Sunday, October 9, 2016

Three Things I Wish I Knew Before my Dietetic Internship

It’s a little surreal to wake up in a place that I had never been only two months ago. For the last two years, I sat in class day dreaming about getting a dietetic internship and moving out of state. It felt like I had ten years until that day would come and here I am, it has come and gone and I am already done with six weeks of my dietetic internship and halfway done with my primary clinical rotation.  

I have already learned so much in such a short time that I can only imagine how prepared I will be to practice as an RDN by the end of the program. While I feel like I did come to my internship well prepared, there are some things I wish I would have known beforehand to help ease into the internship.

1. Moving across the country isn’t as scary as it sounds.

Everywhere you go there are people just like you who don’t know what they’re doing either. You will never know the feeling of true accomplishment until you move into a city that is completely foreign to you and can finally get to the grocery store without using a GPS. No matter how different the new city is, you will adjust quickly.

2.  Everyone had the same type of undergraduate experience as you did.

One of the biggest things I was terrified of coming into the internship is that other interns would have had a more thorough undergraduate curriculum than I did. I was nervous that my small state school in Minnesota wouldn’t compare to the students from James Madison or Penn State. Truth is, we all know different things but we are all on an even playing field in the internship. Lesson learned: if you were lucky enough to get matched with an internship, you will be just fine.

3. Your fellow interns are your new best friends.

The other interns are the only people who know exactly what you’re going through. They can laugh – or cry – with you about how you sat in traffic almost as long as you were at rotation (minor exaggeration). They encourage your growing coffee addiction and help explain things that went over your head. Best of all, you always know there are people in the same situation as you.

It is hard to believe that we are already six weeks into our internship, but I am so excited for all of us to grow as professionals and help each other along the way. Happy interning!  

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