The Makings Of A Registered Dietitian

Two years after graduating from college with a liberal arts degree and losing 30 pounds, I decided to go back to school and become a Registered Dietitian. Here is my story!

RDmebig

A Corporate Start

Upon graduating from Davidson College with a degree in history and [almost] an anthropology minor, I decided I wanted to work in public relations. The field was “cool” and entry level jobs seemed to require things I had: strength in writing and research, the ability to think creatively and multitask and a people personality. I tried my luck at applying to jobs, but the market was tough and I came in second for multiple interviews to those who had internship experience in PR. Luck did strike, though, because shortly after graduation I landed a job writing for a visitor + travel magazine. The job was great for entry level, but the workplace was not ideal, and a year later I was job searching again. I nailed an interview at a cool firm and became an Account Executive. The job was cool – I got to plan events, met chef Sara Moulton and planned the implosion of the old Charlotte coliseum.

But all-the-while I yearned for a job that gave me a bit more flexibility. I hated that I was required to be at work from 8:30 to 5:30 even when there was little work to do (and on holidays when all of my clients and coworkers were gone) and I felt chained to a cubicle. When I’d venture out for doctors appointments or meetings, I’d slip into coffee shops and see people working on laptops or chatting away and always wondered what they did for a living. My only goal for my next job was to have the freedom to work on my own time, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I liked public relations, I just didn’t like working in an office. I was also bored a lot of the time, and the other younger people in my office were in other departments, so I didn’t get to interact with them much. I think had I worked in a different office I might have loved public relations, but instead I found myself unfulfilled.

During this time I was losing the weight I’d gained in college. The summer of my wedding, I had just reached my goal weight and was learning as much as I could about nutrition. I read nutrition books (Superfoods HealthStyle and Fit From Within were favorites) and yearned to share with others the knowledge I’d gained throughout my weight loss. Whenever nutrition counseling came up in conversation, people told me I had to be a Registered Dietitian or I wouldn’t get very far. At this point, I started researching. The nutrition field is so broad I realized dietitians worked in many industries beyond hospitals and long term care centers – I could have my own practice, write articles for famous magazines, have a Food Network show (long shot!), work in a gym, and more. The options in the field were endless, and I could piecemeal a career together.

Choosing A Program

My initial instinct was to research nutrition programs. But after some quick Googling, I realized there weren’t any in Charlotte. I pondered a degree in kinesiology and even had a few weeks when I decided I should go the personal training route. I even ordered the books for the ACSM exam! But after thumbing through them I realized that it was not muscles or movement I was really into, it was weight loss, food, cooking and healthy living.

I knew there was a nutrition program at UNC-Chapel Hill, so I emailed the head of the department there to learn more about what it would take to become an RD. She was the one who actually told me about Winthrop, a university just over the North/South Carolina border about 30 minutes from my home that had a didactic program in dietetics and an internship too. I had not bothered to include South Carolina in my search for programs assuming I would have to move to go out of state, but it was closer than I realized. I was thrilled to learn I might be able to become an RD where I already lived. I immediately emailed Winthrop and set up an appointment with the director to see what it would take to become an RD.

1) A bachelor’s degree – check

2) 2 years of nutrition courses, plus lots of chemistry

3) A dietetic internship (which Winthrop had, although admission was not guaranteed)

4) Pass the RD exam

This was no “nutrition certificate” quick fix. This was a second degree.

Winthrop required that I enroll as a graduate master-seeking student since I already had a bachelor’s, so I would be working towards a Masters in Nutrition and my RD at the same time. The way Winthrop’s program works, all of the nutrition courses are prerequisites of one another so you can’t do it any faster than 2 years – including two summers of summer school. But a big plus of the program was that I could take the sciences and nutrition courses at the same time rather than taking a bunch of science perquisites before I could get to the subject that I was really info: nutrition. That was a HUGE plus. I knew it would be an intense two years to fit all of the nutrition and science courses in at once, but it would be worth it. On top of that, the masters would take a year beyond, but at least I would be an RD and could work somewhere part time in the field by that point.

Making A Decision

Chemistry.

Statistics.

Biochem.

Organic.

Yuck.

I flip-flopped back away from the idea of committing to the program. I had just gotten married and just could not see myself studying Biochem and Organic in the evenings. The program was going to take 2.5 years, including a 6-month, unpaid dietetic internship. My life as a sophisticated corporate account executive would completely change. But a few weeks later work was particularly boring and I decided it was dumb to think I was 24 years old and “too old” for undergrad chemistry classes. It was nutrition! My favorite topic. And I was still excited about the possibility of a career helping others get healthier. The director I met with said that tons of adults go back and get their RD and I wouldn’t be the only married “adult” in Chem 101. She also said many of the students in their program came from liberal arts backgrounds. The fact that there would be others just like me was very comforting.

About that time I took a beach trip with my family and they all seemed supportive of the back-to-school idea. So I decided to do it. I was too late for fall semester registration, so I set my goal on January 2008.

During the fall of 2007, I took my first nutrition course in the evenings at Queens University. It was essentially nutrition 101, and it was a once-a-week evening course that I went to after work. Among a class of nursing students, I was the only nutrition-degree-seeking student. Life was busy at my PR day job, but I was already on a life-changing high. In December of 2007 I gave 3 weeks’ notice and became a student again.

PostThe Kat’s Outta The Bag

PostMy first chemistry class January 2008.

kath-nerd.JPG

Rethinking The Budget

Many people ask me how I was financially able to quit my job and go back to school. Without getting too personal, Matt and I had been saving and I intended to get a part-time job to help pay the bills. And thankfully there were two of us to support each other. We definitely were worried about money, but we had already calculated our base living expenses and knew we could get by so long as I had a supplemental income while I was in school. We were very lucky to not have any student loans from undergrad and we both owned our cars. Our living expenses at the time were very low.

And recently, I had started KERF!! Shortly into my first semester back to school I got a BlogHer ad on my sidebar. At first the ad was just a nice bonus, but then KERF grew and so did my income. My blog became a nice part-time job, and considering it was in the nutrition field, I kept at it. A few freelance projects fell into my lap that also helped make ends meet. I worked hard on the blog, and it was really nice to have a part-time job that was flexible – my long-term goal! Time went on, I gained readers (little by little – there was never a big breakthrough spike) and my income grew to match. Over the course of my time in school, KERF slowly went from a little hobby to a big job.

The Courses

PostFirst day of classes!

PostPacked lunches + study sessions

Classes were overall interesting, challenging and at times, fun. About half of the nutrition program is science (chemistry, physiology, microbiology and the like.) I was able to take some of these at a community college to reduce my commute (and the cost!) but Winthrop required us to take all of the nutrition courses in their department. I really enjoyed the nutrition courses – topics such as Nutrition Through The Lifespan, Food Science, Sports Nutrition and more -  but the chemistry was the biggest waste of time ever. I asked if I could skip the first chemistry class that I had essentially taken in high school, but I was told I couldn’t without passing the final exam – which I knew I couldn’t do since the topics were so specific. So I memorized the periodic table – again­ – and took tests on solids, liquids and gases – again – and wasted a semester with an A. Chem II was even worse!!! It wasn’t until Organic and Biochem that I finally felt like the chemistry courses were providing a nutrition foundation. Having gone through all of the semesters and having taken the RD exam, I can now say that all of that general chemistry stuff had nothing to do with anything else! And let’s not even get me started ranting about the labs. Mixing chemicals for hours and hours and hours taught me nothing about nutrition that I couldn’t have learned in a 10 minute lecture.

PostMaking soap in organic lab

[I look happy here but I was probably not!]

DSC06489

Here’s a map of my course work. It indicates which courses transferred from Davidson (thank goodness those counted!), which I took at the community college and which I took at Winthrop and when:

clip_image001

January – July 2010: Dietetic Internship!

August 2010 – RD Exam

The hardest class I took over the course of my program was Microbiology, with Organic and Physiology in second and third place. [Micro was my one and only B and the professor was a turkey!!] The Nutrition courses were challenging in my program, but they weren’t impossible. The workload was tough, but the actual information wasn’t difficult to understand. Remember, if you’re going into nutrition, it should be your favorite subject! The science is hard, but you just have to survive. It’s the nutrition courses that matter most.

PostThe 12 Hours of Chemistry

PostStudy sessions in the hammock

Post: Meals on campus

An example week workload I found in an old post:

I’ve got a ton to get accomplished today for the upcoming week, which includes:

  • a major Micro test (that I am totally unprepared for)
  • A Micro lab test too – both on Wednesday night.
  • major meal plan assignment due for Foodservice (I gotta finish this today or I’m screwed)
  • 2 short papers and a set of questions for Nutrition in the Lifespan
  • Homework (20 questions) in Organic
  • A quiz in Organic on Friday
  • Organic lab prep
  • Organic written lab report
  • And all the usual textbook readings
  • Plus we have a benefit auction on Thursday night!

One of my favorite ways to study was to take notes on my computer in Powerpoint (I was lucky to have a handful of professors that allowed laptops) and then print out the slides as flashcards. It was such a time saver!

IMG_5200

One big surprise I had going into the program: foodservice. Did you know 1/3 of the material is foodservice? Meaning: the temperature of refrigerators, the history of employee management, how to wash dishes, how to prepare and preserve food for the masses. I didn’t know that until the first day of my first foodservice class. To those who are very interested in the clinical side of nutrition, foodservice can be a total drag. And it was! Very pointless at times. Yet, here I am, the owner of a bakery using all of the foodservice knowledge daily. How ironic! But be forewarned: nutrition is not all about vitamins and calories! There’s a lot of other stuff that the ADA makes you learn for the RD exam that is often out of date or so broad of a scope that there really should be multiple kinds of RD. I didn’t mind the foodservice so much because it came so easy to me being well-versed in the kitchen and all.

PostStudy sessions!

PostFood science experiments + here

PostFood Composition lab

I survived one summer of summer school where I took 3 courses at once that took up my whole day – including a chem lab at night. I was in class from 8am to 9pm Monday – Thursday. It was INTENSE. But I survived. I did homework on Fridays. I played on Saturday and I prepared for the week on Sunday.

PostALL DAY [AND NIGHT] SUMMER SCHOOL BEGINS

The courses got harder as I neared the internship, but they also got more practical. My second summer I worked with an RD who owned a private practice in Charlotte. It was a great experience and I really enjoyed it. Since a private practice was my goal going in, I was happy to know I really liked working with clients. And I loved the flexible hours!

I enjoyed my time at Winthrop and made some good friends. We had fun bringing potluck lunches and studying together. My courses prepared me well for my internship and even more so for the RD exam. It was convenient and inexpensive to attend (since I got in-state tuition for being a Charlotte resident). Some of the professors were excellent; others not so much. And some of my complaints about the experience were out of Winthrop’s control (like all the general chemistry). I found most of the courses challenging (I got all A’s in my nutrition courses!) and felt I learned a lot. Had it been more intense, I think I would have felt overwhelmed juggling my adult life at the same time. I can’t even imagine having kids and doing this! But people did in my program and they survived. Every semester I seemed to have one killer class (usually a science!), two medium (the nutritions) and one much easier class. My one big gripe was that I felt at times that the school was a bit out of date. I’m not sure if this is a reflection of Winthrop or the ADA as a whole, but often I felt the blog world and our food trends and the latest research in women’s magazines were 10 steps ahead of the game.

The Beginning Of The End: The Internship

IMG_9371 (427x640)

I only applied to Winthrop’s internship because I felt I had a pretty good chance at getting in and didn’t feel I needed to spend time or money on other applications unless I did not get accepted to Winthrop. My grades were excellent, and I knew they gave a bit of an edge to Winthrop students. My backup plan was another internship elsewhere a year later if Winthrop’s didn’t work out, but luckily it did! I was very fortunate to bypass the official match because I was admitted as an early admission candidate. (Basically it meant I was in a honors spot ;) ) That was a big WHEW and I was so thankful to have the weight off my shoulders.

PostFirst day of my dietetic internship

My internship started in January 2010 and went through July 2010. I was placed in four different rotations that covered the 3 major categories of nutrition (foodservice, community, clinical):

    1. Rowan-Salisbury School System (a rural school district an hour from my house)
    2. Mecklenburg County Health Department
    3. LiveWELL Carolinas (a wellness corporation at our major medical center)
    4. Carolinas Medical Center – Main Campus

I knew going into the internship it was going to be a huge undertaking. KERF had become a full-time job at this point, and I was blogging my heart out 3 times a day – plus doing multiple freelance projects at one time. We were also working on opening the bakery! And selling our house and moving. And I was training for my first half marathon. It was a really busy time. I was able to blog my breakfast very quickly in the mornings, lunch from my iPhone or photographed as I packed it up the night before, and dinner at home. I was miserable inside, but I did my best to not let it affect my outward personality and those around me. I managed to eat well, exercise most days and keep all the balls I was juggling in the air.

School Foodservice

IMG_0044 (640x480) (3)

I enjoyed working in the schools, and the staff in Salisbury was very fun to work with. I enjoyed kids, but I also felt very crushed by the limitations of school foodservice systems. It was an eye-opening experience. I considered this rotation “the dark ages” because I spent two hours everyday commuting to the job in the dark. It was winter, and it was cold and dark all the time except when I was at work!

PostA month of healthy cafeteria food

PostVegetables for kids

PostSchool lunch iron chef

PostLunch Lady Leftovers

Post: My last internship cafeteria meal

IMG_0077 (640x480)

Community: Health Dept

Post: Day One at the Health Dept

Post: A day at WIC

My rotation at the health department turned out better than I had been expecting. I was impressed by all of the projects they were working on – all kinds of community gardens and programs to make healthy eating and exercise more accessible. My time there was short, but I felt the projects I did made a great use of it. The presentation I gave on Real Food is one I still use today!

Community: Wellness

PostDay 1 at LiveWELL

LiveWELL was part of my community rotation and I helped the team there with programs for the employees of Carolinas Medical Center. Our major project was a weight loss support club that did weekly weigh ins, nutrition materials and tracked success. The program was great but I felt a bit out of the loop. The people were great though, and I liked the versatility of the job. I also had the most freedom in this rotation, and I really appreciated that.

Clinical

Photo

Post: Day One as a clinical dietitian in training

My final rotation and the most challenging, intense and long was clinical at CMC – Main hospital. It’s Charlotte’s major trauma center and so we saw a huge variety of patients. I enjoyed clinical a lot more than I thought I would. It was definitely my weakest subject going in (and is not Winthrop’s strong point either) so I worried I would be unprepared. I’d say I kept just barely afloat the whole time, although I don’t think I really excelled in this rotation. There was a lot to learn, and knowing in just a few months I would be moving to open a bakery left me a bit unmotivated. I rotated with the other RDs through the floors of the hospital – from cardiac to trauma to the ICUs. I enjoyed writing notes and the organization that came with clinical, but it also required lots of concentration and focus, which was hard for me. During clinical I also lost my grandmother Younger and had to take an emergency trip to New Jersey, and also squeezed in trips to New York for OpenSky and Charlottesville for the bakery. As a result of the unexpected travel, I had to work several weekends in a row with little rest. There was just too much going on by this point, and I was ready for my internship to be over!

And just as fast as it began, it was overA look back.

IMG_6055 (640x427)

The Final Test

After I finished my internship, I took a much needed vacation and headed to the beach for a week. Later that month we moved to Charlottesville, and I couldn’t wait to finally put 100% effort into my blog, my freelance work and the bakery.

I did not end up finishing the Masters in Nutrition that I set out to do. Moving to Charlottesville and opening the bakery took priority over staying in Charlotte for another year to get a masters. The classes that I had remaining were all research, stats and a thesis, and I just didn’t think they would add much to my career. Plus I knew I’d be working for myself, and as I like to say, myself does not require a masters degree to hire myself : ) It would have been nice to finish, but, to the disappointment of my mother, I don’t think spending thousands more dollars would have been worth it.

To prepare for the RD exam, we took the Jean Inman course during our internship. I came away with a binder of notes. And reading notes is not how I learn material! I’m a flash card girl, and I knew I needed flashcards to sort out what I knew and what I didn’t know. I bought a set of RD In A Flash cards (which look like the site is now down?) from a friend and got to studying. I worked through all 500 or so cards a little bit each week, but I wouldn’t say I studied that hard. I felt I had a really good foundation and just needed to memorize some of those tricky numbers, formulas and rules in each of the topics. As the time got closer to take the test, I picked up my studying a little bit, but I didn’t give it more than a few hours each week.

IMG_9727 (427x640)

The day before the test…I was at a blog conference! I went to BlogHer and had a few days in Hillsborough before I flew out again to attend the Healthy Living Summit. Since the RD exam wasn’t offered in Charlottesville, I decided to take it at a testing center in Greensboro. I studied all day the day before and then the big day was here. I kept it a secret from KERF just in case I didn’t pass!

IMG_9747 (427x640)

The exam wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either. I felt like I was pulling the answers out of a single lecture from a single course a year ago! But somehow, the answers came naturally. The test felt really random to me – meaning the questions that kept popping up in the study materials that I had spent hours memorizing weren’t there, but a bunch of really odd questions were. That doesn’t mean they were hard questions – they were just unexpected. I was really nervous during the test, but all of a sudden:

CONGRATULATIONS!

2.5 years of work paid off!

PostBecoming an RD!!!

RD Ever After

Most people think RDs have to work in hospitals, nursing homes and other clinical places, but really the field is very broad! That’s what appealed to me most about it years ago, and that’s what I love about it now. When I decided to become an RD a few years ago, I never would have guessed that I would be a professional blogger and writer. While my blog is not focused on the specifics of nutrition, I consider it to be a celebration of healthy food and an example of how to love healthy eating, something that as an RD I’m proud to do. Similarly, I never could have predicted that Matt and I would be bakery owners! Our bakery’s focus is on whole grains and real food, and as the voice of the Great Harvest Cville, I’m glad to have RD behind my name as I stand behind our products.

Since becoming an RD, I’ve had a few people ask me if I feel bad that I “wasted my degree.” Not true!! I’m using it in a very creative ways – from blogging to writing to speaking. Perhaps in the future I will take on clients, seek more local opportunities, or write a book proposal. Had we not opened the bakery, I might have sought out a private practice online like some of my colleagues have done, but KERF and the bakery are taking up so much of my time that I think time is better spent focusing on them. And as my mom says, education is never wasted!

So You Want To Be An RD?

  • Start by researching programs in your area. Email the directors and find out the course plan, cost and admission requirements for each school. Figure out if it’s a possibility.
  • Eatright.org has a nice information page on Becoming an RD as well as search tools to find programs in your area.
  • Prevention RD has a great Q+A written by several RDs (including me!) about their experiences in their programs and their fields
  • Learn more about the field by contacting some RDs in your area and seeing if you can shadow them for a day.
  • If you’re already in a program, get any work experience you can in the field. Work in a hospital as a diet tech or see if you can intern at a private practice. It will only help you get ahead and get into an internship.

RDs with Online Practices

A List Of RDs Online

[Please email me if you’d like to be added!]

RDs In Training

Thanks for reading!

{ 266 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kerry August 3, 2011 at 1:48 am

Wow – I can see why this post took you so long to
write, its a mammoth essay!!

Good to learn how much work went into your rd degree- well done!

Reply

2 Barbie Tyler June 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hi thanks for sharing your story. I too had completed my first degree in ex physiology and minor in dietetics. I never finished rd program. I lost steam at 24 and just wanted to work in wellness before more school. Married two kids later at 35 I want to finish rd degree in abt two years. There are not too many options that I am aware of I would love to take courses online. I am going to research your websites and all your info. Thanks so much for sharing your story and info. What an accomplishment. You followed your dream. Congrats.
Barbie Tyler
South Louisiana

Reply

3 Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl August 3, 2011 at 7:55 am

Frankly, I found organic chem labs insanely boring, and I majored in chemistry! Love this write-up about what it takes to get your RD. Very insightful! :)

Reply

4 Heather @ Side of Sneakers August 3, 2011 at 8:06 am

This is SUCH an awesome post- I love how comprehensive it is about the whole RD process, and I love reading your story from start to finish! {Well not, finish…you know what I mean;)}

Reply

5 Allie (Live Laugh Eat) August 3, 2011 at 8:17 am

I still remember [nervously] writing my first email to you almost 3 years ago to talk about becoming an RD and meet up (we just ended up eating bahaha). Thanks for writing this up so I know JUST how many science courses I’ll have to take if I ever want to become an RD :).

Reply

6 Megan August 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

This post is so motivating for me. I have embarked on a journey to earn a Masters in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and my biggest fear is getting so overwhelmed then fizzling out. If you can do it, so can I. I love how frank and honest you are about the whole process of going back to school and earning a second degree. It can be rough but in the end it will be worth it and that is what keeps me going. Thank you so much for putting it all in perspective.

Reply

7 Madelin August 3, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hi Kath! Great post, you have done so well! I remember reading during your study days and thinking “how does she do it?!”. I’m studying some basic Nutrition courses at the moment and but don’t think I will go down the Biol/Chem path myself. Thanks for writing this!

Reply

8 Annie@stronghealthyfit August 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

Thank you so much for this post! I’m thinking of going back to school to eventually become an RD, and with a Bachelor’s in Sociology/Women’s studies, I have a lot of work to do! Loved hearing your story.

Reply

9 Emily Ruth August 3, 2011 at 8:46 am

Hey Kath! Thank you so much for sharing this! As a new blogger and a soon-to-be Master of Nutrition/RD-pursuing student, your post gives me comfort that it can indeed be done. You are such an inspiration! Thank you for all you do!

Reply

10 Krissy @ Shiawase Life August 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

This is an awesome post, Kath! You really put a lot of work into it and I will be passing it along to a good friend’s sister of mine who recently became a RD :) I think she would enjoy it as much as I did!!

Reply

11 Caitlin August 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

GREAT post! My sister is on the road to becoming an RD, and is taking all of her prerequisites right now, while working full time. I know she’d be tickled if you checked out her blog..just in the beginning stages, but it’s great so far, and I know she really loves doing it! http://littlefoodcourt.wordpress.com

Reply

12 Jennifer August 3, 2011 at 8:54 am

This was really interesting to read. I love hearing about other people’s courses in life to get where they are.

Reply

13 Kate August 3, 2011 at 9:02 am

Great post! I am a RD with a Masters in Nutrition and just finished my MBA. I work in the food industry and absolutely love it! Education is never wasted and you can do so much with a degree in nutrition.

Reply

14 Jennifer August 3, 2011 at 9:05 am

I love this! I am also an RD, so reading this took me down my own memory lane of becoming an RD. What a crazy ride :)

I work in an outpatient dialysis center now and love it! I’ve also worked for an eating disorder center, hospital, and nursing home. I feel where I’m at now is a good combination of all of those. I would also love to be able to work for myself but just don’t have the funds to start that up just yet. It’s nice to know that’s always an option though ;)

Thanks again for sharing!

Reply

15 cathy August 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

kath, this was a fascinating read. hearty congrats to you for all you accomplished: getting through all the course work, the internships etc, but also just following your heart when you needed to. thanks so much for all the time you put into sharing this information. and all the best in the future!

Reply

16 Jennifer August 3, 2011 at 9:09 am

You are an inspiration! Many people would have stopped during those rough times you experienced or would not have pursued the degree at all. But you knew what you wanted to do and you didn’t let anything stop you. Be proud of yourself!!!

Did you have to take chemistry to learn about different foods and what they consist of?

Reply

17 Kori August 3, 2011 at 9:22 am

Terrific post & Oh. My. Gosh did you work incredibly hard!! I’m entering my 1st year of grad school this fall for my MS in Public Health Nutrition, & I’m really nervous, excited, & anxious! I’ll definitely keep in mind just how much effort you put forth for your degree & RD certification. You are an absolute inspiration to all! Thank you for this post!!

Reply

18 Lauri (Redheadrecipes.com) August 3, 2011 at 9:38 am

AWESOME POST!!!!

Oh, man! Looking back over all the hard work is crazy!! I still can’t believe I ‘had the smarts’ to pass chemistry ;) Even though I don’t really use anything from those Chem classes….

It was ALL worth it though!!!

Reply

19 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

:) You are very smart!

Reply

20 Jen August 3, 2011 at 9:40 am

This post was awesome! I’m currently taking pre-reqs to go back to school to be an RD, (I have a bachelors in communications so I’m starting from scratch) and I’m doing it part-time. It feels like its going to take forever but this post reminded me that it will be worth it in the end. Thanks for this! :-)

Reply

21 inspir-ed August 3, 2011 at 9:48 am

Thanks for this honest and insightful summary of your journey to becoming an RD. I am currently at a 9-5 job and crave the flexibility on a non-traditional desk job. I’m very interested in the food world and am looking into how I can put those two together. Yet another thing to consider…

Reply

22 Kate August 3, 2011 at 9:49 am

This is a fantastic ‘story’ – and Congratulations!! I’m about to start my master’s degree in nutrition, and my goal is to be an R.D someday. This post was really helpful for us future dietetics students out there, thanks so much for taking the time to put it together! :)

Reply

23 Dawn August 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thanks for the great insight into your journey from college grad to RD. Not only is it interesting and helpful for those seeking a similar path, but it’s also wonderfully written,capturing your unique laid-back tone. It’s always inspirational to read the stories of people who make a big change to pursue the life they want. Congratulations on where you’ve ended up!

Reply

24 Joni August 3, 2011 at 9:59 am

Thanks so much for this post! I am stuck in corporate America here in Charlotte, NC as well, and nutrition+fitness has been my hobby and passion for almost two years now… but thinking about giving up a paying job to go back to school is so overwhelming to me right now. I’ve been debating it for a long time and this post really helped, especially given that it is directly relatable to what I could do (at Winthrop)… thank you :)

Reply

25 Sylvia @ My Attempt at Balanced Living August 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

Thanks so much for this very indepth and awesome post! Your journey so far has been amazing. I think what really impressed me was that you were able to balance it all. Even when it was rough (and miserable) you still did what needed to be done, so kudos to you. :)

Reply

26 Jane August 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

Thank you so much for this post! I have been researching about what it would take to be Dietitian and this post was VERY helpful! Congrats to you. I read your blog often and I’m so very proud for you and your husband!

Reply

27 E August 3, 2011 at 10:16 am

Thanks for writing all of this up! I’m not an RD, nor do I want to be, but it was fascinating :)

Reply

28 Amelia August 3, 2011 at 10:25 am

Great write up about your journey! I remember when I met up with you for coffee & a walk in Charlotte and you talked about how you were not looking forward to the clinical rotation at all. It looks like life worked out perfectly! :)

I have my last two finals next week (one being micro–I can’t wait!) then I’m finished with academics. Wahoo!! I have a 3-month internship to complete this fall as part of my curriculum, then I will be applying for my DI this winter.

You wouldn’t want to sell/rent your flashcards, would you?

Reply

29 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 11:05 am

I already sold them to someone else!

Reply

30 Veronica August 3, 2011 at 10:26 am

Thank you so much for writing this! Last year I quiet my corporate job to go back to school, and as I think about the 2 more years of school that I need to complete my certification and masters in education, I wonder if I made the right decision. It feels so lonely sometimes, but it is nice to know that others like you have successfully gone through similar journeys!

Reply

31 Laura @ Cookies vs. Carrots August 3, 2011 at 10:27 am

Congratulations on your degree! I am glad that you went for it! You’re never too old for some additional education :)

Reply

32 Laura August 3, 2011 at 10:31 am

I really enjoyed reading this post in detail! It could be because I’m a career counselor at a liberal arts school, but I enjoyed learning more about your journey. You are a great example of what I try to teach my students about every day. I think Davidson’s alumni magazine needs to write about you!

Reply

33 Sarah @ May I Have Dessert? August 3, 2011 at 10:35 am

Thank you so much for writing this! It’s absolutely the most informative post abt this subject that I have read. I’ve only recently decided to pursue a degree to become an RD (I’m 25, a little late in the game) and have been looking for this type of information! Such an inspiration. :)

Reply

34 emily August 3, 2011 at 10:37 am

This is great Kath! I am starting my Coordinated Program in August (my first year was Didatic and just classes, now I’m doing my internship and classes all at once for the next 2 years) and (re)reading about your experiences is getting me scared and excited!

Reply

35 Alysa (InspiredRD) August 3, 2011 at 10:53 am

Wow, what an amazing and comprehensive post. This will be helpful to anyone who is considering a nutrition degree. I love that you talk about how broad the RD field is. I have found that since the boom of social media, the field has become even broader. I couldn’t have imagined the opportunities I have found through social media when I was just starting out as an RD. I am very thankful though because I knew from the beginning that a clinical position wasn’t for me. I am enjoying connecting with other RDs and seeing how everyone is creatively using their degree. Thank you for including my blog link, I really appreciate it!

Reply

36 Nikki T August 3, 2011 at 11:03 am

Glad you shared this, Kath!
I’ve been on and off looking into becoming an RD, but never fully commit…mostly due to money, which is a bit sad :(
Maybe one day…!

Reply

37 Ann Dunaway Teh August 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

This is a great post about becoming an RD and brought back many memories! In many ways, it describes my own journey (even down to being a Davidson grad – there are several of us in the field now!). I am now in private practice and it gives me the flexibility I need/love as a mom. Social media is great and I’m slowly growing my own blog: Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish (http://www.dunawaydietetics.com/category/blog-posts/). I have found your blog incredibly helpful and inspirational. Thanks!

Reply

38 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 11:47 am

Hey Ann! thanks for stopping in :) I’ll add you to the list!

Reply

39 Jess @ atasteofconfidence August 3, 2011 at 11:14 am

Thanks so much for this post! I am going into my senior year of college and am thinking about nutrition, but the science classes scare me (I have a liberal arts background, too). It’s also a time commitment I am not fully ready for. It’d be nice to make some money and not have to live @ home:). The program would have taken you 4 years, right?

Reply

40 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 11:51 am

Winthrop’s courses are during the daytime, so I don’t think it would be possible to work during the day full time, but you could definitely take half the course load and and it would take closer to 3-4 years

Reply

41 Marci August 3, 2011 at 11:21 am

I really admire your story and it was fun to read. I can relate to the desk job and wanting more. I found my “more” in another way too. I also had the realization that 24 is too young to be unhappy and you have to find a way to change it! I find the RD path so interesting and many days wish I did it too! I love how you made the degree your own and can always have the knowledge and skills.

Reply

42 Rebecca @ Runner with an Appetite August 3, 2011 at 11:24 am

Such a great post! I am in my first post-college job and I, too, feel the inklings to do something I am more passionate about (for me, it would be baking/pastry arts). It was really great to hear your journey and you’re quite the inspiration!

Reply

43 wendy sue August 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

I didn’t know you went to Winthrop, my first job was there as a counselor in the athletic dept. I was only there a year before moving to Cville. It was an interesting experience for a girl from Connecticut to move to South Carolina!

Reply

44 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 11:53 am

No way! Maybe we were there together!?

Reply

45 wendy sue August 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

I think I might have a few years on you- I was there was aug 02-aug 03 and then I moved to cville.

Reply

46 Hillary August 3, 2011 at 11:56 am

Wow, what a long road you’ve been down, Kath! It must feel so great to look back on this and see all you’ve accomplished.

Reply

47 Kathryn August 3, 2011 at 11:59 am

Definitely NOT a wasted degree. Being an RD gives you a lot more credibility in your blog and sets you apart from other food bloggers….nutrition info from an RD!!

Reply

48 Caroline August 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm

Hi Kath!

I’ve been following your blog daily for months now, and I’m so glad you did this post! Our stories are very similar, and I am in almost the same situation you were in. I’m graduating with my Bachelor’s Degree this Saturday (!) in Community Health Education. I’ve known for a few years that nutrition was my main interest of health, and I was pretty sure I wanted to be a Registered Dietitian. I thought I could just go to graduate school and get a Master’s Degree in nutrition, because the university I’m getting my undergraduate degree in doesn’t have a dietetics program. I didn’t know I had to have the DPD requirements before I could apply to a graduate Dietetics Internship.

In January, I researched schools and found a program I liked, and I went and talked to a professor/advisor. Then I found out that it will take me almost 4 more years to complete the DPD, get my Master’s Degree, and complete the Dietetic Internship. I was pretty upset because I so did not want to do 4 more years of school after already working hard for 4 years. But, I’ve decided that it’s really worth it, because nutrition is my passion and I want to be a Registered Dietitian. I did an internship this summer as a requirement for undergraduate health degree at a wellness center where 4 other dietitians work, and I loved it!

So, in a few weeks I’m going to start doing the DPD requirements just like you did (Organic, Biochem, Microbiology, and nutrition courses). It’s going to take a few years, but eventually I will be a Registered Dietitian too! I’m glad you posted your story, and at the perfect time too, it’s given me a boost in my motivation, and I know I’m not alone in this route that I’m taking.

I’m interested in how you work for yourself, and write articles for magazines and do freelance stuff…how did you initially get involved in that? I think I would like to work in community nutrition eventually, but also do some freelance stuff on the side, so I would appreciate any advice! Thanks so much, Kath, and I LOVE your blog!

-Caroline

Reply

49 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I’ve been lucky to have my blog as a way for editors to find me. But if you’re just getting started, find out (via websites) who the editors are and introduce yourself via email and send them a writing sample and a list of ideas you have for articles. Chances are they need content as much as you want to write.

Good luck to you!

Reply

50 Nicole, RD August 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Wow! You have an interesting path to becoming an RD – I love hearing of all the roads that lead people to dietetics :) Your posts on chemistry take me back to the days…AHHH! But, it was worth it!

Thanks for linking to the RD Q&A, it has been so well-received! I would love to be added to your list of RD bloggers :) Keep the awesome blogging, girl!

Reply

51 Denise August 3, 2011 at 12:49 pm

Kath,
Thank you so much for posting this detailed account of your RD experience. I hate science or I would think about doing it myself. I am a math professor instead! :) I love your blog, and I feel like I have learned a lot about food since discovering your blog. Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re good at it!

Reply

52 Katie of Cabbage Ranch August 3, 2011 at 12:53 pm

This is a fabulous post. It’s so interesting to read about the evolution of your career! Thanks for taking the time to narrate it in this way.

Reply

53 Victoria @ The Pursuit of Hippieness August 3, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Thank you SO much for this post… I’m currently in college and I’m definitely interested in becoming an RD in addition to my liberal arts degree somewhere down the line, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it. Reading this makes me feel SO much more informed and encouraged that even though it will be a lot of work, it is possible! Thanks again!

Reply

54 Clare @ Fitting It All In August 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

This is SO HELPFUL Kath. Thanks so much for all the work you put into this post. I will be referring back in the coming weeks!

Reply

55 Angela (Oh She Glows) August 3, 2011 at 1:09 pm

LOVE this post! So proud of you both for following your dreams.
As someone who has a masters in social psychology and spent 7 years in school for it…I would agree that education is never a ‘waste’ no matter what you end up doing down the road. Sometimes the twists and turns in life are the greatest!

Reply

56 Ellen @ Undercover Runner Eats August 3, 2011 at 1:15 pm

I’m entering my Junior year in my Dietetics program at Michigan State University. I’m so lost as to where I apply for my internship! There’s a good chance I will be engaged or nearly engagement when internships start and I don’t want to be spending 1-2 years away from my fiancee, but he doesn’t graduate himself until December 2012. I feel like that cuts it so close to determining where to apply

Reply

57 Cora August 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

How are the job prospects? I read a list (which I always take with a grain of salt) that ranked this in the top ten degrees not to get because of lack of jobs.

Reply

58 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 8:03 pm

As far as I know they are great. I’ve actually seen the RD on the list of the BEST job degrees!! Healthcare has ever-increasing needs. Most of my RD friends found jobs.

Reply

59 lauri (redheadrecipes.com) August 4, 2011 at 9:50 am

Hi Cora! I work a an RD in the Charleston, SC area and we ALWAYS have job openings! I probably get an email 2-3x per month regarding new job openings in South carolina for RDs!

Reply

60 Christina August 3, 2011 at 1:29 pm

Wow Kath, this is a great bio of your journey to becoming and RD and ultimately, where you are today! When I reached out to you a few months ago for advice on if I could realistically become an RD, I have to admit that I was disappointed in your response (it’s a lot of work, not sure how someone could do it with a full time job, as a single mother, etc), but now that I’ve read this I can completely appreciate your advice and the work you put in to get where you are! I applaud your tenacity and hard work and your strength in getting through it all and coming out the other side happy and successful in your life. You’re truly an inspiration!

Reply

61 Madeleine August 3, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Kath, I stumbled across your blog a few months ago when looking for oatmeal variations. :) I love your posts!.. especially this one about becoming an RD! I just completed two years at comm college and will be entering a university this fall as a junior to complete the dietetic major. I am so excited to start taking all the nutrition classes! Thanks for the Prevention RD link with all the Q&A. I love the insight from other RDs. (Also, I agree about chemistry- ugh! Haha. :) I did, however, have an amazing anatomy & physiology teacher, so I’m really interested in the science-y and diagnostic side of nutrition + the body.)

Reply

62 Kristina August 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I just wanted to say thanks so much for writing this, I recently decided to change my major to nutrition and become an RD but my only fears were what the process really entails and also what my job options are at the end. I love all of the detail you gave and I know this is the right path for me and I’m so excited to get started (except the Chemistry, but I’ll survive).

Also, I live in San Diego so if you are having a get together on Thursday with other ladies I’d love to meet you all!

Reply

63 Carrie August 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Thank you so much for taking the time to write this!!!!!!! I have been thinking about going back to school for Nutrition for years. This is great info that is going to help me make my decision. Thank you so much for sharing your journey!!

Reply

64 Baking 'n' Books August 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Great read and success. Thank you for your honesty. I’m very impressed that your blog became something financially able to support you! I can never understand how. But it’s a lucky (and earned) thing.

Reply

65 Hillary [Nutrition Nut on the Run] August 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Wow, this page must have taken some time to create. You should be so proud, and dang those who say you’ve “wasted” your degree – so NOT true.

Reply

66 lynn @ the actor's diet August 3, 2011 at 4:37 pm

loved reading your journey, kath, from your perspective. you have so many talents, so many stories, and it’s what makes you a unique, whole person.

Reply

67 M August 3, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Wow – what a journey! Congrats on having all that work behind you. I’m a little curious to know why you referred to the developmental psychology course as “fluff”. Wouldn’t this be where they would teach topics like eating disorders and such? Or conditions that can be helped by diet (e.g. for some people – or many ? – with autism and the gluten-free/casein-free diet)? Then again it could also be the level of scientific/experimental research (sorry that’s the nerd in me) supporting the idea is still referred to as “questionable” and perhaps some universities/colleges hesitate to teach topics not proven by research… but it would be interesting to learn about how that works. Not that you mentioned this is a specific career focus of yours but I was just wondering if any of that (psychological conditions or other disability diagnoses and diet) was a part of the training you received? My training/profession is in psychology and special education, and my training didn’t quite cover this topic. I often think we overlook nutrition as part of a holistic approach to education/intervention – perhaps not so much as a “cure” (as not everything has a real cure) but to at least improve quality of life. Ok I’ve rambled enough!

Reply

68 KathEats August 3, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Oh gosh, I was in no way referring to the field of Psychology as fluff!! I hope it didn’t come across that way.

I would have been SO awesome to have a course on nutrition related developmental psychology. Everything you described – we needed a lot more education in ALL of those topics. But the reason I called it fluff was because I took it at a community college to simply satisfy a requirement and it was all about baby’s first steps and different learning methods and things. There was probably 10 things that related to my field (like infant tongue trusts) so I considered the class a waste of my memorization brain space. I really DO wish we had a nutrition psych class – that would have been incredible to study.

Reply

69 Mary Frances August 6, 2011 at 7:34 am

Well Kath, if there are not any nutrition psych classes offered at UVA after your children go off to school, maybe you could be the instructor; or if this is still an untapped class universally in RD programs nationwide, maybe you could write and publish the textbook for this field of study to be integrated into the curriculum.

Reply

70 Sara August 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm

Thanks so much for writing this! I toy with the idea of becoming an R.D. but struggle with all of the pre-req’s I’d need, and what I would do with my degree afterward – would it be worth all the trouble I went through. This whole post will be such a great resource whenever I decide to finally make the decision.

Reply

71 Rebecca August 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I appreciate this so much! Your journey is inspiring. I’m a RD in Training, getting ready to start my second year and currently plugging through Organic Chem. I am not a science person and was a bit scared of the huge science load, but like you said, because loving Nutrition and keeping my end goal in sight makes it all worth it. And I actually really liked Microbiology!! :)
By the way, I think you are making great use of your degree. One of the things I love about the RD field is that it really allows for creativity!

Reply

72 Candy (Healthy in Candy Land) August 3, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Thank you for writing this post! Now that both of my kids will be in school full time this year I have started to think about “what I want to be when I grow up”, and I keep coming back to RD as my favorite thought. Thank you for all of the information to help me know where to start!

Reply

73 Robin August 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

Candy,
I actually went back to school to become a RD when my oldest started kindergarten. It’s funny, they think everyone has homework and has to study for tests! I think parents continuing their education serve as a great role model for their children. Go for your dreams!

Robin

Reply

74 Becca August 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Thank you for writing this, Kath. I never knew what it took to become an RD, until now! Thanks for explaining the process. I think food blogging is a great use of an RD: I trust you more than other bloggers who (no offense to them) pull their nutrition knowledge from random websites or food labels.

Reply

75 valerie August 3, 2011 at 7:17 pm

wow! you have accomplished so much! thank you for sharing, your story is very inspiring.

Reply

76 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 3, 2011 at 7:19 pm

I’m an RD in training too! I just have one more year of undergrad to go and then my internship. :D

It was so awesome to read this post because I could relate to it so much! Especially about hating chem labs haha!

Reply

77 kelly August 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I became an RD after getting my Master’s in Nutrition, while clinical nutrition was not for me as I am now working as a Pilates instructor, I don’t regret my decision to study nutrition for 8 years (including internship). I am looking for an avenue to use my degree currently and hopefully will find one soon! Add me to your list of RD’s please!

Reply

78 Kaci August 3, 2011 at 8:56 pm

CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS!! I have no idea how you did this…I would’ve gone insane!! I just started my first ever ‘real world’ job, and it is such a transition! Ahhh lol

Reply

79 Lorin August 3, 2011 at 9:08 pm

What an awesome and inspiring post! I remember I started reading your blog a few months before your internship, it’s cool to look back at it now. I want to be an RD but I don’t want to work in a hospital. I am happy that being an RD offers a broad spectrum of employment. I’m only going into my second year of college but the college I go to, starts you off right away in Nutrition, and so far I like it. However, this next year is going to be more focused on sciences (Chem, Bio, ect.) Your grades were awesome too! I am taking Chemistry again in the Fall, so hopefully I get it right this time around, I’m taking a more basic one because my high school chem was a joke, so I didn’t get a good foundation. Plus, a lot of the other classes I have to take are based around Chemistry (metabolism). Anyways, thanks for taking the time to post all of that history. I’m excited to meet you tommorow!

Reply

80 Lorin August 3, 2011 at 9:10 pm

When I visited Charlottesville a few weeks ago, I really enjoyed the University of Virginia campus, and I think it would be fun to have my internship there. Of course, I’m getting a little ahead of myself since I have about 3-4 years left, but it’s nice to look (although it’s pretty hard to get into).

Reply

81 Anne P August 3, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Aw, I loved this trip down memory lane! It’s been fun following along on your journey through the years :) I remember reading when you were still in PR (and so was I!)… man, that seems like ages ago!

xo

Reply

82 Meredith August 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Wow, this was so interesting! Since I have little interest in becoming an RD, the part I really identified with was the beginning of your story when you talked about feeling “chained to a cubicle” from 8-5 even if you didn’t have work! Ugh, so describes my life/job right now… I often struggle with where I see myself in the future, should I go for an advanced degree in my field (that I actually really enjoy… just not the office part so much) or should I do a complete 180 and become a realtor, even though it would be pretty hard to start a career in that right now. I’m really lucky in that I have a network I could use to get involved in that, I just need to DO IT in my spare time! It’s really inspiring to hear all that you accomplished while adult life/events were going on too (marriage, losing your grandmother, trips, etc.) – you’re like the Energizer Bunny! I’m so so so glad you and Matt moved to our little city and fell in love, just like I did 8 years ago :) Congrats to both of you on following your dreams!

Reply

83 Shelley August 3, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Hi Kath, wow that was a fantastic read!! Loved it. I just wanted to ask a couple of questions. I am enrolling in a degree in Nutrition next year here in Australia, super excited. Anyway i am really quite nervous as even though my admissions were accepted i am and always have been just awful at Maths, i just do NOT get it! So i was wondering how prevalent is Maths throughout the degree? How many hours did you dedicate study time/ homework per week and one finally question promise:) how much would you estimate a entry level DIetician would earn working in a clinic/practice? Sorry to pick your brain, i am a single mum with 2 kids and need to be financially stable! Thanks so much in advance!

Reply

84 KathEats August 4, 2011 at 8:41 am

Hey Shelley,
It wasn’t a ton of math. The nutrition math was just basic stuff and the hardest part was probably in the general chemistry courses, but still, more science than math. I studied a lot right before tests – I have no idea how many hours per week because I never counted. Maybe 15? I’m really not all that sure about salaries in Australia, but I think they start around $35-40K here.

Reply

85 Carly, RD August 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Kath,

I LOVE your blog and have been following it for a few years now. I to was a liberal studies major about to take my upper division classes at San Diego State University when I decided to change my major to Nutrition. I was a bit apprehensive in wanting to become an RD due to the politics and growing up with an organic garden in my backyard, but I am so happy I did the RD route! I remember going back to the community college while taking nutrition course at SDSU and taking the dreaded O-Chem course! Then, choosing a dietetic internship and praying to get in… But, I ended getting it! I know first hand what you mean by the RD Exam being odd… As if all the studying you did does not apply… You described the test perfectly… I feel I could give lectures on how to pass the RD exam successfully now. Yes, you are right an RD has so many paths one can take. From a traveling RD, private practice, to working in policy and public health. If you and your husband are ever up in the Napa Valley, California (Yountville), be sure to swing by our wine tasting room located on the main street in Yountville for some delicious wine. Please be sure to try the Carly’s Cuvee Chard and Clark Syrah. If you go in the summer-time be sure to book a “Secret Garden Tour” with my brother, Ryan Hill. The tour details are located on my families website and was recently featured in the San Francisco Chronicle. Keep up the amazing blogging on your love for real food and passion for nutrition :) All the best!

Reply

86 KathEats August 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

I sure hope we can get to Napa again soon! Glad to hear you felt the same way about the exam

Reply

87 Molly @ RDexposed August 4, 2011 at 6:53 am

I loved reading about your journey! Thanks for including me in your RD list!

Have you paid your CDR dues that are due yet? I bit the bullet a few days ago. Those 2 letters cost a pretty penny!

Reply

88 KathEats August 4, 2011 at 8:42 am

Yup – a pretty penny for sure

Reply

89 Jess August 4, 2011 at 7:42 am

It was cool to read this! I love hearing about how other people decided to become an RD. When I went back to school to study nutrition I felt so old even though I was only 23! Ridiculous, I know. Your lab photos made me laugh because they reminded me of how much I hated lab and how much stuff always went hilariously wrong. It was worth it, though.

Reply

90 Katie August 4, 2011 at 8:44 am

I love this post! My mother-in-law just turned me onto this blog and I’ve been following it everyday now! I have almost the exact same journey as you. Got a degree in psych, got a marketing job, realized I needed a career change and started over to get my RD. So I decided to get my PhD/RD combo and people don’t realize how much work it is just to get your RD. Thanks for that post!

Reply

91 Victoria August 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

Kath,

I am so inspired by you and your story! I am an avid reader of the blog, although I only post every now and then. :) I wanted to share that you have been my inspiration to go back to school to get my Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics and become an RD. When I read your post, I felt like I was reliving my own decision to go back to school— orgo -chemistry fears involved! I am inspired by you everyday. I hope I will go through the process with as much dedication and commitment to eating well and exercising! You are amazing :)

Reply

92 Caroline August 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi Kath,
I loved reading this! As a recent college graduate in nutrition and dietetics, your blog and journey has definitely helped inspire me to choose this career path. I was accepted into an internship at the Yale-New Haven hospital this fall of 2011 and I feel like my hard work for 4 years is paying off already. Good luck to everyone who is working towards this goal.

Reply

93 Silvia August 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Kath, thanks for putting the story down for your readers. It is helpful and inspiring. I am amazed at how much you get done on a daily basis (the bicycling part alone! ha! ha!) , much less all that you got done to obtain your RD degree 2 -1/2 years!! Congratulations for going for something you love to do! and escaping the cubicle life! Sounds like you are where you are meant to be right now! Please continue your blog as it is one I look forward to reading!

Reply

94 megan @ the oatmeal diaries August 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

LOVE this post- it’s taken me from the time you put it up until now to read because I kept clicking on all the links and getting distracted! Very helpful for people thinking of going into nutrition as a career :)

Reply

95 Paige August 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Hi Kath! I am returning to school to become an RD, and loved reading about your journey to becoming an RD. I can’t wait to escape the cubicle life.
I was wondering if you are going to the FNCE in San Diego in September? I just registered as a student. If you are there I’d love to say hi!
Cheers!

Reply

96 KathEats August 4, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Unfortunately no, I can’t afford to go that far this year

Reply

97 Paige August 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Maybe next year in Boston :)

Reply

98 Rachel (tea and chocolate) August 4, 2011 at 6:44 pm

What an inspiring post! I’m about to graduate with a history degree, but I’ve started thinking about becoming an RD. It looks like a long road, but worth it! Thanks for this post. I’m sure I’m going to be referring to it a lot.

Reply

99 Laura August 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm

It was so great to read your road to becoming an RD. I am about to start my dietetic internship in less than 2 weeks and it is great to hear about another school’s program. I feel like you represent everything an RD should be and I love your blog! Thanks for sharing your story. And I agree, gen chem has nothing to do with anything in nutrition!

Reply

100 Allie August 5, 2011 at 4:26 am

wow. what a nice read. I think your story is an inspiration to many of us who want to get into dietetics; and is a motivation for those who are already pursuing their goal of becoming an RD. As for me, I finished the didactic program 6 yWears ago, has been working in wic since graduation, and decided to do my internship this coming year. It starts next month and i’m super nervous, especially about clinical.

Those of us going to FNCE in San Diego should meet up. I’ll be there!

Reply

101 Carrie August 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

This is a great and informative post, and it’s clear that you worked really hard on your journey! Congratulations!

I’m certain that my viewpoint is biased since I’m a chemistry by training and teach at the college level, but I’ve read your mentions of what a waste of your time general chemistry was a few times and felt compelled to comment.

First, as an academic it saddens me that any class is considered a waste, though I know it’s a prevalent thought of students. I’d like to hope, though, that I have more to offer as an instructor than just the information in the book. After all, I wouldn’t be needed if students could learn it all from the text!

Second, I’m disappointed for you that your general chemistry experience was not one that highlighted its importance to your field. Chemistry is defined as the study of matter, and matter is defined as everything you can see, touch, taste, smell, etc. So chemistry is sort of the study of everything! And the relations to food and nutrition are huge! In fact, there are entire courses on food chemistry. Chemistry is what determines whether you use baking powder or baking soda (both produce carbon dioxide, but one needs an acid to do and the other already has the acid present in the form of tartaric acid (aka cream of tartar). It’s why a chicken marinade recipe I have that is oil and vinegar based contains an egg (as an emulsifier because oil’s predominate intermolecular force is London forces in the long chain fatty acids and vinegar’s is hydrogen bonding; the proteins in the eggs have parts with both types of intermolecular forces and can dissovle both). It’s why tomato (acid) in metal is a bad idea (that’s just electrochemisty). Refrigeration is necessary to slow reaction rates that cause spoilage–that’s the same kinetics you studied in general chemistry.

Third, if you saw the value of biochemistry, then please consider that you wouldn’t have understood biochemistry without the foundations of general chemistry and organic chemistry. It may not seem valuable at the time, but you have to start with the basics!

Reply

102 Carrie August 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

This is a great and informative post, and it’s clear that you worked really hard on your journey! Congratulations!

I’m certain that my viewpoint is biased since I’m a chemistry by training and teach at the college level, but I’ve read your mentions of what a waste of your time general chemistry was a few times and felt compelled to comment.

First, as an academic it saddens me that any class is considered a waste, though I know it’s a prevalent thought of students. I’d like to hope, though, that I have more to offer as an instructor than just the information in the book. After all, I wouldn’t be needed if students could learn it all from the text!

Second, I’m disappointed for you that your general chemistry experience was not one that highlighted its importance to your field. Chemistry is defined as the study of matter, and matter is defined as everything you can see, touch, taste, smell, etc. So chemistry is sort of the study of everything! And the relations to food and nutrition are huge! In fact, there are entire courses on food chemistry. Chemistry is what determines whether you use baking powder or baking soda (both produce carbon dioxide, but one needs an acid to do and the other already has the acid present in the form of tartaric acid (aka cream of tartar). It’s why a chicken marinade recipe I have that is oil and vinegar based contains an egg (as an emulsifier because oil’s predominate intermolecular force is London forces in the long chain fatty acids and vinegar’s is hydrogen bonding; the proteins in the eggs have parts with both types of intermolecular forces and can dissolve both). It’s why tomato (acid) in metal is a bad idea (that’s just electrochemisty). Refrigeration is necessary to slow reaction rates that cause spoilage–that’s the same kinetics you studied in general chemistry.

Third, if you saw the value of biochemistry, then please consider that you wouldn’t have understood biochemistry without the foundations of general chemistry and organic chemistry. It may not seem valuable at the time, but you have to start with the basics!

Reply

103 KathEats August 5, 2011 at 7:53 pm

Hey Carrie! I didn’t mean that chemistry in general was a waste – just me taking it a second time! I learned all the same things I had already learned (to expand my mind) in my AP chem and lower level Davidson chem classes – again. It was just a waste of time to have to repeat all that memorization that I have now forgotten.

Second, I totally realize how much the body’s processes have to do with chem. I would have LOVED to take a course just on food chemistry. But instead we were doing the same old experiments that really had nothing to do with nutrition other than that they were in the same field. Yes, taking those courses MAY have enhanced my understanding of nutrition, but I can guarantee you I could have taken biochem and organic without the first two refresher courses! Because they were so different.

So I guess I just wish the chemistry had been more relevant to my end goal. That would have made it more meaningful.

Reply

104 Carrie August 6, 2011 at 7:04 am

I guess my point is that general chemistry shouldn’t be about memorization. I completely agree that’s a waste! It should be concept driven, and about making connections and building foundations. I never ask my students to memorize anything–I want them to learn it! And for rote things, they get to make themselves a crib sheet. I realize my attitude toward it is not the case in all classes, and that’s what makes me sad.

We will just have to agree to disagree on the need for the general chemistry to understand organic and biochemistry :)

Reply

105 KathEats August 6, 2011 at 8:06 am

Well you should sound like a very admirable teacher :) The one I had was a complete turkey!

I do agree that you need to know the periodic table and electrons for organic : ) But doesn’t everyone know that from high school?

Reply

106 Dad August 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I’d like to add a couple points of perspective:
o Although Kath graduated Davidson with a history degree, she was among her high school’s star performers in math and science and headed off to college to major in biology and shortly afterwards changed to math. History came much later when — as she has related to me — Davidson ran out of degrees for her to consider and her time was up to pick a major. I mention this because Kath was more than capable of handling all those science prerequisites for her RD/Masters of Nutrition. If you really are a humanities person, i.e., you are not science/math oriented or capable, you may find that following a path similar to Kath’s much more difficult.
o Kath is more organized, driven, and has more energy than most I’ve met. This certainly comes across on her blog every day. For others considering a similar path, keep this in mind and weigh whether or not you have the passion and drive to achieve a similar change in your life’s trajectory,
o Kath, even I didn’t appreciate what you have accomplished to get your RD until I read this post. Congrats on achieving your goals and ambitions.

Kath’s Dad

Reply

107 KathEats August 7, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Dad!

Reply

108 Kate R August 8, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I loved reading about your long road to your RD title. I am starting my dietetic internship in just a couple weeks and hope that I am as successful as you in the end. I studied at Winthrop my junior year of college, Spring 2010, through a college exchange program and loved the campus and the area. And yes, I agree, chemistry labs for nutrition majors aren’t that helpful in the long run and include so much work!

Reply

109 Holly @ thefrozenpineapple August 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Congratulations again! I started reading after you’d become an RD, so it was nice to see all that I missed. I don’t know that I’m thinking of becoming an RD, but I don’t know that I’m not, either… Your “R.D. Me” post gave me a great look at what it’s like to go back to school. Yikes! So thrilled for you and Matt (he was SO helpful!) and I’d love to pop into GH Cville whenever we’re in the area!

Reply

110 Aine @ Something to Chew Over August 10, 2011 at 3:38 am

This is so informative, thanks a million Kath!

Reply

111 shel August 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

This was an awesome post!

I’m at a turning point in my life ( just turned 40 & my youngest children are finishing up high school &I’m trying to figure out what to be when I grow up)

I attended J&W pursuing a culinary arts degree a few years back with the intention of catering, but realized that was not the path that I wanted to go down.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the nutrition classes that I took & how much nutrition facinates me!

I’m contemplating returning to school to continue my degree, with the focus on nutrition (of some sort) I’m just not sure what to expect…

I’ve spent all morning searching the web for info, and have been a KERF reader for some time now and just happened to click on KERF RD.

I’m still unsure, but you have opened my eyes

this has been a great post for me to read…. thank you..

Reply

112 Veronica August 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow, what a great post! I’ve been reading along for about 3 years now, and I’m in awe at everything you and Matt have accomplished.

I just completed my didactic program and start my internship in two weeks (eek!). Thanks so much for being so real with your experience. I have to admit, clinical has me a bit anxious, but so did OChem, and I lived through that. :-)

Thanks again for being such an inspiration!

Reply

113 Morgan @ Endorphaholic August 13, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I recently decided (after a year of consideration), to transfer schools in order to become an RD. This was extremely useful information about what lies ahead, and will definitely calm my mother’s fear that there are “no careers in nutrition”.

Reply

114 Dave Grotto, RD August 19, 2011 at 3:03 pm

A very long over due CONGRATS!!! Will I see you at FNCE this year? I will be dressed as a human strawberry – just don’t pikc my seeds. :)

Reply

115 Kim August 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Kath! Thank you so much for writing this. I’ve been waiting patiently to read your story. And it was worth the wait! With my own health issues, I’ve become very interested in nutrition, and have really thought about becoming an RD. This post will be a great help to me. Thank you!

Reply

116 Lori August 26, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I am an accountant going back to school next week to become an RD! This post was so informational and inspirational for me…guess I stumbled upon your blog at the right time!

Reply

117 Amy @ The Whole Sweet Scoop September 1, 2011 at 8:03 am

Thank you so much for writing about this in such detail. Your story sounds very similar to mine, its crazy! I just sent my application to a local university that offers an ADA certification program. I am so excited, but scared at the same time. Your story really makes me feel better, less alone, and more prepared. Thanks!

Reply

118 Claire September 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm

I am currently studying Applied Nutrition (and Psychology) at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in California to become an RD specializing in eating disorders. Cal Poly does an amazing job of preparing us and letting us know what is ahead (and our degree is certified by the ADA!), but this was such a helpful guide. I completely agree with you on some of the sciences: They are tough, and sometimes unnecessary. I was in an upper level Chemistry course with Chem majors learning about electro-chemistry. How batteries work didn’t really mean anything to me or my degree, but I had to suck it up. I applaud you for using your degree in a non-traditional way, I think that’s a great thing about being an RD, you aren’t limited to only working in a hospital. Having an official RD behind the bakery would definitely cause me to give it a try :)

Reply

119 Carina September 16, 2011 at 7:27 am

Too bad all the grad schools I’ve looked at require a minimum of a 3.0. When you’re meant to be a nutrition student but stuck with a liberal arts degree, you don’t have anywhere near a 3.0. At least I don’t.

How unfortunate to have a practical mind and a theoretical line of study. Oh, Philosophy, how I despise thee.

Reply

120 KathEats September 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

Maybe a higher GRE score would override the 3.0? Or you could take some of the science pre reqs at a community college to bring it up?

Reply

121 Emily September 18, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Hi Kath,

I read your blog daily and I always enjoy checking out your latest recipes and food/life-related musings.

I re-read this particular entry today because I didn’t have a chance to look at it properly when you first posted it. I was SO disheartened when I read that you found developmental psyc to be “fluff”! I did a BSC in university, majoring in psychology, and I find it rather rude that you would patronize others’ areas of interest and study. I too, took biochem, organic chem, physiology, and numerous other “hard” sciences, but I studied the heck out of psychology and I would never have said it was fluff.

Anyway, I love the post regardless. Its very detailed and comprehensive and I’m sure anyone contemplating the R.D. path would find it very useful. I just wanted to point out to you that psyc is hardy fluff.

Reply

122 KathEats September 18, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Hey Emily,

I think you missed my clarification above – ‘fluff’ was a very poor word choice. I of course completely admire (and am in awe of!) the field of psychology. I almost became a psych major in undergrad, and my Intro to Psych class was one of the hardest I took at Davidson.

I called my RD Developmental Psych class fluff because it had about 5% to do with eating/nutrition behaviors and the class was very poorly designed at the community college where I took it. Not dissing the field at all – just that particular class on my particular path.

Reply

123 KathEats September 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm

PS. Just updated the post to take out the poor word choice

Reply

124 Meg September 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm

Hey Kath- I’m an RD in training… three weeks into my dietetic internship in Boston… here i go!

I hope all is well in c-ville!

Reply

125 KathEats September 25, 2011 at 7:12 pm

GOOD LUCK!

Reply

126 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I’ve been meaning to read this since you posted. Loved the full recap since I started reading KERF right around when you started your internship in Jan 2010 & missed all the stuff beforehand. Looks like it was a long road but I love how you’re using the degree today in such a creative way. Do you think (or know) if some of the freelance work you do comes easier now that you have that degree? I assume it depends on who you’re writing for of course, but just curious if that area seemed to pick up after you could put RD at the end of your name? :)

Reply

127 KathEats September 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Some of it does, absolutely

Reply

128 char @ char on a mission September 29, 2011 at 8:51 am

I had never thought to click on this page before, but I’m glad I finally did. I JUST have started going back to school to become an RD – I was basically you, but a year older. I actually had a guy ask me last night what res I live in. I’m 25, married and obtaining a second degree haha. Your story is awesome! I just hope I can pull off the A’s you managed to get!!!

Reply

129 Caryn October 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hi Kathy,

I’ve been reading your blog off and on for some time now and have enjoyed MANY of your recipes! But I just came across this post and it’s almost eery how much I related to what you shared.

I lost 35 lbs senior year of HS – freshman year of college and just did another round of 15-20 lb (depends on the week…) 9 years later to finally reach my goal weight, and I think going through it yourself definitely gives you extra motivation to share your experience/tips with others. I loved science, but majored in Psych with a minor in Gov’t/Law, and then worked in PR for four years. I too would venture outside and wonder what those lucky people typing away in coffee shops did for a living. I yearned for that freedom. I started blogging (about meals & deals in NYC, not a health-related blog) three years ago and my co-blogger and I dream of making it full-time jobs. I went back and forth for months before committing to go back to school for nutrition/RD, only with my family’s support and encouragement. I had to do my prereqs separately, so just this September I finally started my official MS/RD program at Teachers College, Columbia Univ. I am torn between clinical and freelance writing and owning a health-oriented coffee shop and many more options (the choices really are endless!), so this semester at least I’m interning at a major women’s health magazine in the Nutrition department to see how I like that. So far so good! I also went through with the personal training certification and did it for a few months but just had to stop due to time restraints – and for the record, based on your interests I think you made the right decision in forgoing it. And I’m in my foodservice management class this semester, so I can relate to the initial reaction of – um, is this relevant? – to appreciating some of the information learned.

I loved your post and I’m sure it took forever to write, but I appreciate reading it because I really do understand the struggles and commitment and sheer crazy will it takes to go back for this degree, so it’s nice to hear from someone on the other side :) And your course load… I would have died! I guess that’s why it’ll take me 4 years in total (unfortunately my DI, if I’m lucky enough to get in, will be a full year). Do you have any recommendations on finding internships at private practices? I’m debating just emailing owners to see if they’d take me on – I would love the experience.

Thanks so much for sharing all of this and good luck with your ventures! Based on your “quick 20 reasons,” Charlottesville sounds perfect! I went on a two week trip to the Pacific Northwest this summer with my boyfriend and we fell in love with Portland, OR. It sounds like it has a lot of similar qualities. Can you please post about pumpkin beer brewing (if you already did I apologize for not seeing it first!). Yesterday my boyfriend and I decided we need to continue sampling more pumpkin beers and we tried one served with a brown sugar and cinnamon rim on the glass…I swear it was like drinking pumpkin pie!

And speaking of pumpkin, I’m off to try one of your pumpkin recipes because I cannot get enough! Or maybe I’ll save it for an early-evening study break!

Thanks again!
Caryn

Reply

130 KathEats October 2, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Hey Caryn!

I would recommend emailing the heads of private practices. You could also suggest ways you could help out (social media/blogging comes to mind?) .

Here’s a post including Matt’s pumpkin beer: http://www.katheats.com/drinkable-pumpkin

-K

Reply

131 Brooke October 9, 2011 at 12:54 am

Hey Kath, I just recently started following your blog and other blogs similar, but you have sparked more of an interest than others. I am curious about your thoughts on becoming a RD rather than getting a BS in Nutrition (focusing in sports nutrition)…Also, any tips on getting through chemistry classes while working full time and trying to stay fit? Im a 3rd year college student gearing towards nutrition or dietetics, but seem lost in the differences…Also, what are your thoughts on accredited schools such as http://www.instituteofholisticnutrition.com/our-program/certification/ ….Youre an inspiration and a positive dash to my daily life, glad ive found you! Thanks!
Brooke A.

Reply

132 KathEats October 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

Hey Brooke,
I think if you really want to work with food recommendations and clinical nutrition you must have the RD. Do I think there are better ways to learn about nutrition? Probably. But in this country, those letters are unmatched with any other degree. If you want to just do something in health and wellness that isn’t giving personalized “what to eat” recommendations, then any of those other routes would be great.

Reply

133 Caitlin October 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Does becoming an R.D. involve a ton of mathematics? I have taken Algebra, Pre Calc and Statistics, but was not a fan of any of it. Would I be completely in over my head if I looked further into grad. programs in that field?

Reply

134 KathEats October 13, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Nope – only simple math

Reply

135 Caitlin October 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Thanks..especially for the quick reply!

Reply

136 Joe November 17, 2011 at 9:06 pm

Wow, thanks for this great article. As someone trying to get a handle around what it takes to be a dietitian, this is a great resource.

Reply

137 Camille November 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

This was a fun post to read. I guess since you came from a liberal arts background, you weren’t used to the somewhat harder science courses you took. Trust me though, they get a lot harder especially if you are in a competitive setting and have to take upper science courses where Professors try to weed you out. IMAGINE how hard the workload is to become an M.D….My sister is a Biochemistry major at a large university and pre-meds are ridiculously competitive…the curved grading is horrible to since the average will always be a C in a class of pre-meds who all study constantly. She is taking like four upper science courses along with other courses. I believe she does have an Anthropology and History minor because liberal arts if much easier to get an ‘A’ in and can help balance the rigorous science course load. She also has to volunteer regularly and works in a biological research lab. We are not going to be seeing her for Thanksgiving or Christmas because she’s also studying constantly for the MCAT! After that, she HOPES she’ll get into any medical school and will then seriously have no life except her courses and working in the clinic.

I still do not know what I want to do, but DEFINITELY NOT an M.D…. I have a good study ethic, but I was thinking if I do go into the health field, maybe a P.A. or Physical Therapist degree would be MUCH easier and less stressful to pursue… I like your post because of the info about the R.D. program. I’m interested in nutrition and think that it’s not really a stressful and ridiculously hard path. Much less schooling as well….M.D. takes 4 years bachelors+4 years medical school (with constant board exams etc)+4 to 8 year residency (with more exams!) and I think I would die.

Reply

138 KathEats November 19, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Hey Camille,
Don’t discount all the work that goes into liberal arts degrees. Biochem might be a much more difficult topic, but the analytical thinking, research and time that goes into writing long history term papers is nothing to shrug off as easy! And my nutrition program might not have the time commitment of med school, but some of the courses were pretty darn hard.

Reply

139 Hayley November 21, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I’m a freshman in college from NC and I was considering majoring in Nutrition and becoming a RD. Reading your story was very helpful for me, but do you know any RD’s that work in a hospital or any other clinics? I was wondering what a typical work day is like for them and their average salary.

Reply

140 KathEats November 21, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Hayley,
Check out some of the blogs/websites in the list of RDs online. Some of them do work in clinical.

Reply

141 Mel November 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Hi Kath,
I have enjoyed reading your blog and adventures in becoming an RD. I got my undergraduate a few years ago and currently work at Johns Hopkins doing nutrition research. Getting an internship is so so so competitive these days but im hoping to land one this year. Just wanted you to know you are truely inspiring. Know of any RDs in the Baltimore/DC area?
Melanie

Reply

142 KathEats November 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Melanie! I just know of the RDs in the blogroll above – not sure if they are Baltimore/DC or not though

Reply

143 Emily December 11, 2011 at 2:51 am

I’m graduating next semester with a liberal arts degree, freaking out because I didn’t know what to do after graduation. I eventually want to become a Certified Diabetes Educator, but I felt daunted by the health field and the fact that I decided too late to get my bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. I am obsessed with food blogs and nutrition, but it wasn’t until this post that the puzzle pieces seemed to fall in place (and seem glaringly obvious now!) and start the path to becoming an RD. Thank you so much for giving such a realistic expectation… I know it won’t be easy, but i’m glad to know it’s possible!

Reply

144 Helena December 17, 2011 at 1:33 am

I’m taking my pre-req’s to get into a dietitian program. I was a chef for years but preferred the nutritional side. I’m not an A student and have to work hard for my grades, or work at them longer if they have math components. I have a small child and work full time also inorder to eliminate student debt. It’s not easy. I’m taking Microbiology now, and it is difficult. The teacher doesn’t make it any easier, he is measley with his points.
Grades are out next week…hope I pass.

Reply

145 KathEats December 17, 2011 at 7:18 am

Good luck! Micro was one of the hardest courses I took.

Reply

146 Erika Castillo December 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Great Job on completing your studies!!! :) I am currently a nutrition major at Texas Christian University and I can not wait to be a registered dietitian!! I love following your blog. Keep posting :)!!

Reply

147 Julie January 6, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hi there – just found this post, but I was reading your blog through the journey. Very thorough recap! I’m also beginning my journey toward a second degree in Dietetics to become an RD, through Eastern Michigan University (all online courses, except for the science-y pre-reqs). I am taking a little longer than you, as I need to work full-time while I do my pre-reqs. I’m taking them one class at a time, but some of my undergrad courses count (like general chem!). It works out to take them one at a time with the timing of applying for the program, though…just a longer process even though I want to dive right in! I took organic chemistry online through a community college this Fall, with an instructor who was a turkey, too. I’m nervous that I didn’t learn enough in the class to get through the rest of my courses, but I’m sure with hard work, I can do it! I hope the end result works out okay – I’m hearing that jobs are hard to come by in my area, but I have a couple years to go, so maybe things will change still…and I’m finding it’s hard to get a part-time job in the field…I am struggling to get a dietary tech job even! But, I’m keeping at it and hoping this is right. It feels right most days…but…it’s a little scary! I’m starting Biochem in two weeks…here goes nothing! :)

Reply

148 KathEats January 7, 2012 at 9:02 am

You’ll be great!! I didn’t find any connection between the chem classes, so there wasn’t really a build at all (unlike what they’d like you to believe!) Nor was there a connection to my nutrition courses. I really felt the chems were a huge waste of time – except for maybe 3-4 lessons of the course of 4 semesters that did help with understanding nutrients. It’s a shame they can’t compress the 4 semesters into one “Nutrition And Chemistry” course.

Good luck!

Reply

149 Nicole January 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Just discovered this page, and it is awesome bc it is so thorough to explain to others what it means to be an RD! If you like, I would love to be added to your list of other RDs blogs.

Reply

150 KathEats January 10, 2012 at 4:42 pm

You got it!

Reply

151 Chelsey @ Chew with Your Mouth Open January 12, 2012 at 4:01 pm

There is much irony in this comment as I am literally writing it from my food service rotation over lunch. I have about 300 hours remaining in my internship and then I will be sitting for the exam. Even now, so close to the end, it is wonderful to read other success stories for inspiration. I too went back to school slightly later (at 23) to be an RD after working in public health and could not be happier with my decision. :)

Reply

152 SangeliaStorck January 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Is Kath your first or last name?
reason I enquire. is that the surname of Kath is centuries old. and is Prussian in history. at least 800 years old. and that I was born a Kath.

Reply

153 KathEats January 21, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Wow I didn’t know that! Kath is short for Katherine, which is my first name

Reply

154 Heather February 3, 2012 at 3:30 am

Loved your journey, thanks for sharing! So as I was lightly reading through some of the comments I noticed a few on chemistry. I am pursuing nutrition and i am getting ready to transfer and now finishing up the required science courses (chem 1, biology, anatomy and physiology, etc…). To be honest chem 1 was very intimidating for me and I had to drop the class and go into a pre chem class. So my question is how much of chemistry and biology do you really use in a day to day as an rd? How heavy are the sciences in the nutrition program? I am so worried because this chemistry 1 class kind of scared me and I am worried that it’s an insight to what the nutrition program will be like… I am really intrigued by nutriton and helping others to be healthy but some science courses aren’t my strongest…
-hc

Reply

155 KathEats February 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

Heather,
There IS a ton of chemistry. I hated every minute of it and even when I worked clinical in my internship, I didn’t use it one smidgen. MAYBE one time when thinking about drug interactions, but rarely and not something I couldn’t look up. Sadly though, it’s required, and it’s often used to weed out those who can handle the high level nutrition concepts (like vitamin and mineral metabolism) from those who think less scientifically. Chem 1 and 2 were horrible and had nothing to do with nutrition. Organic wasn’t actually that bad, but it was still hard but at least it felt more related to the field. Nutritional Biochem was my favorite because we could apply principles to nutrition directly. I took Chem 2 over the summer at a community college and will say that it was a lot easier than it was at my university, so I’d see if you can take some of them off campus where they would be a bit easier. Good luck!

Reply

156 Julie February 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Wow, you have inspired me! I’ve been wanting to work in the nutrition field but couldn’t figure out where to start! I’m actually moving to Charlotte area in the summer. Thank you for your inspiration! :)

Reply

157 NJH February 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Kath, I randomly came across your blog and just wanted to say thanks for sharing your journey and some great recipes!

Reply

158 Jessica @ The Process of Healing March 1, 2012 at 11:40 am

I just want to thank you because this post was VERY helpful to me. I’ve been reading your blog for years and it’s such a small world.. I was accepted to Winthrop right out of high school but I’m just NOW, six years later, about to go back to pursue my R.D. and after watching you go through the same thing, I KNOW I can do it!

Reply

159 Brittany March 11, 2012 at 7:25 pm

Love your website altogether but I really love your becoming an RD blog! I am a RD in Canada, stumbled upon your website via pinterest. Your becoming an RD article really describes everything we go through to become an RD, not as simple as many people seem to think! Thanks for all the great recipes :)

Reply

160 Michaela March 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hi Kathy,
It is SO refreshing to see a Registered Dietitian on here who is passionate about improving the health and lives of others. I was laughing reading about your journey because mine was also quite similar in becoming a Registered Dietitian. Between the dreaded chemistry and the stress of Match Day, I definitely can relate to your journey. I completed my internship at UW Madison Hospital & Clinics in Madison, WI. I have heard really great things about NC and have attended several webinars that were hosted in NC (would love to go visit). I absolutely love your blog. Thanks for being such an inspiration!
P.S. I LOVE the tribute to oatmeal..one food that I cannot live without.

Reply

161 Amanda Hasty RD,LD March 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Hi Kathy,
You brought back a lot of memories in that post. I soooo remember the chem lab making soap. I absolutely hated titrating! There has not been one occasion that I have relied on my titrating chemicals training since I graduated in 1993. Funny! I took the same picture (jumping in the air) and took off for a week of sun and sand as well. I worked for 6 years and left for maternity leave, and now, after 12 years of raising my kids to almost 13 and almost 10, I am trying to get my foot in some door that does not yank me from my family. I am very interested in how to begin blogging. I alreaddy go around taking pictures of things I cook in case I might want to add a slide in a presentation or something. I got a tutorial on Wordpress and other than that, I am not sure how to get started. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Reply

162 KathEats March 23, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hey Amanda,
Starting a blog is pretty simple if you go the free route. If you want something more long-term and polished, I’d recommend a service like Zesty Blog Consulting [http://zestyblogconsulting.com/] to help you get set up as a self-hosted blog. Check out my list above of RDs online too to see all the different ways they [we] are using the internet for business and fun.

Reply

163 Charlotte March 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Hey Kath,

I work at a Great Harvest and my boss is always telling me about your blog and to check it out! I finally did and am about to try making your granola recipe! After reading your story of becoming an RD its so nice to know there is someone else out there that found their way to nutrition through just about as wild and crazy a ride as I did ;). I was studying Cultural Anthropology at a school in upstate NY and it just wasn’t feeling quite right. I left after my 3rd year – also much to my parents dismay! – to complete a year with AmeriCorps. It was during this year I started a garden at a local elementary school and taught cooking classes for kids, and began to think about finishing my degree in Nutrition. It turned out there was a great program in my home state, RI! So I met with a professor and found it would take me 2 years to complete the extra coursework (I also had 2 summers loaded with classes!). I am finally coming to the end of my time at school, and have applied to a variety of internships. I’ll find out how much longer I have to becoming an RD soon! :)

Your blog is such a great resource, I will definitely be checking it from time to time. It’s inspiring to find someone that has taken a winding path to becoming an RD just like me. Thanks for sharing your story!!

Charlotte

Reply

164 KathEats March 29, 2012 at 7:04 pm

Thanks for stopping by Charlotte! Best of luck with your internship!

Reply

165 Hayley @ Oat Couture April 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write up this mammoth post! :) I am 26 (in a few days) and will be just starting uni this september on a 4 year Dietetics and Nutrition degree… 4 years seems like a lifetime to me, (and this is all without my masters! :/) but reading through this post and pretty much all the posts you linked to has reminded me why I’m doing it! So thank you! On a side note I also have to say that you are kinda like my idea of superwoman! Taking all those classes, running KERF, starting a business, keeping fit and healthy AND finding the time for a social life! Kudos to you girl!! :)

Reply

166 vegburger April 6, 2012 at 10:49 am

Hello!

I really loved reading this post. I have a BFA in creative writing and feel like it is completely useless in the job market. After graduating 6 years ago, I still struggle to get by, even with working 3 jobs.

A liberal art’s degree just feels like a curse. I love nutrition and food, but the science classes would do me in…I wish I were gifted in science/math instead of English.

Reply

167 Alyssa April 7, 2012 at 7:33 am

Ahhhh I love this post! I’m currently debating if I should become an RD (I am bio-premed right now). I want to still be premed, but I have a giant passion for nutrition that I can’t ignore :) This gave me some huge insight into the process! Thank you!

Reply

168 Shauna @ Balancing Bites April 9, 2012 at 11:25 pm

I love how you shared your journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian. I wish I had this information when I went through school, the internship and the RD exam. I absolutely agree, you have not wasted your degree. I believe you are making more impact on peoples lives by blogging and writing than you would working in a hospital. Although I loved working in the clinical setting, I always hated not being able to spend more time with my patients.

Reply

169 shellz April 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm

hi am hoping to become a RD soon but am wondering how is the salary in new york i complete an associate degree in hospitality management and now hoping to get on the path of being an RD i want to know how is the job market out there for dietitians in this hard economic times since nursing is the leading job market right now

Reply

170 Renee April 25, 2012 at 4:04 pm

Hi! What a great story. I’m wondering how you made your decision to pursue the RD degree when you were looking at all the occupations and degrees. how did you decide, for instance, between the RD and a “nutritionist” that i also see being pursued? Thanks!

Reply

171 KathEats April 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The registered dietitian is the expert in nutrition with years of education. The title is regulated and verified. Anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, so for job searching it wont get you that far.

Reply

172 Ingrid B April 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for the post!
Reading this helped motivated me to sign up for the GRE, and the 4 classes I didn’t fulfill with my B.S. in Biochemistry. (Statistics, Nutrition, Foods, and Microbiology) in order to apply to a Master’s Coordinated program in Nutrition.
Right now I am working in a lab, studying Allergies, and it is not the best fit for me. I need PEOPLE! I think I studied Biochemistry because of a professor who fueled my love for molecular conformations and interactions. But in hind-sight, I am a ENFJ/ESFJ personality type, and I need to help people.
I tried this field and now I am off to start a new career path. Thanks for the insight into your journey!
One question: I am 28 years old, and feel strange about Job Shadowing, would most RDs be open to bringing someone into their practice to shadow? I really just need to get over the anxiety of feeling like a high school student and call some RDs in my area.

Reply

173 KathEats April 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I think most would be open. You might do better with someone entrepreneurial who operates a private practice or works in a gym than a formal hospital setting (which might have more rules) but definitely don’t feel like a high school student!

Reply

174 Savannah May 8, 2012 at 1:20 am

Hi Kath, I am in about the same position as you were – graduated with a liberal arts degree (journalism and East Asian studies!) and have been working the past year as an English teaching fellow in China. It’s a complete turn-around from what I did in college, but I am considering going back and doing my RD/Masters, as I have always been passionate about healthy eating and helping others (now with education, maybe in the future with nutrition?)

My question is: can you recommend any useful books for exploring the field? I took nutrition and basic science classes in college, but I know I need to explore more to make sure it’s the right field for me. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

(And P.S. I browsed through the comments to make sure it wasn’t already mentioned, but I didn’t see it, so sorry if I am repeating!)

Reply

175 KathEats May 8, 2012 at 6:02 am

Do you mean books on nutrition or books on how to become an rd?

Reply

176 Savannah May 8, 2012 at 6:33 am

More on nutrition. I noticed you mentioned a couple books, but since there are so many nutrition books out there, I was wondering if you had any suggestions for something a little beyond “intro to nutrition” (I’m not afraid of science!) that I could use to explore the field a little deeper.

Reply

177 KathEats May 8, 2012 at 7:52 am

Honestly since I jumped into text books, I didn’t read many science-y books. I did get “You On A Diet” years ago and I think I read it!? It does offer more sciencey stuff. (http://compare.ebay.com/like/310397586883?var=lv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar). And Marion Nestles “What To Eat” is a great overview of food. I loved “Superfoods HealthStyle” because of all the research that was included.

Reply

178 Kate May 22, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thanks for taking the time to write this post! I’m turning 27 in two weeks and after three years of deliberation I have finally decided to go back to school to become an RD. Because I’ve changed career paths so many times I was a bit hesitant, but I’m not getting any younger. Why is it that only a handful of schools offer the program I need? What are the chances they will offer night classes? Oy, to be 18 again!

Reply

179 WonderfullyWorthy July 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Very impressive and well put together. I truly enjoy your blog!

Reply

180 deb July 29, 2012 at 6:16 pm

this is so informative thank you! Do you think you have to be “passionate” about nutrition to go through the curriculum and become an RD? It’s something i’m thinking about doing but I’m not sure i’m really that passionate about nutrition as some others who are in the field are. Thank you!

Reply

181 KathEats July 29, 2012 at 8:27 pm

It definitely helps, but plenty go into the field without really knowing much about it

Reply

182 deb July 31, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Hey Kath! Thanks for the reply. I think most of my apprehension comes from the fact that I am very introverted and I keep reading dietetics is a profession for more outgoing people. I guess I just want to make sure it is right for me before I continue taking nutrition classes.

Reply

183 KathEats July 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I think some of the options could be perfect for introverts : )

Reply

184 Jessica A. July 31, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Thanks for this post! I came across it looking for inspirational or motivating, I will be going back to school after 3 years, I will be pursuing a second Bachelor’s in Nutrition, hopefully get into the MS in Nutrition/ Wellness + Dietetic Internship program right after. Knowing that you can do it, gives me hope :)

Thanks for the tips and some inside info in the RD world!

Reply

185 Emma Fogt, MS,MBA,RD, LDN August 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Kath:
Your blog on your journey is inspirational to other RDs in the making. Thanks for posting it and I hope you are a member of Nutrition Entrepreneurs! http://www.nedpg.org! If not please join you would love it!
Emma
NE dpg Chair 2012-13

Reply

186 KathEats August 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Thanks for dropping by Emma!

Reply

187 Isabelle August 6, 2012 at 1:26 am

Wow! I have scrolled through many blogs.. about different majors/careers I have had interest in (including nutritionist/dietitian blogs) and your’s just brought smiles after smiles from briefly reading your posts.

I am stuck right now on what I want to do with my schooling and career in the future.

I thought I wanted to become a Dietitian because I once took a semester long class in High School that was called “Nutrition and Fitness” of course I dreaded the fitness part, but I cannot believe how amazingly (simple) that class had been!

When people ask me what my favorite subjects in HS was… I can’t possibly think of one… other than Nutrition.

I have always wanted to become a Food Critic or something similiar but I really like the idea of becoming a RD.

I really hope I can stick with this career field (to study for) and become an RD.

I plan on reading every single of your posts when I get the time for inspiration:)

Thank you for creating this blog for all those to see and be inspired by.

Reply

188 Dan August 6, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Awesome blog!!!

I’m 28 and recently was laid off from my job of 4 years working for a healthcare company counseling adolescents. I’ve always been into healthy living, keeping a good diet and exercise routine. I became a vegetarian about 5 years ago, which has given me even more interest in the field. With a bachelors degree in research psychology, I know I’m up against a tough road of schooling ahead if I decide to commit.

This article has definitely motivated me to contact schools in my state (NJ) to find out costs, prerequisites, etc..

In terms of current job opportunities and prospected growth in the field, from what I’ve gathered it seems to be projected to grow quite a bit in the next decade. Is this your outlook as well?

And looking at the responses I didn’t see any guys, other than Dad haha. Is this generally a female dominated field?

Thanks Again!

Reply

189 KathEats August 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Hey Dan, yes, I think the job outlook is good. And you’re right, it’s a very female-centric field, but that doesn’t mean we won’t need more men!!

Reply

190 ladona August 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thx so much for this blog..Im finishing my degree in marketing but want a masters in nutrition so that I can become a RD. Seeing your journey has inspired me to continue on..

Reply

191 ladona August 12, 2012 at 9:29 am

do you think there is a way to have minor in nutrition to get some courses out if the way? Do all the nutrition programs take 2 years+?

Reply

192 KathEats August 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

to become an RD I don’t think you can do less than 2 years

Reply

193 Grace August 21, 2012 at 8:32 pm

You are an inspiration. This was extremely helpful and I could relate to you in many ways.

Reply

194 Nicole August 28, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Kath,

Thank you so much for writing this blog and sharing your story. I recently decided that I want to pursue my passion of nutrition and become a Registered Dietitian. I am currently enrolled in Micro Biology and Chemistry 101 this semester and I have been feeling discouraged because science is definitely not my strong suit. After reading your blog and finding out that I am not the only person who struggles with these subjects, I feel a lot more positive. It was nice to hear that a passion for nutrition is what really counts and not necessarily top notch science skills.

Thank you so much for the inspiration and I look forward to reading future posts!

Reply

195 KathEats August 28, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Good luck Nicole!

Reply

196 Rachel Larue September 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I am so inspired. I came to look up information as perusing a dietitian as a freshman and found more! I love baking and being social. Everything that you loved is what i loved. Such a great story!

Reply

197 Sara October 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Hi Kath! I’m in the process of applying to dietetic internships now, and I was wondering if you could tell me a little more about Winthrop. I’m interested in their dual Master’s and internship program, but after rereading this post, I can’t help but feel that you were not 100% pleased with Winthrop’s curriculum, or at least not with their clinical classes (and in that case, what would you consider Winthrop’s focus to be, because I am more interested in community and food service dietetics). I plan on visiting soon since it’s only 3 hours away from UGA (my current school), but I remember the pictures you posted from campus seemed to have the campus vibe I like and the surrounding area sounded nice.

I know you’re really busy with Mason, but hopefully you’ll be able to share some insight! :)

PS – I’ve posted this in your comments before, but you were pivotal in helping me discover and decide to study dietetics, so thank you!!!

Reply

198 Sara October 25, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Yikes!!! I just realized I misspelled Mazen!! I am so sorry – I have a cousin Mason and my friend’s sister’s son is also Mason! I am so embarrassed!

Reply

199 KathEats October 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I think when I was there the foodservice track was the strongest and general nutrition (lifecycle, sports, etc) was very good. The clinical wasn’t bad – it just wasn’t as intense as I thought it might have been. I’m not sure if they have gotten new professors, but definitely go for a visit. It’s a really nice school with a really pretty campus and I liked all of my professors.

Reply

200 brittany November 27, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Thank you SOOOO much for this post. I am a recent graduate from the university of south carolina with a bachelor’s in ARTS. I have been on a journey to become healthy and mindful and have not been finding work in my related field. I have been thinking about becoming an RD, but have not had the in-depth information that I needed. I am thinking about going back for a second bachelor’s either at Winthrop or UNC Greensboro. So did you end up getting your 2nd bachelor’s or your master’s? It makes me feel really good that you went through the same things I am about to go through as well (I just started my first blog on healthy eating this weekend and have more to write soon!) I would love to pick your brain some more!

Reply

201 KathEats November 27, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I didn’t finish the masters.. Just a completion of the dietetics program

Reply

202 Sara November 29, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Im so glad I came across your blog! I enjoyed reading it. I really want to go back to school to become an RD. I’m looking for a school that would allow me to get my degree online. I got my undergrad in Sociology from UNCC. Then I went back to Lees McRae and got my Elementary Education degree. I’ve Ben teaching 3rd grade for 9 years. I’ve been thinking about going into Nutrition for awhile. I guess I’m just afraid to take the plunge. I’m 34 years sold and have two small children. It’s scary to think about quitting my job and becoming a student…again. Ha! Do you think it’s possible? Could I juggle it all? I’d love your honest thoughts on it.

Reply

203 KathEats November 29, 2012 at 9:36 pm

I would have had a really hard time doing it with small children. That said, there were people in my program who had them and did well. I think you just have to be extra motivated and passionate about the career choice

Reply

204 Kathleen Raye December 9, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Hello Kath!
I am so glad that I stumbled upon your blog! I just recently decided to study to become an RD! I am currently studying Marketing, but in my heart I knew that it wasn’t for me. This post especially really excites me. I am excited for the journey in nutrition. I am at a CC in Arizona and I plan on entering the Dietetic Program at the University of Texas. Sorry, I’m rambling! But I am very excited to spend hours on your blog reading about your journey that I know has already inspired me!
Cheers,
Kathleen

Reply

205 Mike December 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Hi Kath,
I loved your tribute to oatmeal. That’s actually how I found your blog.

Anyway I’ve recently lost 100 pounds through exercise and smart eating. In researching my own health issues I found nutrition to be really interesting and I’d like to become an RD to help people with similar health concerns(obesity, diabetes etc.) Could you suggest any jobs I might work while an undergrad that might help me get an internship later on?
Thanks.

Reply

206 KathEats December 19, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Hey Mike, Congrats on 100 pounds – that is AMAZING!! Nutrition jobs that don’t require an RD are a bit tough to come by, but the one that’s probably most available would be a diet tech or food service staff at a hospital, nursing home, or other health care establishment. You could also go the complete opposite route and delve into freelance writing for nutrition or seek out volunteer work in cooking classes or schools. Best of luck!

Reply

207 Romeena Momin January 4, 2013 at 12:49 am

Hi,
I’m an aspiring dietitian and I haven’t applied to the program yet. But, do you have any tips on making my application stand out and some of things i can do to make my application look strong and outstanding.

Thank you,
Romeena Momin

Reply

208 KathEats January 4, 2013 at 1:08 am

Any volunteer work you could do in the field or experience in a clinial setting would be great. It can be hard to find though!

Reply

209 Shelby May 10, 2013 at 2:29 am

It indeed is hard to find volunteer work AND get accepted to it. Are there other types of volunteer work related to nutrition and dietetics that would stand out in admission applications? I mention this because the only volunteer work I can think of is career shadowing or volunteering for a registered dietician.

I graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Biological Science, and I am looking into applying for masters schools in nutrition and dietetics.

Thanks Kath!

Reply

210 donna January 5, 2013 at 5:17 pm

hi name is dona(donna) i live in florida i have been goin to college and im going to be a dietitian. iknow this is what i,m suppose to do . i’m currently homeless living in a D.V. transitional program with my 2 chilren in about 8 month i’m going to need to relocate .i,m really needing great ideas so i can further my studies and provide a better life for my 2 chidren. thank you dona

Reply

211 bitter January 20, 2013 at 9:57 am

Hi kath…
I am reading all these RD blogs with a touch of bitterness…. I went for my bs in nutrition, finished the program, had a fantastic internship application and personal statement with lots of volunteer experience, certifications , etc. got into an internship program and started in clinicial.
Clinical was quite challenging for me and the first few days (only orientation week of clinical) my preceptors told me that i was far behind. then the next day i was told i would not be able to successfully complete because i was too far behind .
i dnt understand. i had a bachelors. i had wrked in long term care for 6 years, i thought i would be at the level they wanted
i guess im just not smart enough or something.
it feels really bad to come all this way and then get raked under the coals. what a waste of a degree . people can tell me that there are lots of opportunities with just a nutrition degree. but i spent 8 months after graduation searching for a job. And nothing. I ended up washing dishes for minimum wage.

anyway the reason im commenting is not to be a killjoy but to ask for some advice. it suck that i have the same bachelors as all the other RDs yet i cant do a thing with my degree because i dont have some letters next to my name.

so im wondering what i should do at this point and if you were in my shoes what do u think i should do. if you want to email m ethat would be great.

Reply

212 KathEats January 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

So sorry to hear of your experience. I’m quite surprised that they would just cancel the internship for you like that. Could you maybe reapply to another program that might be less rigorous?

Reply

213 Janie January 27, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Wow, that’s a horrible thing to have happened. I think that you should take your case straight to ACEND or CDR. It seems very unethical to have them do that to you.

I hope it gets resolved & you get an internship.

Reply

214 Andrea January 23, 2013 at 12:48 am

Hi Kath!
Wow I love this story. I see myself in SO many ways on your blog. I’m the girl uploading my random eats all over my instagram and raving about how amazing food can be on and off of camera. I have been a reader of Carrots n Cake for a year and a half now and I stumbled upon your blog this last early December and I have enjoyed looking back on your posts about your path on becoming an RD and even your new life of motherhood because it still includes your passion for food in so many ways. I am currently a junior Dietetics major at my University and have the plan of graduating next May. I will be applying for my internships this next fall and I’m doing a lot of fun research on where I might want to apply and if I would want to even go for my MA. I just want you to know that your blog has given me the biggest motivation these last two months on doing well in my science courses and pretty much “surviving” all of the chemistry that they make us all complete. I took your advice on taking a science class at a community college and ended up saving a BUTT LOAD and I am doing very well in it. I talked to my adviser beforehand on doing so and she warned me about the competition of having science classes at a 4-year instead of a community college but I am confident that someone out there will accept me for the surviving college student that I am. I relate to you in so many ways and your blog makes me feel normal when I’m surrounded by all of these “non-foodies” in my town. Even though I was the one who stumbled upon your page, I feel the need to thank you for all of the advice you’ve given me thus far on my journey to becoming an RD. I’ll be a supporter no matter which turn your blog takes :)

Andrea D. , Nebraska

Reply

215 KathEats January 23, 2013 at 2:26 am

Good luck Andrea!

Reply

216 Rachael Ward January 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

You are so inspiring! I have been wanting to go back to school since I started my first corporate sales job in December of 2010. Nutrition and fitness have been passions (some would say an obsession :)) of mine for about 6 years now. I’ve felt so discouraged lately because I know I’m on the wrong path. It has seemed so impossible to go back to school with the cost and not being able to work full-time. However, you have made me feel that it IS possible. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just set up an appointment with an Advisor at a local university. You are amazing!!

Also, I’ve been trying to get my blog up and running for a couple months now. Who did you use to purchase your domain, or do you use a host? I’m realizing I probably need to stop using Wordpress and own my own domain. What tips do you have for a newbie blogger? :)

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :)

Reply

217 KathEats January 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm

I use a host – Dreamhost - who I have been so happy with! They have live chat support and are really normal people behind the scenes.

Reply

218 Rachael Ward February 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Thank you!!

Reply

219 Lane January 31, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Hi Kath, thanks for the awesome story!
My interest in nutrition came after my body decided (my mind really didn’t have a say in this) that I needed to eat better and lose weight, I’d been obese my whole life and never knew what “healthy” was really like. So in 2009 my eating patterns changed and I lost around 40 pounds, and in 2011 I lost another 40 pounds or so. I still have another 15 to go, give or take. So this obsession has been grounded in personal experience! I went back to school in January 2010, a week after turning 26, to finish my B.A., and one of the first classes I took was Intro to Nutrition…oh dear lord that was an awesome class. I graduated in May last year with my B.A. and almost immediately started looking at schools offering R.D. training. I’m still racking my brain to decide whether I should start a MSN degree or a different one, we’ll see. I wish I’d explored that option like you did when I was 24 or so, I just turned 29 and feel like I should have paid more attention to that “obsession” a few years ago. But I thank you for writing about your experiences, I’ve felt like the whole math and science portion of classes would kill me, but you got through it just fine coming from a similar background! Thanks!

Reply

220 Kara February 3, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Hi Kath! I came across this entry as I’ve been scouring the internet seeking truth about becoming a RD. I too obtained a bachelor’s degree in something completely unrelated to dietetics (Criminal Justice) and worked in that field for a couple of years before moving to the finance department in a large non-profit organization. This past Fall, I completed two graduate level courses in business management only to come to the conclusion that I am so not interested in that. I’ve been interested in health, wellness and nutrition for quite sometime, but am not sure yet about pursuing the RD degree since I have historically not performed well in science/math classes. My question is, would you recommend this path to someone who is weaker in the sciences? I am older and wiser now as compared to my 19/20 year old brain, which is the last time I took classes like that…. Thanks for your insight!

Reply

221 jen garcia February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I could not have read this at a more perfect time… I am in the exact same position you were in! I am about to be 24, 2 years post grad with a bachelors in Marketing, working in PR. I am about to interview next week for an AE position in a PR firm and I was so happy because I thought it was my start into an agency… But I always had some fear inside that it would not completely fulfill my life. After losing 10 lbs by eating healthy last year, I’ve been so inspired to eat healthy and spread it to those around me. I considered an RD program but thought I was TOO OLD for school & would be wasting my time…

So glad to see that there are others like you in my same position & have followed their dreams! You inspire me to go out & become an RD and someday mix it with my marketing background. I love that you said how versatile the work place is.. because that’s truly what I need to survive– variety and working towards a career that can benefit society.

Thanks so much for this, you’ve inspired me.

Reply

222 Christina February 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

It greatly pleases me to see how many people who got a degree in the humanities are going back to be RD’s. I got my BA in English and Communciations and start this summer on my path to becoming an RD (once I decide between two schools!). And I’m 26, even older than when you started! Scared about the science courses since its been a long time, but greatly inspired by your story and the fact that I am in no way alone in my plans! Good luck to everyone!

Have you heard anything about the Dietetic programs at WCU or Appalachian in North Carolina? They seem very similar and I’m trying to get as much info as I can before making my decision!

Thanks so much!

Reply

223 Cassandra February 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I loved reading this post!!!! I am currently on the hunt for a school in my area to start my journey of becoming an RD, so this set a great picture for me to go off of! Frustratingly, there aren’t any schools in my area that offer such an extensive program. So the search ensues! Thanks again!!!!!!

Reply

224 Jackie March 5, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Hi! I’m a sophomore in high school and I am OBSESSED with nutrition, eating right, and cooking for my family and friends. I am absolutely sure that I want to be an RD someday. I’m visiting University of Rhode Island in a few weeks to check out their college of Life and Environmental Sciences. Reading this post has helped me understand so much more about this career. Thank you so much for posting, you are a huge inspiration:)

Reply

225 Danyel March 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

VERY informative. Thank you!

Reply

226 Joyce April 4, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Hey,
thanks for the inspiration! I’m currently a senior doing my exercise science and nutrition combined bachelors and masters degree at the University at Buffalo. Unfortunately this is not an accredited university and its gonna take me 2 more years before I graduate with my masters. And after that I still have to do a distance learning program online before I am internship eligible. I feel like all my friends are graduating and starting their careers while I’m still in school. It sucks!! And after reading a lot about being an RD, the internship seems very competitive. That makes me nervous too!!
Do you have any suggestions on overcoming this? I hope to hear from you.
Thanks so much for your post, its motivating me to work towards what I really want to do!

Reply

227 Cortni@YakkaFIT April 11, 2013 at 3:46 pm

Oh my gosh, thank you, thank you!! I am soo glad that I found this post, and your blog. I have been stressing out about whether or not I want to go through with becoming an RD or not. I keep going back and forth and I am overwhelmed every day almost. I majored in Biology and graduated last May and it has been near impossible to find a job, and the jobs I have found are not fulfilling…at all. I recently started a blog and have become enthralled with everything nutrition. (I actually thought about doing the personal trainer thing, and bought the ACSM books too, too funny!) Your whole story has been inspiring and uplifting, and I have a new motivation to look further into becoming and RD. It is possible, and not a waste of a bachelors. Thanks! You’re awesome!

Reply

228 Jenna April 11, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Hi Kath! I am currently going through the same thing. I am a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in American studies (with a concentration in Food and Nutrition), but I want to do a combined RD/ Masters in Nutrition program. I am taking a year off of school because I need to do a few more science classes (like organic chem and biochem) because the programs I’ve been looking into require those as a prereq. I’m really stressed out! Do you have any advice for me? Maybe about what sort of jobs I should be doing in this next year while I finish up classes? And how to keep my expenses down in grad school. I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks,
Jenna

Reply

229 Amber April 14, 2013 at 8:41 pm

Hi Kath! I just read bits and pieces of your blog, and I feel like I’m reading about my own life! I am 22 years old, and I graduated in May 2012 with a bachelors degree in Public Relations and Marketing. I’m currently living in Auburn, AL where my fiance is attending graduate school for Landscape Architecture. At the moment, I’m working part-time (days) at an event center and part-time (nights) as a waitress. I’ve always been fascinated with the human body and nutrition, and I feel like being and staying healthy is my passion! I was to learn more about nutrition and be able to share my knowledge with other people and communities. I’m also very savvy in the kitchen and I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to modify recipes to make the healthier but still delicious. I’ve recently started toying with the idea of going back to college to get a second degree (either another bachelors or a masters) in Nutrition. Don’t get me wrong, I love PR. But I feel like I’d excel in Nutrition, and both degrees could go hand-in-hand. You’re an inspiration! I hope my future endeavors are as successful as yours. Please let me know if you have any advice! Thanks so much :)

Reply

230 Ginger May 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Dear Kath,

I’m so happy and grateful that I stumbled upon your blog. Like you I had been struggling to take the big leap of faith to switch careers and that is to becoming a registered dietitian. My biggest fear was the sciences, the time it would take to complete school to get certified, and I’m also getting married too. But after reading your blog, I feel better, I don’t feel alone. I also get excited and passionate when the topic of nutrition, yoga, healthy-living habits comes up. After 6 years out of college, I’m finally leaving my job to make the change. However, I haven’t found a program yet and still need to talk to a program director. You are truly an inspiration! Congratulations on your achievement! And thank you.

Reply

231 Kerjan June 4, 2013 at 10:26 pm

WOW!

Thank you for such a full and comprehensive post about your experience of becoming an RD. After months of deciding if I wanted to become an RD, get a Bachelors, Masters or just take some classes, I’ve decided that becoming an RD is what is best for me!

I agree that a lot of the coursework does seem somewhat outdated. That’s why I was leaning more toward holistic health (online schooling) but I feel that I will eventually need the credential of an RD.

Thank you for sharing your story!

Reply

232 Marcus June 17, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Kath,

I just want to start by saying that you are an inspiration for many future RDs. I myself am taking up dietetics/nutrition as a second degree after obtaining a B.S. in Business in 2011. While I have always been a health nut, I figured business was where the money was. But what better way to share my knowledge of nutrition and help people than by becoming an RD. I always thought I wasted away four years of my life but I am realizing as long as you arrive on the path you are meant to be on, everything works out. So glad i stumbled on your blog. Good luck with the bakery. And finish your master’s for sure!

Reply

233 Danielle June 19, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I am so glad I discovered your blog!!!
Thank you so much for sharing your entire story. I am an aspiring RD, and like you, I will have a history degree when I graduate from college. I came into college wanting to be a lawyer, and last summer I had an “aha” moment, did some research, discovered myself, and found out that nutrition is where my heart is at, and I could actually do something with it.
Right now I’m in organic chemistry (which is terrible, by the way, I totally agree with you in thinking that the chemistry is going to have nothing to do with my career!) and I’ve been very disheartened by it and by my second semester of general chemistry. During my final for general chemistry, it was so hard that the thought “that’s it, I’m going to law school, I’m done with all this science” kept running through my head. Luckily i passed the class and stuck with my organic chemistry summer class, but I still have that thought once in awhile.

I’m sorry that this comment is so long winded, but in short, I just wanted to say thank you thank you thank you for posting your story. You’re truly inspirational. People don’t realize just how hard it is to make the transition from a liberal arts education (and work experience for you) to a science based one. Even though this science will lead to nutrition, which I love, (and cannot believe that I did not realize just how much I loved it until last summer!) it is sometimes really, really difficult to manage it and stay motivated. You’ve inspired me to finally start my own blog and talk about my experiences too, and to stick with the science. Again, thank you so much :) I will definitely be reading your website every day now!

Reply

234 Amanda H June 19, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I was just doing some research on Registered Dietician careers when I stumbled across this blog. I can not tell you how helpful this was to read. It’s like I was reading a story about myself, but in the future.. I just recently graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Child/Family Development.. UGH. Long story there. Definitely not something I am interested in. I am the girl that changed her major 5 times and still couldn’t figure out what she wanted to do with her life. It took me a few years to figure out that nutrition was my calling. A few years too late. Also, I recently got my Personal Training Certification and am quickly finding out that is not really what I want to do either. I have job opportunities, but I am not sure if I should go back to school instead. Now I am considering applying to Grad school for Nutrition and becoming a Registered Dietician. What’s holding me back you might ask? I recently got engaged to my High School sweetheart and we are planning on getting married next fall. He is a minor league baseball player working his way up to the major leagues(fingers crossed), so he travels A LOT and does not make much money right now. The fact that he is gone so much may be a good reason for me to stay busy and continue with school. However, the money situation, or lack there of, is a major concern. I am not sure if it is worth adding $20,000 more to our school loans and not working for the next 2 1/2 – 3 years is scary. Will we be married, with no money, and living with our parents for 2-3 more years? Don’t get me wrong our parents are great, but that is not the ideal situation for a newly-wed couple. Decisions, decisions.

Reply

235 Charlene McCaw July 9, 2013 at 8:00 am

Interesting story, Kath, and I applaud your efforts. I actually found you when I googled courses to take for RD degree and I’m glad I did. I now know what’s involved if I decide to take that step.

Realizing your goals and finding a career in the health and wellness field is a winner!! In this day and age, wellness is a gagillion dollar industry, and working in yor passion means you’re never working another day in your life.

If you feel the need to secure additional income to assist with that school loan debt,and as a natural fit for a registered RD like yourself, feel free to contact me. My company consults with HPs to provide revenue generating wellness solutions for their patients. With your degree you have so much credibility and people will trust you!

You can email me at the address above and we can chat.(no pressure, my passion is helping people achieve their goals and dreams.

Again, congratulations!!!
Charlene

Reply

236 Jasmine July 13, 2013 at 2:15 am

It is so helpful to read about your journey. I am 31 and decided a year and a half ago to go back to school to become a dietitian, which is what I wanted to do before I finished high school. I am super passionate about nutrition and sharing my knowledge with others, I’ve worked in a healthcare clinic and know that I have all of the qualities necessary for this career. However, my first year was super rough…like you, I’m more artsy (I was a fashion designer), and always hated science classes. When I upgraded math and chemistry, I got straight A’s (which I’ve never gotten in my life in those types of subjects!). Then, my first year, I really struggled with the chem and bio, and now I actually have to repeat chem. I just don’t understand it, and I’m smart, motivated, and passionate. I get A’s in nutrition though. My struggles have really made me question whether I’m doing the right thing, and I would love your input: should I be worried that I don’t have an aptitude for science? Or is it something I just need to survive, as you say, because you don’t really use it on the job?

Thanks so much!!!

Reply

237 Jessica July 30, 2013 at 11:06 am

Wow, thank you so much for this. Our backgrounds are uncannily similar: I graduated a year ago and went into PR, am finding it’s not fulfilling my need for both analytical and creative work, and seriously considering going back to school to pursue my passion for healthy living! (Oh, also, I went to UVA for undergrad.) I’m hoping to speak with an RD, but even if that doesn’t happen, this was such an informative article! God bless.

Reply

238 Danielle August 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm

thank you so much for sharing your story, I was on the fence about going back to school (I graduated from le cordon bleu in 2011), but you have convinced me it is indeed the proper career path for me, nutrition is my passion, and you’ve inspired me that with hard work, determination, sweat blood and tears, I too can make it happen. Thank you, god bless. D

Reply

239 reemaza August 29, 2013 at 12:19 am

hi, i have some doubts regarding nutrition. i completd my b.sc nutrition and dietetics in india. now am in u.s with a dependant visa .how can i convert my visa and join master degre n nutrition. am a middle class family financially vl i be able to do the course. how much vl it cost to do a master rd and internship. i heard rd s dificult to do is that so am poor in maths. please help

Reply

240 Chelsea September 14, 2013 at 7:46 am

Thank you so much for the valuble information. I am in the process of making the “big decision” to go back to school, but trying to see if it will make sense. Your experience has given me a clear insite and has answered a lot of questions. Thank you.

Reply

241 ADieteticIntern September 14, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Hi Kath,

I’m doing my clinical rotation right now as well and I must say it’s killing me! I work at a pretty big hospital but the preceptors are rude and degrading. I graduated magna cum laude last year and got pre matched into my choice co-ordinated program. My internship director knows me very well and is telling me to stop when i’ve had enough because she doesn’t want me to suffer this kind of TORTURE. I find it very unfortunate that preceptors can be so hard and such bad teachers. I must sat that one of my preceptors ( a much younger dietitian compared to the 3 others who are 60+) is truly amazing and very supportive.

I really came into this rotation wanting to learn so much but this type of environment is not conducive to learning and i’ve realized that preceptors can really make you hate or love a rotation. I really enjoyed my WIC rotation and am looking very forward to Headstart. I can’t wait for these next 5 weeks to pass!

So happy to read your blog :) Good luck with the Bakery!

Reply

242 KathEats September 15, 2013 at 5:39 am

So sorry to hear this! Don’t quit. .. it is temporary! You can get through and then you’ll be that much closer to being an RD.

Reply

243 Juliana September 15, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I am really interested in being a Clinical Dietitian. At first I wanted to be a nurse, but I have a developed chronic back pain and nursing is a hard on the back. I wanted to be in the medical field without breaking my back.

Dietics is such an interesting field. The sky is the limit and best of all, I can still help people without breaking my back.

Im glad you became a RD. You have inspired me even more to become a RD.

Reply

244 Christi September 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I was Pre-Med bound before I decided to become a dietitian and now I’m going on my 4th child and still considering going back to school again! I’m glad there are still ambitious people out there wanting to do what they love and help those around them. I’ve found being a dietitian can be one of the most rewarding and humbling opportunities out there. When I do go back ( and my husband finishes his doctorate) I plan on becoming a Physician’s Assistant. God Bless!

Reply

245 Sara Burhan November 4, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Hey,
I LOVED reading about your experience, and your whole journey as an RD. I think it has influenced my decision and I WILL become an RD. I am majoring in Nutrition Food and science at Wayne State University, and I want to get into their COD program. I volunteer at a local hospital and got my patient care requirement done. But I am having bad luck shadowing an RD, because they are too busy with their own work and helping other students.
Good luck with your bakery!

Reply

246 Andrea November 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

Hi! Thank you so much for writing this post. I found it at the perfect time. I’m typing this comment from my lovely desk at my corporate job. My story sounds a lot like the beginning of yours. I recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Notre Dame and I’m just bored at work all the time with nothing to do (even if I ask for more things to do) and obviously can’t leave early. I feel like I am wasting my time here and not really helping anyone. I use my free time to read about nutrition and basically research the profession (which is how I ended up here). I too used this time since college to lose the weight I had put on. I have decided to apply to start working towards a second bachelor’s degree in nutrition next August. It was wonderful to read your story and comforting to know I’m not the only one. Good luck with everything!!

Reply

247 Lauren November 12, 2013 at 10:36 pm

I just want to say congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I am currently looking to go back to school, already have a BA in psychology, and this has given me some inspiration. I don’t know how I will do it because as you know financially it can seem daunting but after reading your story and seeing how happy you are with your work, I think it will be worth it. Thank you!!

Reply

248 chaitali November 25, 2013 at 11:02 pm

It was so nice reading this entire page for the first time. I am in a CP program and one more semester to go. But I need a part time job desperately and although i see just high school grads with average grades getting jobs i find it so difficult. I have some disadvantages like i am older, from another country, but don’t you think i should have a place here? Diversity is what will help the field of nutrition and dietetics but the industry seems to pick people only from the box. I will soon not have a roof over my shoulders if i don’t get a job asap but where do i look? I feel lost every evening and then i wake up with hope every morning. I am the most sincere and hard working person ever but it seems that is not what the industry wants. Can you help me pls with ideas and suggestions?

Reply

249 Benjamin Esau December 5, 2013 at 3:12 am

I am a 22 year old student getting a degree in Business Marketing. Thank you for sharing your story. I am very interested in Nutrition and and it’s importance in cellular/microbial health. I am studying marketing but I really want to get into the nutritional field. what sort of career options would involve consulting people on personal nutrition.

Reply

250 Marisa December 18, 2013 at 7:32 pm

Hey I was reading your post about becoming an RD. I am also an RD and had to do the same school work. I have been working clinically in nursing homes and hospitals and I HATE it! I am so miserable! I love nutrition and eating healthy I have a passion for cooking but I need the paycheck and the health insurance with two kids. I am working the 9-5:30 shift, some days I have too much to do and other days I don’t have enough and I am a slave to charting. I am also underneath administrative dietitians who sit in their offices and have no clue what myself and a team of 7 other dietitians (who are either “stuffy” or don’t care anymore) have to endure. We also get no respect, when other professionals see us they say “oh you are dietary?”. Doctors completely disregard our expertise and think we exist to “make menus”. I OBVIOUSLY need some inspiration in this field.

Reply

251 daniella December 23, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Hello,

I was searching something on google and your website popped up. Your story is very inspiring and has taught me to never give up, and anyone can accomplish their goal, if they really want to. Im currently going for an RD, still taking undergraduate classes. After failing one of my required biology classes, I wanted to give up. But then I thought, theres nothing really out there thats calling my name, so of course I continued, and I still have a lot of more science classes to go. But I know its going to be worth it in the end. I still get comments from a lot of people that tell me and its not a well paying field,and I should look into something else,but I didn’t listen.Anyhow when I have more time Im going to check back to you blog. Thank you for the inspiration :)

Reply

252 Andrea D. January 13, 2014 at 7:56 pm

A start of a new semester has begun and I love referring to this post for some encouragement that it will all be OK and worth it in the end! I have a year left of undergrad dietetics and I am just now starting a new job as a diet tech at a hospital in my town so there is some change in order this semester. I survived Organic Chem last semester and I can STILL hear the hallelujah voices ringing in my head when I walked out of that final, WHAT A RELIEF! Biochem is my only intimidation this semester but I heard it’s not too bad :). I can’t wait to shop around and find internships I want to apply to by next December. My mom moved to Raleigh, NC recently so I am definitely looking at the East coast.
I still love your blog everyday Kath, thanks for the great posts!

Reply

253 Hannah B. January 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm

I want to become a RD/Nutritionist. I graduate in May with a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology and I have an Internship with Verizon Wireless Health and Wellness Program over the summer. What would be my next step after the Internship this summer? I didn’t know when I should apply to schools for RD or what to do next.
Thanks
Hannah

Reply

254 Avah Au-Yeung January 18, 2014 at 12:49 am

Hi Kath! Just wanted to let you know.. Your blog has really inspired me in so many ways. It also motivated me to go back to school to pursue Nutrition/Dietetics, which I have done so and completed one semester so far. I have started a blog as well, it’s http://www.avahyumyum.com, I would really appreciate it if you could add me to your blogroll of RDs in Training. It would really mean a lot to me. Thank you so much! I will continue to read your blog, and thank you for always being so inspiring. I’m sure you’ve gotten this a lot, but Mason is adorable! I love being able to read about and to see his growth! Take care :) — Avah

Reply

255 Avah Au-Yeung January 18, 2014 at 2:03 am

*Mazen. Sorry about that ;x

Reply

256 KathEats January 18, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Got you on!

Reply

257 Avah Au-Yeung January 18, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Thank you so much Kath! Really appreciate it :)

Reply

258 Sam February 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm

Hey Kath- I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing this post! I distinctly remember feeling very discouraged in my undergrad RD journey several years ago and coming across your blog. This post really encouraged me to keep chugging along and I went on to complete my dietetic internship and pass my RD exam. Thank you!

Reply

259 Patricia February 7, 2014 at 11:33 am

Thank you so much for this excellent synopsis of your Nutrition (almost) Master’s Degree. I am currently a BA Senior in Urban Planning and Public Affairs, however I’ve always loved to cook, read about nutrition, help people and meal plan. Hello! I should have thought about the degree earlier… However, I am now looking into the Master’s program at my current school in Chicago which has an excellent program albeit incredibly competitive.
I am currently torn between going for my RD versus a Doctors in Physical Therapy… seemed similar to your experience as well (when you began Kinesiology coursework). I have more of a passion for food, however I’ve heard some negative things about getting a job without experience as well as lower salaries of RDs versus the rest of the medical professions.
Thank you for your insight, it was very helpful.

Reply

260 Kathryn Dickens February 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm

wow! so happy i stumbled upon your blog! i am in the second year of my degree dietetics at the university of kentucky…after earning a BA 6 years ago in arts and humanities! i am so encouraged by this. i have enjoyed my program so far, but being “nontraditional” (i’m 29) is definitely weird and i do have my share of worries (will i get an internship? will i pass chem II???). and i find it difficult not to compare myself with the other, more involved students (as far as campus life is concerned). i didn’t expect the program to be so competitive, but i try to tell myself that the only person i need to compete with is myself. i am working part-time at a hospital in dietary and trying to serve more in my community, but also trying to just discover what it is that i desire to do with my (future) expertise in nutrition (which is not clinical dietetics, if i am being honest). anyway, you may not have the chance to respond back, but i would love any extra input/words of wisdom. i know i need to just keep my eye on the prize, but sometimes it’s tough! thanks again for telling your story. i can identify so much!

:) kathryn (also a kath!)

Reply

261 KathEats February 20, 2014 at 1:11 pm

hi Kathryn! Your part time work in dietary will go miles when it’s internship time. I think the fact that you’re aware and concerned sets you above the rest already. Good luck!

Reply

262 Michelle April 1, 2014 at 7:24 am

I came across your blog randomly, and I was taken aback by your story as I am going through the EXACT same thing right now. I too am looking into beginning the courses at Winthrop to become an RD, and your story has eased my mind. My husband and I are worried about finances, but we are in the same boat you were when you started. Thank you for posting!

Reply

263 Cory @thesavvysweetpotato April 11, 2014 at 9:31 pm

Thank you SO much for blogging about this, it actually really helped me solidify my decision to pursue my dream of a Masters in Nutrition. I think it’s important to highlight the good, along with the bad, when describing the whole going back to school experience. I’m 24…some days I feel like I’m wasting my time but reading blogs like yours reassures me to keep following my dreams. :)

Reply

264 Katie April 27, 2014 at 7:39 pm

Thank you so much for sharing this! I am going to college next year to major in dietetics and I am super excited to start! it has been my dream to be an RD so every bit of help and tips I can get is great!

Reply

265 Stacey May 2, 2014 at 5:58 pm

THANK YOU, KATH for taking the time to compile this extremely informative and entertaining blog. You passion for nutrition is inspiring, and I wish I could express to you how truly helpful your blog is to me! I, too, have a liberal arts degree and want to pursue becoming an RD. Love your blog!!!

Reply

266 Kathryn June 30, 2014 at 2:19 pm

Just came across your story as I was googling for information about bacoming an RD. At 43 – and a mother of two boys (5 and 3) – I have lots of doubts about returning to school and making such a commitment, but reading about your journey has inspired me! Thanks.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Current day month ye@r *