my head along with the other registered dietitians at my table. I met new people, networked and collected business cards. I even recognized faces from the fall conference. I went from a freshman to a senior all in a matter of months. I’m so proud of myself and amazed at the confidence and knowledge I have gained!