Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What's in My Bag?

One thing I have learned from my time in undergrad as a dietetics major is the majority of us have type A personalities. We love to get assignments done as soon as we get them, we put time into picking out our day planner for the next year, and we have special colored pens for taking notes. We are super organized, and we love it! Leading up to the start of my dietetic internship, I had no idea what I would need for each rotation. I knew it would be different from college, but having been in school my whole life, I needed an adjustment period to figure out my new organization system. 

Here are my organizational essentials for a dietetic internship:  

1. Red Phyllis Folder

Provided by Phyllis, the internship director, on the first day of the internship. In this folder, I keep all the important papers together that need to be handed into Phyllis. It is a similar system to when you start kindergarten and have a take home folder for your parents to check every night.

2. Small Wallet/Clutch

Some days we travel to other locations during the day, and I am able to leave my bag at the rotation site. It is nice to have a wallet that can hold your phone and keys. This makes it easy to carry want you need without having to bring your whole bag. Of course, I had to have the Stella & Dot one that matches my larger bag.  

3. Black Folder with Notepad

This is my version of a professional binder. One side has a notepad and the other side has a folder. I carry it to the meetings with my preceptors, so I can write down the details of each assignment. I keep continuous to-do lists for each rotation on the notepad. 

4. Business Card Book

Given on the first day of the internship. Provides a new way of competing with your peers, seeing who has the most business cards at graduation.

5. Professional Bag

I put a lot of thought into what type of bag I wanted for the internship. I wanted a bag that looked professional, had a zipper, and could hold my laptop. I settled for this Stella & Dot bag. I like the pocket on the outside that securely holds my SmarTrip card; it holds the fare for riding public transportation in D.C., making it easier when getting on and off the Metro.

6. iPad Mini

Provided by the internship. Every good dietetic intern needs an apple in her bag.

7. Charger & Headphones

Obviously these are needed for the iPad Mini.

8. Emergency Kit
I feel you can never be too prepared. I keep Band-Aids, hand sanitizer, tissues, Advil, lotion, Chap Stick, and mints in a Kate Spade cosmetic bag.

9. Calculator

A calculator is needed for basic calculations in clinical rotations and on occasional class days. I love school supplies and everything Lilly Pulitzer, so I clearly needed the Lilly Pulitzer calculator. 

10. Journal

I realized after the first week of the internship I needed to write down what I did each day as a reference for filling in my competencies, updating my website, and completing my self-evaluations at the end of each rotation. Being from Annapolis, MD, I always pick out nautical-themed things, and when I saw this Jonathon Adler journal, I knew it would be perfect.

11. Day Planner

Picking out my day planner is something I take very seriously. This year I chose the large Kate Spade 17-month agenda. I selected this day planner because I think it looks more professional than the Lilly Pulitzer agendas, but don’t worry, I have had those too. I keep a Thank You card in the front pocket of my day planner, as a just in case.

12. Colored Pens

Like every good dietetics student, I use different color pens.

13. Flash Drive

On the first day of the internship, everyone is given a flash drive with everything you need throughout the entire internship. It contains contact information of the preceptors, directions to rotations, homework assignments, and evaluations. This little flash drive is the lifeline to the internship.

14. Pencil Case

I use a Vera Bradley pencil case to hold my calculator, flash drive, and pens. It is just an easy way to keep things from getting lost in your bag.

Hopefully, this post makes your transition from college to a dietetic internship 14 times easier.  

These are my personal opinions on what I need for the internship and do not reflect the opinions of the University of Maryland.  


  1. I put a lot of thought into what type of bag I wanted for the internship. ... verabradleypencil.blogspot.com