Saturday, December 12, 2015

Finding Your Voice Through Podcasting

The University of Maryland, College Park Dietetic Internship is one of the only programs with a nutrition informatics emphasis. I am very happy to be a UMD Dietetic Intern, especially because I have so many opportunities to enhance my technology and communication skills. Whether I am learning about different coding languages such as HTML, managing an e-portfolio, or rotating through different facilities like the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) or a long term care facility, I always run into nutrition informatics in every areas of the dietetics practice. 

During technology days at UMD, Interns work on e-portfolio websites, learn about different tech tools, listen to guest speakers present on topics related to informatics, and more! Every couple of weeks interns have to meet e-portfolio milestones which includes things such as adding content about rotations, posting a resume, or embedding twitter widgets to personal websites. One thing I have never done before this internship began was record a podcast. As a part of our e- portfolio milestones, we have to record a podcast on an interesting topic and post it to our websites.

The homepage of my e-portfolio website

My first podcast is on the current malnutrition issues in Ghana, West Africa. This was a great learning opportunity for me especially because it allowed me to research and gain more knowledge about malnutrition and how it affects not only mothers, but children as well. Researching this topic exposed me to the many international public health organizations and how they work together to combat malnutrition in Ghana and other developing countries. I enjoyed it, and can't wait to record my next one!

There are many kinds of audio recording softwares to choose from, but UMD interns choose to use Audacity. Audacity is a free, easy to use multi track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac, and other operating systems. For a beginner like me, this is a great software to use.

Here are some podcast pointers before you get started:

Inspiration. Listen to successful podcasts. This is helpful for those just getting started.

Provide information of value. Value can come in the form of education, information, inspiration, motivation. Record on a topic that is trending in the dietetics world!

Time. Create a podcast that is not too long or not too short. Give listeners a reason to come back.

Be enthusiastic. Find your voice, add some excitement to your podcast, be energetic not monotone.

Market yourself. Post your podcast on your website, mention it in your email signature, promote on social media.

Whether or not podcasting is your thing, it gives you a chance to practice your communication skills; a skill necessary in the world of dietetics. Research a topic that excites you, find your voice and give it a try, you never know who is listening.

Listen to my first podcast, Malnutrition in Ghana!
Follow my Internship experiences on Twitter at @ValerieAgyeman

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