Don’t know if becoming a registered dietitian is for you? Already in it but have no idea about the internship application and selection process? Wanting tips on how best to get matched?! Hopefully this will help you out!

After many requests over on my youtube channel, I finally made this long awaited video on EVERYTHING I wish I would have known about the dietetic internship process.

But for those of you who don’t have time to watch the full length video, or simply do not want to..I made a spark notes of it on here 🙂

But I’m tellin ya, it would be worth your while to watch it if you’re wanting to know all the details!

I include everything from things you should know before deciding to do your undergraduate in dietetics, to applying to schools, to everything about the matching process..

I know I WISH SO MUCH that I had a video to watch like this at the beginning of my senior year, as I felt SO lost in the whole application process. I was definitely what you call BLINDSIDED.

Anyways, enjoy! and the the spark notes will be below!

 

 

3 things to know before choosing to go through the undergraduate degree for dietetics:

  1. Classes (especially senior year) are TOUGH. You HAVE to be all in and really want to be an RD, or it’s not worth it.

  2. You WILL be disappointed in the sense that most of your classes will NOT be what you are interested in or help you in any way post graduation. Like every other major for the majority. (but graduate school gets MUCH better!)

  3. If you DON’T GET MATCHED, you really have no second option (to know what I mean by “being matched”, watch the video!). There is really not much you can do with a nutrition degree. You usually wait and apply again the following year!

Now you’re all in, you want to do it. Here are some tips on what you should be doing during undergraduate years before applying senior year

  1. Be well rounded: Yes GPA matters ALOT, but you have to also have great volunteering experience in both clinical and other settings (like I volunteered at UF’s sports nutritions office, Shands hospital, and with a private RD who manufactured her own protein supplement) along with other extracurriculars that make you stand out.

  2. Find what you’re passionate about, and PURSUE IT. Anyone can get good grades if trying hard enough, but what makes you SPECIAL?? Get involved in something and don’t just attend meetings, take time to hold positions.

  3. Can’t say it enough: GET GOOD VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE, both clinically and in other areas

Now for tips on choosing schools..

  1. DI (dietetic internship) vs MSDI (internship combined with masters): some schools are just a 1 year internship, others are between 16-24 months and you receive a masters as well. A masters will be require in future years, so I took the MSDI route!

  2. Look at what their emphasis is in: I really wanted something sports related, most are clinically focused. But along with that, just because you do a clinically focused program, doesn’t mean you HAVE to go into clinical work as a career.

  3. Look at what your specific schools you’re applying to look at most: Usually they rank 1-7 all of the criteria like GPA, science GPA, interview, work, volunteer, resume, personal statement, ect.

  4. VISIT the schools you’re interested in: it helps you SO much if the director can put a name to your application and not just think of you as another number! ***Develop your own interview if they don’t give you one by contacting the director and making your own personal visit. (I did this with 2 of my 3 schools)

  5. Choose one “dream” school, but then apply to places you KNOW you have a good chance of being wanted at 2nd and 3rd.. (after third choice, chances of being matched are SLIM). BE SMART. Yes it would be great to get matched, but your ultimate goal is just GETTING MATCHED.

Tip For the Actual Application

  1. INCLUDE EVERYTHING that has anything to do with nutrition/dietetics in any way, or any outstanding quality/position (like student athlete, founder of club, etc.)
  2. Personal statement: make it YOUR OWN and UNIQUE TO EACH SCHOOL. Think college essay. And yes, include things like your volunteering experiences and best qualities/strengths..but do it in a unique way. (learn how I started out mine in the video!)

  3. Make different statement for each school: Use the same basic one, but then cater it to what they focus in and specialize in. (again, learn how I did this in the video!). ALSO Tell them in your personal statement that you are putting them first (if you are!), it lets them know you REALLY want to go, and increases the chances of them putting you on their top list. But if you aren’t putting them first, then just specify what about their program makes you interested in applying so they know you’ve done your research and aren’t just saying the same to every school.

  4. BE SMART IN ADVANCE with letters of rec. You need at least three letters of rec, usually one coming from your program’s director. Make sure even if you’re at a big school, you form special bonds with at least 2 to 3 professors, so that when letters of rec time come, you are set! 

  5. IF YOU FIND A GEM (in terms of a really cool program), Don’t spread the word to every person in your program. THEY ONLY ACCEPT SO MANY. I’m not saying you’re competing against everyone, I know a lot will be your friends. But be smart, be strategic, keep to yourself.

  6. Find out if your director has any connections places. Sometimes if they have been at different schools in their past, they know directors and can help you get a better chance of being matched!

Last but not least..The worst part after submitting it..

YOU WAIT.

AND WAIT.

I submitted my application in February, and you don’t know ANYTHING until April when you sign into the computer system and it either says you are matched or you are not. (but there is a second matching round for schools that didn’t fill their positions and students that didn’t get matched a couple days later!)

Hope this helped you in some way! Watch the video for full details 🙂