How To Write A Winning Dietetic Internship Personal Statement
Your personal statement is the first impression a dietetic internship will have about your personality, goals, qualifications, and worth. This may be your only chance to demonstrate your ability and your interest in the program to hopefully move forward and get an interview. Therefore, the personal statement needs to be relevant, honest, enthusiastic, and memorable.
Here are 6 tips on how to write a winning dietetic internship personal statement.
1. Show Your Worth. Wanda Siu-Chan, MS, RD, Dietetic Internship Director/Lecturer at San Francisco State University department of Consumer & Family Studies/Dietetics, advises to elaborate on 1-3 work or volunteer experiences which enhance your qualifications and commitment to the profession. Don’t just re-write what is already in your DICAS application or resume. Instead, explain in more detail and/or describe a specific experience to help the committee learn more about you.
2. Sell Yourself. Jenny Westerkamp, RDN, Owner of All Access Internships, recommends to be comfortable with “selling” yourself and telling the committee how great you are. You are not bragging. If you don’t express your self-worth with specific examples and evidence, the directors will not know how special you are.
3. Be Specific. Vague reasons on why you want to attend the program such as “fantastic teaching hospital” or “variety of rotations” is too generic, informs Westerkamp. Instead, choose specific rotations that line up with your own experiences and goals. Try to think of 3 good reasons why that particular internship program is the right fit for you, suggests Westerkamp.
4. Follow Directions. If the internship program asks a specific question for the personal statement, make sure you answer the question providing specific details and examples. Also include ways you hope to be a leader in the field, proposes Westerkamp.
5. Edit. Edit. Having a spelling, grammar, or organizational blooper demonstrates a lack of attention to detail and writing ability, both of which are important qualities to securing an internship, per Siu-Chan. Remember, this is your first impression to stand out and make an impact, so make sure to diligently proofread your personal statement.
6. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Siu-Chan concludes to have an instructor, professor, or fellow student read your personal statement and provide feedback. You don’t have to take all the feedback, but it may be helpful. Many colleges offer assistance at the career center or writing/tutoring center, informs Siu-Chan.
Remember, your personal statement will pave the way to whether you get an interview or not. A well-planned, well-researched, and well-written personal statement can land you your dietetic internship of choice.
For further resources check out:
All Access Internships Personal Statement Coaching Package
Successfully Ace Your Dietetic Interview
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) Dietetic Internship Process
Sarah Koszyk is founder of Family. Food. Fiesta. A family-based wellness program and blog focusing on recipes, family health tips, and videos with kids cooking in the kitchen. She is a Registered Dietitian and Nutrition Coach specializing in sports nutrition and adult and pediatric weight management. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or LinkedIn.
At a young age I did very little to maintain a healthy and active life regardless of being an athlete. Of course, it can be said that eating in general, let alone healthy, as a child was out of my control and not a personal priority of mine. While this may be true, it did not stop my dad from becoming diabetic, nor did it soften the unknown, but very real fear that I had for my family’s future when he did. As a family we lacked nutrition education and general health knowledge, therefore we initially were unaware that my father’s diabetes was preventable through diet and lifestyle behavior. Yet when we grasped this concept and began applying healthy choices within my father’s life, the impact of eating healthy spread throughout our family. This realization led me to establish a connection between my parents health and my own as a child, but more importantly it allowed me to understand how I could reciprocate my eating and exercise habits to my family. Therefore armed with the motivation to prolong my father’s life and motivate my family to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I became inspired with a deep passion to make a career out of nutrition.
As an entering Oregon State University underclassman I attained a paid internship at the Benton County Health Department and the Parks and Recreation of Corvallis. The position that I interned for was as the head event coordinator for a large community event called Campeones de Salud (Champions of Health) Soccer Tournament & Family Weekend. In particular, this event provided 2,000 community members with free health screenings and resources, as well as with family activities. Through personally organizing the event, I collaborated with community members, organizations and businesses allowing me to develop skills that prepare me for my future career. For example, through my experience contacting local businesses for community sponsorship I have developed strong communication and negotiating skills. In seeking sponsorship, I not only initiated contact with the business, but also personally communicated with the establishment owner the general event details, varying levels of sponsorship commitment and sponsorship incentives.
A short-term goal of mine is to have the opportunity to work with athletes soon after becoming a certified registered dietitian. Although inspired by my father’s diagnoses when I was a child, throughout my upbringing I developed a fascination with sports nutrition. As an athlete in high school and a recreational one in college, I have experienced the benefits in athletic performance of eating healthy first hand. Therefore, I would like to spread this knowledge to athletes to increase their performance on and off the field, and also improve their career longevity. For a long-term goal I aim to establish a private practice catered to collegiate and professional level athletes. Moreover, I want to make an impact in the community I live in, especially with the youth. For this reason, I hope to use my connections and business as a foundation to hold community events advocating for physical activity and healthy habits. I also aim to sponsor local youth sport teams, and events catered to health for all ages.
An area of strength within my career is that I have a motivated work ethic and I am passionate about my work. I strongly believe that with any opportunity in life the individual gets out what she or he puts in. In applying this to my life I have insured that any responsibility asked of me or self-designated is met with full capacity. This means that academically I strive to attain the best grade possible, complete a task with a high quality standard and to understand the importance of group collaboration. In a professional setting this means to hold myself accountable to my work, meet deadlines, manage my time effectively and represent myself in a professional manner. However, in being passionate and dedicated to my work I can become narrow-minded to others opinions and dismissive to constructive criticism. Although these are weaknesses of mine, I consistently work to improve on them. For example, after completing a community newsletter that took several days to finalize, I decided to go on a break to refresh my mind before asking for suggestions and constructive criticism. This allowed me to separate myself from my work in order to be open minded and accepting of my co-workers thoughts and opinions.
As a college student and future professional I am young, and often this can lead to believing that I am inexperienced or unprepared. Yet, I believe that my experience tells a different story. Looking at my past experiences you will see that as a freshman I attained my first paid internship that I maintained for two years, and as a junior I attained my second paid internship that I currently uphold. In combination to these achievements, I have also worked very hard to be awarded the Undergraduate Research Award Program (URAP) apprenticeship during my junior year. I understand that even with these accomplishments as a student, there is still always room to improve and to learn. For this reason, I continually find motivation to become a contributing professional in the field of dietetics. Having had the experience and skill development that I have had, yet having a lifetime to continue growing as individual is exciting, and a step that I wish to take at your internship site.