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dietetics

This week, instead of looking back on my storied college career, I’ll be looking forward to the future. As you might know, I have been a dietetics major since first setting foot on the Fontbonne campus, and I’ve never once wanted to deviate from that path.  Although most people have a general concept of what a dietitian is, I often get asked what a dietitian does, and of course specifically what I want to do.
There are three major areas of dietetics: Clinical, Food Service, and Community. The majority of dietitians are clinically based, which means they work in an outpatient facility or hospital and plan diets for the sick. People with kidney failure have special dietary needs that are different than people with liver disease, and so on.  It’s a very critical job, as a wrong diet could easily do great harm to someone.  Food Service dietitians work in places like nursing homes, cafeterias, and restaurants.  The concept is similar, but they mostly plan meals in large quantities for a specific population of people.  For example, school districts often hire a dietitian to help plan menus that meet the government’s standards for a free/reduced price student lunch.  Finally, there are dietitians that work out in the community.  This area is more diverse, and includes such places as fitness centers, grocery stores, public health clinics, food banks, and even private practice.  Their work is mostly to cater to the needs of individuals who seek their help, but they also run events that target the community as a whole, such as health fairs or screenings.
Personally, I want to work out in the community.  I really like the idea of helping people, and I like the flexibility and diversity of working with the general public.  I could see myself working in a health foods store, helping people pick out groceries that fit their needs, or planning meals at a fitness center or spa.  Perhaps one day I’ll even open my own practice.  It would be cool to specialize in a naturalistic approach that centers on vegan and vegetarian eating, but I’m flexible.  Also, I still have a lot to learn from my experience as a dietetic intern next year (an additional requirement one needs in order to become an official Registered Dietitian), and I am keeping my options and my mind wide open.  Regardless, I’m looking forward to a career full of helping people to improve their health through eating good food!

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WELL here we are back in school again. Is it really my last semester in college? Welp, as long as I don’t accidentally fail something, it sure is. Medical Nutrition Therapy II, Experimental Foods, Microbiology, and HES Senior Synthesis are all on the schedule for the next few months, and then that’s all, folks!
So far I’m digging my classes. I’m learning about how to treat various diseases and conditions with diet, experimenting with vegan pound cakes, swabbing bacteria on agar dishes, and writing a FAT paper to sum up my college career in the HES department. I’m still Environmental Club president as well, so expect plenty of posts geared in that direction.
Basically, I’m planning to live it up and enjoy the remainder of my time at Fontbonne. It’s been a great 3.5 years so far, and it just keeps getting better. Looking forward to a rad last semester!

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Last week I started my internship at Valley Park School District. You might be wondering what am I doing there?… Well, I am a graduate student doing my dietetic internship in several sites. Right now, I am in the school system overseeing how they run their food service.
Finish Reading

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As I approach my final year at Fontbonne, I have to start thinking about my life post-grad. Like most dietetics majors, I’ll be applying for an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics-certified internship this spring and then preparing to take my exam to become a Registered Dietitian. The internship selection process is notoriously cutthroat, so it helps to do everything you can to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the applicants.

One thing a lot of internship sites look for is a GRE score. The GRE (which stands for “Graduate Record Examination”) is a test that many people take when they complete their undergrad and want to start their Master’s degree. It’s basically like taking the ACT or SAT all over again. So guess what I did this past Wednesday? That’s right – I was taking the GRE!

It really wasn’t that bad. The hardest part for me was the math, which isn’t even conceptually hard (supposedly it’s all high school stuff) – but the questions can be tricky! And I did find myself a bit crunched for time during those sections as well.  Not that the test was short by any means; the whole process takes between 4 and 5 hours.

If you’ll be taking the GRE at some point, the most important thing to do is find your weak spots (whether they are math, English, or writing-related) and review. Doing some practice under time restrictions would be helpful as well. But the bottom line is that this is a standardized test. What do standardized tests do? Test how well you can take a standardized test. So just relax and do the best you can!

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Into the Great Wide Open

by Marielle April 2, 2013

Now that April – and hopefully warmer weather – is upon us, it’s time to begin the registration process for next year’s classes. As usual, I’ll be knee-deep in dietetics! There will be some clinical nutrition classes, some family/consumer science-based classes, and a class that will prepare me for the dietetic internship application process (which […]

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Shadow Days Are Over

by Marielle February 4, 2013

I have good news, everyone: I am pleased to report that on February 2nd, 2013, Punxsutawney Phil did not, repeat DID NOT see his shadow, which means that we are ON TRACK FOR AN EARLY SPRING!!! I’m beyond pumped. Even besides that, though, I’d have to say the semester is off to a good start. […]

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I Bet You Never Thought Your World Would Come to This.

by Carly January 25, 2013

As cliché as it may sound, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the course of my time in college so far, it’s that this really is a time of self-discovery. If you had told the straight across bangs-sporting, ballet dancing, high school version of myself that once I went to university, I would quit […]

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The Four Year Plan

by Marielle November 5, 2012

It’s that time of year again…. Advising Week! Everyone has to meet with their advisor to plan out what they want to take next semester and get approval to register for classes. Although it hasn’t always been easy to fit together the classes I want to take into my schedule, I do enjoy Advising Week. […]

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Confused? Me Too.

by Carly October 29, 2012

As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve changed a lot since first entering college. While my looks have changed (in my opinion) quite astronomically, I think the biggest change I’ve experienced has been in my personal interests. For example, had you told me as I went through my first semester of general chemistry as […]

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Is This Real Life?

by Marielle October 8, 2012

One thing that’s great about getting into the junior and senior years of college is the fact that most of your classes relate to your major. As I said before, my major is dietetics, and this semester I’m taking: Community/Public Health Nutrition (School-Aged Child through Adulthood); Application of Nutrition Concepts; Quantity Food Service, Purchasing, & […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.