Like many recent college grads, I have spent a TON of time thinking about my future career. What am I good at? What do I enjoy? How can I affect others with my work? After exploring some options that didn’t work and spending a lot of time soul searching, I have decided that I want to become a Registered Dietitian! I am so excited about this path and the potential to share my love for good nutritious food. Making the career decision seems to have been the easy part. It turns out this process is quite a complicated one, and I have found so much information and advice from bloggers going through the same thing. I decided to share my own process in the hopes of helping and connecting with others on this crazy (and oh so hard to explain) path.
The biggest question is definitely what is the difference between a Registered Dietitian and a nutritionist? I like to think of this in terms of the square rectangle rule (nerd alert). All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. All Registered Dietitians are nutritionists, but not all RDs nutritionists are . Becoming a Registered Dietitian requires specific academic coursework, an internship, and passing the RD exam. Becoming a nutritionist essentially requires calling yourself a nutritionist. Here are some posts that I love about this topic and the process to become an RD:
So….now that we know exactly what the goal is….how do we get there? My situation is a little wonky. I graduated in 2014 from William and Mary (tribe pride!) with a degree in Government and Hispanic Studies. Not so helpful for the RD goal. Since my undergraduate degree is in an unrelated field, I have a lot to catch up on. I decided that I want to complete an accredited program at the graduate level (this was a personal choice, I just want a masters rather than a second bachelors). After looking at programs, deciding which I wanted to consider, and outlining requirements, I signed up for classes at my local community college and have been working on those sciences for the past year. I took (and still am taking) classes part time while working retail (so not for me) and now working at a tutoring center (which I like!). At this point I’ve sent in applications and now it’s the waiting game. It’s a pretty scary feeling knowing that my ability to pursue my dream is hanging on these application decisions. It’s going to be a long few weeks of waiting, but I am hoping for nothing but good news!
Any other future RDs out there? What does (or did) your path to RD look like?