Nutrition Intern Possibilities in Private Practice
I have always believed in mentoring nutritional professionals in private practice. There is often a disconnect between rigorous academic scientific studies needed to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) and the grit and compassion it takes to be successful in private practice. I feel like so many more dietitians would create a specific mentorship track to help create a win-win situation. I thought it would be useful to revisit how to inspire RDs to welcome nutrition students and interns into their nutrition practice.
FAQs about hosting a Nutrition Intern
So many Registered Dietitians ask me “what could a nutrition intern do in my office”? Dietitians also ask me how do you train and mentor nutrition interns? What is the benefit to having interns in your office? I hope this blog is an inspiration to you. I wrote this blog four years ago. Today, I am updating it to show the benefits of attracting and retaining amazing talent and grooming nutrition students to become valuable, long term additions to your nutrition counseling team.
Another question I often get is “how do you find great nutrition interns and students?”
Klara Knezevic, RD, LD, CLT started in our nutrition counseling office as a nutrition student and is now Chief Operating Office for our group practice. Here is how she started as a student about 6 years ago:
See below for tips as you read about one of my nutrition intern success stories.
First, ask your local dietetic department to help you find a nutrition intern. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of what you want your intern to help you with and what you will be able to give the intern in return. For instance, do you need help with social media? Does your potential intern need experience in an office setting or a counseling setting? The possibilities are endless.
Second, interview your potential nutrition intern or student and make sure you are a good fit. Our values at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates (RBA) include compassion, personalization and effectiveness. Does your potential candidate have qualities that you value?
What values are most important to your practice?
Our nutrition interns are extremely hard-working college students with big hearts. They are passionate, determined and bring both their academic skills and their people skills to our practice to support our clients and our Registered Dietitians. Read below to hear about on of our Rockstar Student Interns who transformed into a full-time Registered Dietitian with us: Klara Knezevic.
Third, think of projects that would be great for your intern’s resume. Here are some of the projects that Klara worked on!
What projects do our nutrition interns work on?
Our nutrition interns are great at helping us organize our writing, proofreading and even fact checking!
In addition to attending our writer’s retreats, our interns help with cooking videos:
Our interns help with mass mailings:
Our interns also help with:
- Answering the phones
- Making appointments
- Calling insurance companies
- Scanning documents
- Updating handouts
- Making nutrition graphics
- Contributing to blog posts
- Participating in social media
- Grocery shopping for our cooking classes and Facebook Live videos
Again, the possibilities are endless if you find the right nutrition intern!
What qualities make a great intern?
What makes Klara such a great nutrition intern? I asked her supervisor, Dana Magee, RD and here is what Dana said:
What are Klara’s top traits for her success at RBA?
- Independence. When Klara is assigned a task she is able to complete it with efficiency and accuracy. It is so wonderful to delegate a task and know that it will be at the quality you need without having to redo it yourself.
- Self learning. I am sure there were plenty of things that Klara did not know off the cuff, but she was able to research and teach herself in order to achieve the task at hand.
- Proactive. Klara is always asking what she can help with and what she can lend a hand to without being asked.
- Perseverance. Manning our billing Klara has managed to do her job while still maintaining relationships with our clients surrounding bill pay and insurance.
- Positivity. Klara is always smiling ready to dive into projects no matter what is asked of her, her positivity and confidence is contagious.
- Organization. Klara has had so many tasks thrown at her by our whole team and she still manages to get the projects done and in a timely fashion.
- Communication. whether through our communication form or email Klara has always been able to convey questions, issues, and successes well on a daily basis.
Here are some of our former nutrition student interns.
If you are interested in joining our team, please contact our nutrition office.
To find out more about Klara’s success, take a look at Klara Knezevic’s bio.
Inspiration from Klara today!
Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Intern Consulting:
For more detailed information about how I have done this many times, read Welcome to the Rebelution: 7 steps to the Nutrition Counseling Practice of Your Dreams. If you are a Registered Dietitian and want more help on how to add nutrition students and interns into your practice, contact Rebecca Bitzer for a complimentary consultation.
Rebecca Bitzer loves to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) and their clients. Co-author of Welcome to the Rebelution: Seven steps to the nutrition counseling practice of your dreams and Taste the Sweet Rebellion: Rebel against dieting.