New York, NY
Tell us about yourself, your education, your background, and your current interests.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in English in 2004 from Rutgers University. After working in financial services for five years I decided to change my career and become a Registered Dietitian. I completed my DPD curriculum at New York University. During this time, I also worked as an Office Manager and Nutrition Research Assistant at Columbus Park Collaborative Eating Disorder Treatment Center in New York City. I am currently enrolled in my Dietetic Internship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and will complete my internship at the end of August. I plan on taking the RD registration exam this fall and will also return to New York University to pursue a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition. My other interests include traveling, skiing, triathlons, cooking, reading a good book on the beach, and spending time with my family and friends.
You had an earlier career in finance. What influenced your decision to change careers to nutrition and dietetics?
I found little fulfillment in my career in finance, and I always knew that my interest was in the field of wellness and nutrition. I wanted a career that I was passionate about as well as one that allowed me to feel as if I was making a difference each day. Throughout the past year I have met many people and have provided nutritional guidance and counseling to improve their health. There has not been a day where I have regretted my choice to change careers and I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me!
You are an athlete. What are your experiences in sports?
From a young age I learned that being active was something that I enjoyed. It was not uncommon to see me running from ballet class to a soccer game in the same afternoon. In high school I was named to the NJ All State Soccer team as well as the All Conference Team for Track and Field. My love of many different sports came together in my adult life to bring me into the world of triathlons. I competed in my first triathlon last summer as a member of Team in Training raising funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. Since last summer I have now competed in six triathlons including my most recent race, the Providence Amica Half Ironman. I look forward to adding a full Ironman to my schedule in the near future. This fall I will also be taking on the streets of New York in the ING New York City Marathon.
You have recovered from an eating disorder. What factors were most influential to your recovery?
The desire and will to overcome my eating disorder and return to a place of health were the main driving forces behind my recovery. The eating disorder took away my vibrancy, personality, and pushed away friends and family. I longed to get my mind and body back to a healthy place where I no longer listened to the racing thoughts associated with the disorder. I also wanted to regain my previous love of sports and exercise. The disorder created a negative perception and feeling around exercise and turned it into an unhealthy addiction. Working on redeveloping a healthy relationship with exercise was one of the most challenging aspects of my recovery. I took time away from exercise to relearn my body and allow the proper time and space to heal. An essential piece to my recovery was working with an amazing Registered Dietitian who specialized in eating disorders, a Therapist, Psychiatrist, as well as Exercise Physiologist. These professionals worked collaboratively with me, and one another, to guide me on my path to recovery. Often when I am out on a run, swim, or bike I feel overwhelmed with pride knowing that I was able to overcome my disorder and bring myself back to a place of health and happiness.
You are enrolled in a dietetic internship at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Tell us about that experience and something you have learned.
The internship at NewYork-Presbyterian has been an incredibly thorough and in-depth learning experience. It has equipped me with the tools to work with any patient population. I have worked with patients in renal, cardiac, neurology, endocrinology, critical care, psychiatric, GI, and pediatrics, in community, ambulatory, and acute care settings. I also spent a great deal of time in specialized rotations focused on enteral and parenteral nutrition support for pediatric patients up to geriatrics. I also gained experience in food service procurement and management. I look back at the past year and am often amazed at the wealth of knowledge and experiences that I have obtained. This internship provided me with the extensive amount of clinical work that I was seeking and was clearly the best fit for me.
Once you become a registered dietitian, what kind of work do you want to do? What are your professional goals?
My main areas of interest lie in eating disorders, sports nutrition, GI and wellness/nutrition counseling. In the future I would like to develop a wellness center along with other health care professional such as physical therapists, and personal trainers to focus on treating individuals as a whole. I would like to focus on disordered eating and eating disorders in athletes as well as speak on preventative measures in the community. I also have an interest in working with athletes that have special needs secondary to clinical conditions such as Type I Diabetes and Celiac disease. Working with the pediatric and young adult population is also an interest of mine especially in the prevention of childhood obesity and Type II Diabetes. I plan on pursuing Board Certification as Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) as well as a personal training certification. Above all I am very open to new learning experiences and opportunities that may come my way!
Is there anything else you would like to share with other students?
I would recommend making professional contacts while you are in school and spend time observing Registered Dietitians in various settings. Also make the most out of your Dietetic Internship wherever it may be. Be sure to ask questions and utilize the knowledge of the professionals with whom you are working. Overall, enjoy the journey!!