How to Become a Dietetic Intern- Told by a Dietetic Intern

I am almost done with my dietetic internship! I only have a few more months left, yaaaay! Let me tell you some of the small (actually large) details no one tells you when you’re applying for an internship. There were so many little tips and tricks I wish I would have known before applying. WTF is DICAS and where the heck do I apply? AH! So many questions. No worries, by the end of this you’ll pick up a few life hacks on dietetic internships.

Let me give you a little background about how I clutched a dietetic internship. First, let me say, I had no idea what I was doing (NO IDEA). I applied to 4 different places (remember there is a fee associated with each place you apply). 2 of the 4 applications went to Arizona State. They have a degree and non-degree track. I also applied to Maricopa county, and then I applied for some random internship in northern Arizona. I forget the name of it, but the criteria specially said, “must be Native American” I’m not Native American, but I applied anyway. After submitting a few days before applications were due match day came around.  Guess what happened!!! I DIDN’T GET MATCHED, imagine that. Here’s where panic sets in and you think your life is over. I was convinced I had wasted 4 years of my life getting a stupid nutrition degree that I couldn’t do anything with. Am I right or am I right?

Lolz, I was wrong! There’s this cool thing called SECOND ROUND MATCHING. The DPD director sent out a HUGE list of schools who still needed/wanted interns. If you want to see where the second-round matches were for 2017 subscribe for an e-mail attachment. When I say huge I mean like a least 30+ schools.
Pro advice: don’t panic too much, a little is totally okay though.
Read over the list and find ones that interest you then contact that dietetic internship director and ask them all the questions you might have. You can use the steps below to become a PRO at this whole process.


First, ask yourself what you want to do in the future. If you have no idea that cool, you’ll figure it out soon enough. You might think you don’t like a certain area.  Don’t you dare say you don’t like it without trying it. To not like something, you have to have had some experience in the area. Then you’ll know if you really don’t like it, just saying. No matter where you choose you’ll probably still get a little taste of it all. The concentration will give you an idea of what you’ll spend the next year of your life working on. Ask your DPD director for the big ole’ list of ALL the internships, find the ones that you can’t stop thinking about and apply there.


Yo, never let money stop your dreams, but if you 100% can’t afford a program apply somewhere more feasible. Unless it’s the internship of your dreams then GO FOR IT GIRL (or boy let’s not be sexist). Some programs have financial aid available, some don’t, and a select few even pay you (YESSSS). My program had financial aid available (kind of, but that’s a different story). Do your research on the program. How far do you have to drive to rotations? How much is rent? Ask yourself all the valid questions you can think of. If financial aid is available, make sure it is enough for BOTH semesters. That sounds so silly, but I only received aid for one semester, bummer. Remember this will be ONE YEAR WITHOUT pay. Everyone always suggests not getting a job. I did anyway! Yeah, probably don’t do that. I had zero time, like actually zero time. I couldn’t give anything 100%. It was more like everything was given 25%, you don’t want that and neither does your employer. Moral of the story find a program that sounds suitable for you and your finances.


You might not get your #1 pick. THAT IS OKAY DANG IT. I didn’t get a spot in any of the programs I applied for. I’m still alive and well and you will be too. At the time I lived in Arizona and wasn’t really looking to relocate. But when second round came I applied to one school in Georgia just for S&G’s. I ended up making it into the program. In case you’re bad a geography, Georgia is completely opposite side of the country from Arizona. This is where flexibility was key step to becoming a dietitian. I had never been to Georgia, let alone visited the campus I would soon be walking on. Talk about legit culture shock. I feel like a foreign exchange student in my home country.

My grad classes in Georgia started on May 15th. Undergraduate graduation was on May 12th in Arizona. My boyfriend and I (gotta give him a little credit here) drove 30+ hours in 3 days to make it on time. We got to my new house around 1 am the day classes were starting. I had to be up and ready to go by 7 am for classes. That doesn’t sound too early, but after 30 hours of driving that absolutely is early.  Flying might have been easier, but this program required a car. Because I was coming in the day classes started I needed my car ASAP. Side note: there is no airport near the little town where I was now living either. The moral of this story isn’t to brag about myself, but to remind you to be flexible. You never know what life will throw at you. You never know what type of program you might find and who knows what you’ll have to do to get there. All I can say is make the best of the situation even if you go a little crazy.


Real talk your top pick might not require the GRE. BUT if you don’t match your second-round choice might! Better safe rather than sorry on this one. Unless you want to sign up for the test on a Wednesday and take it on a Saturday with zero time to study. Yes, speaking from experience and I wouldn’t suggest doing that. Just take the test and you’ll have it for the next time you need it.


That’s all just don’t give up on your dream. If you want to be a dietitian then you be a dang dietitian! You’ll make great friends who are going through the same struggles you  have. Use them to cheer you on, you got this!


A handful of interns at the farmer’s market

If you want to see the 2017 second round list I used subscribe ! It might not be the exact same, but it might give you ideas where to apply.

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