My Journey to Becoming a Registered Dietitian
Hey Yall! I am soooo excited to be on this new blogging journey, but before we get in too deep, I want to share my testimony with you guys about my journey to becoming a registered dietitian. So here we go!!!
I am confident that I have discovered a fulfilling career path as a future dietitian. However, the road to that discovery was steeped in uncertainty. I shifted between majors and struggled to define what I truly wanted to do. Despite pursuing a health-related career in physical therapy and community and public health, time in those classes did not speak to my passion. Ultimately, it was a maternal and child nutrition course that provided my “Eureka!” moment. I quickly learned how the health of a child is the direct outcome of a mother’s health and nutrition status before and during pregnancy. Now here is when things started to get a little complicated…
I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Food and Nutrition Science from Middle Tennessee State University. Immediately after graduation, I started working as a WIC (women, infants, and children) nutrition educator. Working as a nutrition educator played a pivotal role in learning the potential tasks of a registered dietitian, aided in my career development, and helped me realize I wanted more. After working there for a year, I was more motivated than ever and decided to return to school.
In Fall of 2015 I went back to MTSU to finish the didactic program in dietetics so that I could obtain an internship to become a registered dietitian. Everything was going smoothly until....
My last year in the program my job could no longer work with my school schedule due to the nutrition department at MTSU being very small, only offering classes during the day. (I cried like a new born baby when my supervisor told me, but understood why). I had about one month to find another job - my parents could only help so much (blessed). I found another job working as a dietary aide and this job humbled your girl! All my nutrition friends out there understand why, OK? I worked as a dietary aide for three months, until I realized that it just was not for me. I began working part-time as a health coach and have since transitioned to full-time.
Fast forward to February 2018. It’s time to submit applications for a dietetic internship. You only have two opportunities to match with an internship. It takes two months to find out if you match. When I didn’t match in the first round, I was shocked! I knew not getting matched was a possibility due to the competitive nature of the program, but none of that lessened the blow of this "no". I applied again for the second round, still, NOTHING!
I remember so vividly being on the phone with my mama when I got the news about not being selected in the second round. I, literally, had a panic attack on the phone with her, because I was so broken. I couldn't think straight. I was depressed for a month straight trying to figure out why I wasn't selected. What did my classmates have that I didn’t? What would my next move be? (God what are you trying to tell me??)
I wanted to quit. I almost did quit. I was about to settle.
After a few weeks, I received an email from the University of Alabama at Birmingham notifying me of a new program that would allow me to complete my Masters in Nutrition Sciences while doing the supervised practice (basically a dietetic internship). I would be eligible to sit for the registration exam for dietitians once I finished the program. I prayed about it and decided to apply. That was May 7, 2018. May 31st, I found out I was accepted into the program. You can't even the imagine the relief, excitement, and gratefulness I felt. I am more grateful than ever that I will be a dietitian within the next couple of years. God took me through that because He wanted to test me. He wanted to make sure I could handle what He had coming for me!!! He had something greater for me, and because I picked myself back up and kept pushing forward I got more than what I actually asked for!!! Because I didn't give up on my dreams, God made sure they came true!
Over the years I have learned that the only way to know what is for you is to continually explore and discover and learn and grow. Always remember your plan may not be God’s plan, but in the end, you will be positioned exactly where you need to be!
Share with me your journeys, I would love to hear about it in the comments below!!
Thank you for stopping by!!