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Alumni Success Stories

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Lauren Steinmetz MS, RD

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 dietitians 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 dietitians 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 the clinical dietitian 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.

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Mandy Monaco, MS, RD

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 dietitian 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 foodservice, 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 dietitian 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.

 

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Monica Habib, MS, RD

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.