It’s a good idea to connect with a Registered Dietitian if you are a student in the field of dietetics. That way, you have an idea of the daily job duties. There are many ways to do this. I have mentored students of friends and those who randomly called a facility where I have worked. Many have visited me to job shadow or to complete nutrition assessments actively. Some came for special projects or to gain food service knowledge. These experiences should be put on an internship application or résumé. It would be best to start connecting with other dietitians immediately to build your résumé as many programs are incredibly competitive.
Find a Nutrition Expert is a website that will assist you with this process. In addition, you can email dietitians directly if you are looking for an internship or a job shadowing experience. Finally, the general public can also email the dietitians on the list to obtain services.
In addition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a mentoring site:
Social media is another good way to connect with dietitians in the field. While your education is crucial to becoming a Registered Dietitian, seeing what happens at a job site is equally important. Translating what you learned in your classes to real-life experience will make you a well-rounded professional. Here is a list of online groups that would be a great place to start networking.
Facebook groups offer an opportunity to ask professional dietitians questions. Below are a few groups, but there are many more. Some have rules for posting, so be sure to check these out before submitting a question.
- “Dietitians in Hospitals and Long Term Care”
- “Dietitian Mentor”
- “Build Up Dietitians -Clinical Dietetics Group”
- “Insurance Credentialing and Billing for Dietitian Nutritionists”
- “Making Videos for Dietitians”
- “Dietitian HQ Community -for RD Entrepreneurs”
- “Dietitians Selling Digital Goods”
- “The Unconventional RD Community”
LinkedIn Groups-join groups that interest you. Network by creating posts, making comments, or reposting articles. Here are a few:
- Dietitians in Nutrition Support (DNS)
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- SCAN DPG: Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition
- Dietitian Jobs Network
- Wright Management Dietetic Practice Group
- Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (and other state groups)
- Best Practices for Dietitians
The bottom line is that becoming a Registered Dietitian is a competitive process. You can help yourself by networking online or attending conferences and seminars. When you meet a seasoned dietitian, don’t be afraid to ask questions about topics that interest you, and if they don’t know about the subject, chances are, they know someone who does. If you have any questions, feel free to fill out the form below.