Sarah Carlson

What year did you graduate and which program did you complete?
I graduated in 2014 with a Master’s in Nutrition with the Dietetic Internship

Could you give an overview of your job?
I am currently employed at the Stark County Educational Services Center and Plain Local School District. I am a School Nutrition Consultant. I am responsible for going out to the county schools in need of nutrition assistance. I work with the food service directors to menu plan, complete nutritional analysis, and work on community based programs, such as Farm to School.

How did Kent State prepare you for your career?
Kent State gave me the knowledge to be able to complete nutritional analyses. The dietetic internship not only gave me the knowledge that I needed but also opportunities to meet and network with future clients. I actually wrote a job a proposal for both of my positions. These positions did not exist previously. Nancy definitely helped me to understand how to propose a project/job.

What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
The advice I would give to current interns would be to take every opportunity available to you. I was able to make great connections and network due to the people I met through interning. I would also tell them not to be afraid to take an idea and run with it. My idea for the needed dietitian/nutrition consultant in Stark County led to my first job. It is okay to think outside of the box and take your own path. Life is not all about grades and tests. Try to enjoy life, even when you are in the “thick of it”.

Alyssa anderson

Q: What year did you graduate and which program did you complete?
In 2012, I completed my Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University. My major was in Nutrition and Dietetics. I then completed my Master’s degree in 2014 through the Combined Master’s and Dietetic Internship Program.

Q: Could you give an overview of your job?
Yes, I am currently employed with North Carolina Cooperative Extension through NC State University as an Area Extension Agent in Richmond County and Moore County. My program area is Family and Consumer Sciences, with a focus on food and nutrition. My position is community based and every day is different! I am responsible for planning, marketing, conducting, and evaluating educational programs throughout both counties. These research based programs focus specifically on nutrition, food safety, health and wellness, food preservation, and chronic disease reduction. I also collaborate and network with other agencies, groups, and organizations with similar missions. 

Q: How did Kent State prepare you for your career?
Kent State prepared me in a variety of ways for my career. Going into the program, I was unsure of what area of nutrition interested me. The experiences I gained through the different classes, the Internship Program, and my job as a graduate assistant helped me discover my passion, community nutrition. Overall, it was an extremely supportive and positive learning experience.    

Q: What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
 I would recommend to start regularly volunteering in areas related to nutrition as soon as possible. It’s a great chance to see what areas interest you the most and will look great on internship applications.

Loreen Nodo

Q: What year did you graduate and which program did you complete?
I graduated in December of 2014 from the Combined Masters and Dietetic Internship Program in Nutrition and Dietetics. I also graduated in 2012 with my Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics from Kent.

Q: Are you currently employed, and if so, where? 
I am currently employed at The JM Smucker Company. I work in Regulatory and Government Affairs with Nutrition Labeling and nutrition compliance for FDA and Canadian Compliance.

Q: How did Kent State prepare you for your career?
As a Kent State Student I was extremely prepared for my career based on the different classes that are on the Didactic curriculum in the Undergraduate and Master’s Program. It is so important to work in different stressful situations such as working on papers and large projects to gain humbleness so once you enter the workforce you understand all aspects of a job. An example was the great difference and importance from Food Production all the way to Clinical, it requires a great knowledge of many things and the Kent State professors really prepared me for all of the unexpected.

Q: What advice would you give to current dietetic students?
It is very important for students to understand that being a cross-functional Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) is much more important when entering a career than a one track Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). It is okay to have a focus of what you really love and enjoy but it is also important to have multiple strengths to offer an employer.

LAUREN STEINMETZ 

Lauren Steinmetz

What year did you graduate and which program(s) did you complete?
I graduated from Ball State University in 2010 with my Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.
I graduated from Kent State University in 2012 with my Master of Science in Nutrition.
 
What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?
Finding a job was one of the biggest challenges, as there were many jobs available, but all of them wanted an applicant with ample experience.  It made me really re-evaluate what I jobs I was willing to take.  I applied to nearly 25 jobs in a span of 4 months, getting 3 interviews and 3 job offers, all in different areas of practice.  After realizing that money plays a big role in paying off my loans, the clinical position was able to best suit my needs.
 
While there many of the Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) were complacent in their jobs, which made it challenging for me when I wanted to start trying new things, as well as, learn how to handle my critical care units.  Luckily, I have been able to challenge some of the other Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) to take a more active role in ensuring patients get the best care possible. Slowly but surely I am able to make a change and start to really become an expert in nutrition on my critical care units.
 
Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
I am currently employed at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne Indiana.  I am a clinical Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for the coronary intensive care units.
 
What advice would you give to current/future interns trying to make themselves stand out?
Stand out by emailing people and organizations to see if they have any openings or explaining to them what you can offer their company.  Companies are impressed by that and it can usually turn out in the end.  Also, don't be afraid to questions things, whether it is standards of practice or a recommendation you might not agree with.  I have found the more you ask "why" the more privileges you get and the more people come to respect you.

 

Mandy MonacoMANDY MONACO

What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?
I had a prospective employer ask me “What are you five weaknesses?” “Five!” I thought to myself. Well, my first weakness is I don’t know how to answer that question, and another weakness is….”brownies”.  However, I resisted the urge to purge sarcastic rhetoric and took my time to answer truthfully.  This type of interrogation helped me become confident in answering questions on the fly. Many times, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) may be asked to give a presentation last minute and you need to think on your feet.

Another challenge was taking initiative to learn. In my position, I am often called upon to answer questions regarding legal regulations for school foods and reimbursement. If I want to be a successful in school nutrition, I have to keep myself up to date with current legislature and not wait for someone to tell me what the new law is. Don’t wait, educate….yourself.

What is one piece of advice you would offer to those interested in dietetics?
Nutrition is a field rich in possibility. You can shape your career in numerous ways, so choose the nutrition concentration that interests you the most.  Start with volunteering for what you are most interested in. If you are interested in school food service, volunteer at a school. If fitness excites you, start a fitness program at your college or neighborhood gym. Even the smallest experiences can be that first domino that knocks the rest down and open the doors you desire most.

Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
I am the resident Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) for Chartwells-Thompson, a pre-k-12 school foodservice. I work out of Washington DC and we cover 107 public schools this year! Many of the children in DC rely on school food for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or maybe even snack, so it is very important that we nurture them with proper nutrition and make it fun.

 

Monica HabibMONICA HABIB

What year (years) did you graduate and which program(s) did you complete?
I graduated with a master's of science degree in Dietetics/Internship Program in 2007.
 
What were some of your biggest challenges after graduating that shaped your career?
The biggest challenge of my career, thus far, has been finding my niche and finding something I was truly interested in and challenged by. The graduate program helped to shape my interests, which was in the acute clinical setting. The program allowed us to intern at several hospitals, and participate in case studies and clinical course work.

What has been your most significant professional accomplishment since graduating?
My most significant professional accomplishments has been publishing in a national peer reviewed journal and passing my CNSC (Certified Nutrition Support Clinician) exam.

Are you currently employed, and if so, where?
I am currently employed at The Cleveland Clinic on the Nutrition Support Team.