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My Experience on How to Become a Registered Dietitian & Expert Tips to Get a Dietetic Internship



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hey everyone I'm Abby sharp welcome to

Abby's kitchen today I wanted to do

another little vlog just because I got

this little Fault in camera I'm gonna

get more of these things having lunch so

I'm just gonna eat my my takeout Whole

Foods salad here I'm a suspect so we'll

see how I do but one of the things I

want to talk about because I got asked a

lot about this this week was about my

journey to become a registered dietitian

so I thought I would share with you how

I became a registered dietician and also

in the description I'll share some

resources if you are thinking about

going down this path okay so first of

all let's talk to go back like forever

ago I was a student in high school I

went to an actual an art school and I

was hardcore and artsy fartsy I did

musical theater dance singing music

aren't all the things I was really the

performance arts that was my forte so I

stopped doing any grade 11 and grade 12

biology and chemistry because I was so

busy doing dancing and musical theater

and singing in blah blah and so I really

was not interested in doing anything

science related I had I basically man it

made at my mandate that I would never go

into a career that was science related

so I just didn't follow I I didn't kind

of follow through on the rest of those

courses and then I went to university I

was doing a BA a basic general BA my

plan was to go to Teachers College to

teach theater and music and so I was

going down that path and part of my

degree required us to take a science

course I'm kind of like a human sciences

course and I chose anatomy and I loved

it I mean total it was like a early 20s

crisis if that's the thing I'm pretty

sure it's gotta be a thing because I was

were hard years and I tend to this

realization where like I felt like I

didn't even know who I was anymore my

identity had completely changed and so I

I felt like you know my whole life I was

so like right brained

never even exercise my left brain before

I never thought about numbers I didn't

want the black and white I was living in

the gray I was living super creatively

and imaginatively and that was where I

was comfortable with because also my

family and my parents are also very arts

focused people so my whole family were

very kind of focused in the arts so this

is what I grew up with nobody was into

this into the sciences that's for sure

and basically I had this realization

like I actually really like this so I

transferred into kinesiology and just

like it was bringing me joy the numbers

were bringing me joy that the black and

white was bringing me joy it was loving

kind of all of the information about the

body and it makes sense because at the

same time I was really at the height of

struggling with my eating disorder

orthorexia if you haven't watched a

whole video about that you can check it

out right here but in that moment I was

really interested in health and as I

went through the kinesiology program it

clicked to me that mmm you know what

it's maybe not the exercise portion that

I'm really passionate about which is

largely what ken is about it's more than

nutrition related parts which made sense

because I while I was going through kind

of my eating disorder recovery I'm

seeing a dietitian so I had some insight

into what a dietitian does and obviously

I was still kind of struggling so I was

obsessed with food and I was thinking

about nutrition and food and my idea of

healthy food even though it was largely

just like both red out of like a People

magazine anyways I decided that it made

more sense for me to transfer into a

Dietetics program now side note I'm

gonna leave some information below but

not all nutrition undergraduate programs

are accredited and will lead you down

the path to becoming a registered

dietician there's also a huge difference

between a holistic nutritionist or a

nutritionist and a dietitian and I will

have to do a whole other video on that

because that warrants its gonna there's

a lot of ground to cover on there but

long story short I did the research I

found in

nutrition program but there was one

thing standing in my way

and that is that I didn't do the grade

11 and grade 12 biology and chemistry so

I had to go back while I was a student

at in kinesiology and pick up these

courses in kind of like a continuing

education program it was a lot I had to

have a tutor she had to walk me through

it it was so overwhelming as someone who

had never thought in that kind of

science mind before to have to literally

relearn how to think but anyways I

graduated from grade 11 and grade 12

biology in chemistry I got into the

uterus nutrition program and while most

accredited nutrition programs are for

years my I only need to do three years

because I had the transfer credits from

my previous degree which was great

didn't breath I kind of in front

food not eat it you know try to be

polite okay

probably once pinched my teeth now but

whatever so basically in my nutrition

degree we covered everything from food

science biochemistry chemistry biology

physiology exercise you know or not

really exercise but like nutrition

pathophysiology nutrition for different

kinds of disease states nutrition to the

life cycle social and cultural

dimensions of food social dimensions of

food all of those kinds of things and

our social determinants of food is what

food social determinants of health

quite a broad curriculum which is really

important and so I did in three years

graduated top of my class and when I say

top of my class I mean like actually top

top of my class I graduated with a 4.32

average out of four point three three I

had all a pluses across the board except

for one

a-minus and Lady if you are watching

right now you know who it is you know

who gave me that a - and I'm still

pissed about it anyways so that was kind

of like

as far as I'm concerned as much of a

miserable experience of as my undergrad

was that was the easy part

next we had to get an internship it's

not just enough to do an accredited

undergrad program you either need to do

a one-year internship or you can do a

master's program that combines an

internship with a master's degree which

usually takes about two years or so

sometimes more I've also heard that and

well here in Canada and Saskatchewan

they now have an undergrad program which

is combined so you not only get your

undergrad but also do the practical

experiences of the internship program

which is absolutely amazing I don't know

why they're not all doing that because

let's be real it is so unfair in my

opinion to have this bottleneck of

students who have done their undergrad

who are eight plus students who are

crazy amazing students and they can't

get these internships because

everybody's amazing on top of being an

amazing academic student you also have

to do all this volunteer work which is

crazy spend hours all your weekends and

evenings are spent doing volunteer work

working both paid and largely unpaid

jobs that are in the field to get

experience and put that on your resume

also for me I was the president of the

nutrition student council so yeah I had

the leadership I had the volunteer work

I had the academics all going for me and

the way it works is that you apply to

these internships and then you'd get

matched I've heard that this matching

system doesn't happen anymore and that

it's each each University of your

program is completely individual on its

own don't quote me on that that might

have changed however it's still a

bottleneck and is still largely very

competitive so it's it's really not

surprising to me that nutrition students

have such high levels of like type-a

personalities and stress and anxiety and

ultimately also eating disorders there's

actually evidence of that as well higher

correlation of eating disorders in

nutrition students lots lots to unpack

there yeah so I applied to the

internship and I didn't get it I did my

interviews I interviewed at all the

places I applied for him

and the first round of those internship

letters went out and I didn't get one it

was literally the most heartbreaking day

of my life I mean really isn't it in

retrospect I've had way worse days trust

me hashtag infertility but I will say it

was really really hard and basically you

go to school that day and nobody makes

eye contact with you nobody wants to

talk to one another cuz you know you

don't ask you don't wanna you don't want

to upset someone's feelings you don't

wanna brag you don't it's overwhelming

it's a toxic environment and then two

days later once people have had a chance

to kind of you know reject or accept

their offers a new round of internship

offers went out and I thankfully got one

of those and so I did an internship it's

one year it was a grueling year it was

emotionally hard physically hard long

days just so stressful

the pressure is unreal thankfully so my

best friends today I found and I got in

internship and that's because we really

had to stick together and and form a

bond and we had to kind of help each

other through some of those difficult

days and difficult times and I graduated

wasn't in a dietitian yet then I had to

write an exam but it feels like six

hours long exam which you paid to write

and then you have to pay a bunch of fees

to your college and then you can use the

term registered registered dietitian so

there's a reason why as dietitians are

so protective over our title and that is

because we really have had to jump

through hoops to get there so can I take

an eating break pee mine compact for us

all the edamame and good bins and cheese

nuts they're all bottom I don't want to

eat the lettuce so after all that I

graduated as a shell of my of a person

and I was kind of like feeling so

resentful and just miserable in the

Dietetics field in general that I kind

of wanted nothing to do with counseling

I definitely

want to work in a hospital i i think the

internship made that very very clear to

me but this was not the route that i

wanted to go down and I was kind of

hobby blogging at the time while I was

going through my undergrad and

internship really just doing recipes on

my like a little food blog doing rest

restaurant reviews not nutrition related

I just wanted to talk about food and

considering I had that four point three

three two average in school basically

everyone and their grandmother convinced

me that I needed to pursue academia I

needed to go all the way and so that's

what I figured I was supposed to do I

was destined to do I got a full

scholarship to a very prestigious

sociology program master's that rolled

into a PhD and my goal as a dietitian

was to research kind of some of the

social aspects of eating and a lot of

the stuff that I talked about here in

the channel it just happened was this is

really just my area of interest so it

made sense that I kind of approach that

from an academic perspective as well

however if I thought that the undergrad

sucked and the internship sucked my

masters really was depressing basically

while I wanted to do research on the

sociology of food which is still

fascinating to me obviously I had to go

through all this like you know the the

basic kind of concepts of sociology that

I had never learned anything about I did

not have a sociology undergrad so I was

reading Karl Marx like one page at a

time again and again and again being

like what the is this I don't understand

anything I'm reading right now and it it

does not interest me at all so I was

very miserable and so I had a

presentation on like a Monday or

something like that it was already had

ridden it spent all week working on it

and that night I had this epiphany where

I was like I am so miserable I am NOT

going to be happy doing this not for the

rest of the year and definitely not

through a PhD you got to really love

what you're doing to do a PhD I just

really wanted to get my blog off the

ground and and kind of work full-time

this blogging thing which acts time was

not a real job like nobody was a

full-time blogger that was not a career

option but what I did was I pulled up my

computer and I wrote a document that was

called Abbie's dreams and I wrote down

all the things that I wanted to

accomplish in the next year one or

foreseeable few years write a cookbook

get on daytime TV expand my blog to you

know a bunch of viewers all over the

world and I'm really happy to say that

I've done all of those things on my

to-do list many times over in fact other

than just one one book so far and I took

a leap I took a fully by email my

professor I said I'm not coming in

tomorrow I'm gonna speak to the Dean I'm

gonna have to pay back my entire

scholarship I realized that which soft

but it was so worth it because it felt

so freeing and at the same time that I

was breaking free of this kind of like

expectation on me that I was supposed to

be some academic superstar I was also

kind of shedding my disordered eating my

blog really did kind of serve as the

jumping-off point to a healthier

relationship with food and I explained a

lot more about that in detail in my book

the mindful Glo cookbook so if you don't

have that definitely get the book it is

in the description below and I talked a

lot about that so I took a huge leap a

huge leap of faith that I had no idea

what I was gonna do or how I was gonna

do it but I did and the reason why this

path made sense for me as a dietitian

was because I had a background in

theatre and TV and performance and all

that some public speaking etc so it was

a real natural progression for me I had

I basically created a whole new niche a

whole kind of area of practice that was

definitely not something that we were

taught about in school when I was

studying to become a dietitian there was

no there really was no media classes

that were even touching on any social

media components now I believe that they

do thank God but back then not so much

so knowing that I think a lot of you

guys well not a lot I don't know if a

lot but I get a lot of questions from my

viewers about my

have to become a dietician or saying

that you are an RD to be or a nutrition

student or thinking about going into

nutrition I wanted to offer a little bit

of advice on you know helping you

through this process both the undergrad

and also the internship too because you

really can't become a dietitian without

going through this whole pathway so

number one is to start volunteering now

I know it's hard but really put your

heart into it because you want to make

sure that you explore a wide range of

different Dietetics areas of practice so

clinical and research public health

counseling kind of food service there's

so many different places that dietitians

work we don't just all wear lap put lab

coats and prescribe diets or hand out

Canada's Food Guide or America's food

guide in the hospital I don't actually

know anybody who's a dietitian that just

hands have Canada's Food Guide just so

you know but anyways yeah there's just

so much to explore and you really want

to just dive in and dig deep and that

won't really give you a good indication

to if this is something that you

actually are passionate about it because

let me tell you if you get through the

if you're in the undergrad and you're

being like whoa you know what maybe I

don't actually like this don't put

yourself through the hell of an

internship or a career down the road if

it's really not feeling like a good fit

so this is a good opportunity for you to

learn the ropes and also very important

for your your resume for for you to get

those internships number two know your

why so when you do those internship

interviews it's really important that

you stand out because every single

student I'm telling you

looks amazing we have amazing grades

we're all type-a we study hard we work

hard we volunteer hard we we have so

much leadership skills it's it's

incredible so you need to stand up and

know your story know your why you're

passionate about this industry why you

have longevity here and I think that's

really does really will help you stand

out amongst the crowd number three

network go to lots of events go to

conferences go to expose put yourself

out there meet people talk to people get

to know what

that other dieticians or kind of

industry leaders are doing I think that

really does make a difference because

when you go to your internship interview

and maybe you've already met that person

hey you've already got a leg up okay

number four learn some good study skills

I can't tell you how many people just do

not know how to study and I think it's

such a really a really important skill

because studying like you're gonna be

doing a lot of it I'm telling you

there's a lot to memorize and sometimes

I think too much to memorize like no

dietician ever has had to tell a patient

or client about the krebs cycle don't

know why we had to memorize that but

anyways yeah you're gonna have to

memorize and learn a lot of things so

figure your learning style it might be

worth taking a little course about this

at your local university or college or

even there's lots of resources online or

on youtube to help you learn some really

good learning and kind of note-taking

and studying skills number five find a

mentor someone that you really look up

to someone that you can shadow and learn

from and really kind of watch how they

interact in this industry I think really

will kind of set the tone for your

career path I had an amazing mentor

named Jackie Chan Graz and she taught me

about hey she told me about intuitive

eating I probably would never be the

dietician that I am today if it was not

for her so five you were Jackie I guess

you could say and and you know take the

time to really invest in learning with

them next I don't remember what number

we're at but I would say you know ask

for help if you were struggling because

this is a very overwhelming process it's

super stressful anxiety-provoking

reach out a lot of schools universities

and colleges have counselors and and

people that can help you kind of walk

you through this process I definitely

think it's really worth taking the time

to to kind of just get help I know we

think I don't have time in the day to go

to counseling it will save you time

there you'll be way more efficient and

be a happier healthier person and on

that note take care of yourself you know

make sure that you're nourishing your

body with good food exercise move your

body focus on good sleep and stress

management and take some time to be

social to have those kind of fun nights

with your girlfriends or or your

classmates you know it is a really

stressful kind of program I I found and

I think everybody finds that it's super

competitive so find your people find the

people that you really truly trust and

those people very very well likely will

be in your life forever because you have

been through absolute hell together uh

yeah so on that note I guess I really

sold it but I would say of course I love

my job and love my career I'm so so

grateful to be a dietitian and I think

this industry is just blossoming it's so

exciting right now and I obviously made

a very kind of unique niche for myself

which you can do to find your niche find

what you're passionate about

if you're a dietician student or an

intern and you're looking for volunteer

opportunities I take a lot of interns so

definitely leave me a comment below and

I'll let you know how to get in touch

with me so guys again hope you enjoyed

this video if you did be sure to give it

the thumbs up leave me a comment below

with any questions you have about the

industry about me I'll do lots more of

these kind of q and A's if you have any

kind of questions I think super fun and

casual let me know if you like this kind

of style of vlogging video it's

definitely more casual than a lot of my

other videos but good to switch it up

and subscribe to the channel and I'll

see you next time on a peas kitchen bye

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