Hey Nutrition Students,
Our Masters and Internship Q and A on November 11, 2016, was a big success!! We’d like to take a minute to once again thank everyone, both students and guest speakers, on attending one of our largest NCU events thus far. As a student run committee, we hope you found the event both educational and interactive; however, we understand not everyone who would have liked to come out could make it. So with that said, here is a brief summary of some points that were brought up from some of the guest speakers.
There is no particular order of the following notes:
Q: How’s the job market for RD’s?
A (focus on applications first!): Job market is tough. It might be easier to find casual/ mat leave jobs as an entry level RD, that said this changes every year. Some interns have found jobs 2 weeks after completing their rotations, others in a couple of months. One of the interns, actually asked in the interview ‘How employable are your graduates’ and the answer was, ‘Usually interns find employment within 6 months’. If you’re more open to relocating, your chances of finding employment are higher. Some programs, often hire interns who completed their rotations at that hospital, so factor that in as well (ie. Sunnybrook Health Sciences). The UofT MPH student, said there was a wide range of job opportunities available, as the placements are quite diverse and encompass; public health, community, clinical etc.
Q: A day in the life of…?
A: This question really does vary among each person and program, we suggest speaking to the person in the program you’re specifically interested in. That said, many of the speakers talked about how it depends on who your preceptor in that placement is, and also how much practice you might still need on your own. Also, days can be quite long, and vary depending on what rotation you’re in. For example Food Service can start at 6 and end at 6, or start at 10 and end at 4, it really depends on the supervisors schedule. A clinical rotation might be something along the lines of getting in at 8 am, doing Pt. rounds for 2 hours, initial assessments, charting, one hour lunch, follow- ups etc. Your first clinical rotation you might be seeing 1-2 patients but as you move forward you might see 3+. MPH UofT program, it’s a bit different, it’s 1 month clinical, 1 month food service, 1 month Public Health and there’s also a clinical rotation that’s longer in the summer, which might involve a lot of mini projects. The summer clinical rotation in this program is longer and more independent (*Note, not all clinical rotations are in a hospital persay, they can be a long term family care team or something similar). Typical day in a community setting might involve half the day seeing patient’s one-on-one, patent education lessons, shadowing with nurse etc.
Q: Extracurricular versus grades?
A: – Transferable skills are really key here!!
- Don’t sell yourself short if you don’t have loads of F & N experience, it’s OK to consider experience outside of this field as well! For example, working in a summer camp and doing ‘xyz’ taught you ______, it’s about how you phrase things, and what you learned from them J
- It’s about how you ‘spin off’ experience so to say
- All of your experience builds character, and personality and that’s what really highlights you in the interview process.
- At the end of the day, they want the best ‘fit’ candidate, and some places will click while others may not
- -Experience gets you in the door, but the interview is really important as well (see point above).
- Might be better to focus on a couple of volunteer experiences and highlight those, as oppose to stressing yourself out, and trying to accomplish as much as possible. Ask yourself ‘WHY are you doing what you’re doing, how is this going to help you in the future….”
- Grades are equally as important, good to have a equal balance of both
- Quality over quantity is key here
- Might actually be beneficial to cut down on some volunteer placements if you’re overwhelming yourself, and pay closer attention to your resume, personal letter and grades
- Don’t forget about self-care!
- Interview skills are also important
- Good references are equally important to
Q: General tips about applications?
A: – Pay attention to detail, and know why you’re applying to programs, not just because it’s a route to becoming a Dietitian
– You can’t fake passion and interest; it will come through in the interview.
- Have several people review your application, siblings, professors, RD’s in the field etc. good to have a range of opinions
- Description box on resume, as oppose to writing the task, try placing more emphasis on the skills you used and what you learned from it
Q: Why the Masters?
A: – Variety of placements available
- Helps enhance communication skills
- Lots of coursework helps prepare you for placements (*many of the internship students took into consideration that they did not want to be in school for another 1-2 years)
Q: What did you ask during the interview?
A: -What’s their (interviewers) favorite part about the program? How employable are the graduates? Are there any support services offered?
More General tips
- You can do a research masters program after your internship, and some programs may even help fund you while you’re completing it!
- Interns aren’t glued down to clinical settings only, everyone has the same scope of training, there are still a variety of placements out there even if you do an internship.
- That said, if you do see yourself working in a clinical setting, in a hospital, you would highly benefit form the internship program
- Think about whom you’re meeting during your programs, connections are really key once you graduate!
- All graduates have the same competencies, despite what program route you have taken
- A lot of jobs in Public Health, do require a Masters in it
- Check out the Letter of Intent FAQ to help with the MPH program @ UofT
- There is sometimes opportunities for ‘second round’ picks, if you didn’t receive a first round offer
- If you don’t get an interview, there is no point in calling or emailing for further information as to why
- If you don’t have the min GPA listed on the program, there is no point of applying (*There are a hundred of qualified applicants who they will look at instead)
- Being proactive in your placements is important, and going the extra mile to build connections with your preceptors.
*Disclaimer: This summary does not encompass everything that was said at the event. If there is a specific question you would like addressed, or something that doesn’t seem clear, your best bet would be to reach out to a person in the program. These are just brief notes.
Best of luck to everyone applying, and remember to take care of yourself!!
-Ryerson NCU Communications