Do you know how many years I wasted because I was so self-conscious about my grades and GPA? THREE YEARS, to be exact. Those three years were especially a waste because I did not try to even apply. I've heard how hard it is to get into an internship and thought, "Well, if people with better grades can't get in, then how can I?" I'm here to tell you that that kind of thinking is WRONG. Sure, they may have better grades, but that is not a direct indicator of how well they will function as an RDN. Grades are a part of being a great RD, but personality, common sense, interpersonal skills, empathy, compassion, and passion makes up the whole.
Speaking from experience, I have had co-workers get into a DI and it makes me wonder how they will be as RDs. Sure, they have good grades, but I've seen how they are as a worker. I've seen how much of their work they take seriously. I've seen how they interact with colleagues, staff, managers, and patients. For most of my co-workers, I know that they will go on to become GREAT RDs. But there are some where it makes me wonder how they will be, because I've seen how lazy they are, unreasonable, stubborn, unrealistic, temperamental, irresponsible, unorganized, illogical, toxic, and self-centered. Who would you rather work with? Someone with a low GPA but is a good worker and willing to learn? Or someone with an okay to good GPA who is lazy and unreasonable? I think this is an obvious one- the one with the low GPA, OF COURSE! This goes to show you that grades ARE NOT everything. I've had two internship directors tell me this as well: grades are not everything. Internship committees know this. That is why they have interviews- to get to know the person. This doesn't mean that people with low GPAs have all the great personalities or the people with high GPAs have bad personalities- DEFINITELY NOT. The point of this is to show you that GPAs aren't everything- it is not the only indicator of whether or not you will be a great DI student or if you will be a great RD.
Here is a snippet of a letter that I wrote to my DPD professor after finding out that I was matched:
"...Another thing I wanted to do was to let you know how much I appreciated your willingness to write a letter of recommendation, as well as your patience with the application process. I actually graduated from (school) in (year) with subpar grades. My grades, as well as the competitiveness of DI programs, discouraged me to even attempt to apply. Immediately after graduating, I retook classes at a JC and obtained an entry level position as a dietary aide. Even though I aced all my classes, my grades from (school) continued to haunt me. Time after time, I would keep telling myself that I would apply for the upcoming cycle. But time and time again, I would make up some excuse for not applying, when what was really holding me back were my grades.
I want to let you know that I am truly grateful that you took it in stride when (...). I knew it was too much to ask for, but also knew that if I didn’t do it this time, I would continue the cycle of making excuses and ending up where I started. I expected criticism and comments when I asked for a letter of recommendation- but you gave me none. On the contrary, you sounded genuine and willing to help. That gave me some relief and the motivation to continue the application process. For this, I am truly grateful. I am finally able to fulfill my career goal of becoming an RD."
This was her response to me:
"CONGRATULATIONS! Fantastic news and thank you for sharing. All of your hard work in school and on the application have certainly paid off.
Thank you for the kind words. Your comments below make it all worth it…success in acceptance to a DI!
All the best and let me know if there’s anything else that you need."
That is how I see it now. I've been holding myself back because I was self-conscious. You just need to believe in yourself because that is when you will be able to achieve anything. If you really want it bad, you can do it. Don't be discouraged if you applied and haven't gotten in. I've known quite a few people who did not get in until their third try. There is no shame in that. As I've mentioned once before, I know of an RD who didn't get matched even after her THIRD time of applying. My clinical preceptor even admitted to me that she did not get in until her third attempt, half of the interns in my program are second and third time applicants, and Toby knows of two people from work who did not get into a DI until their third attempt. After they become RDs, no one will question how long it took them to become RDs or how many times they applied. What matters is they got in. And they will be able to fulfill their dream job. They will be able to finally make use of their nutrition degree and do what they want career-wise. Just remember to reference our other articles to improve your odds of getting into a DI. In life, you have to strategize.
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This was my story:
"My confidence level definitely increased after purchasing the Nutrition Edumacation Membership. Leia and Toby always responded quickly and were able to provide genuine guidance and helpful advice. Purchasing this membership has by far been the best decision I have made which helped initiate my dietetics career so far. Their support throughout my entire DICAS process has been super helpful. This membership is affordable and they offer real life advice, tips and opinions. Leia and Toby helped me perfect my personal statement and helped increase my confidence immensely after their revisions and suggestions. Overall, this was a great experience for me and I thank them for all of their help. I wouldn't be where I am today without their full support and encouragement. If you're feeling lost or confused in any way during this complicated and stressful process, I recommend purchasing the Nutrition Edumacation Membership, as their guidance and resources greatly helped me through this journey. I highly recommend their services!"
"I bought a membership to Nutrition Edumacation after being denied twice in the internship matching process. Being denied twice was tough for me. I felt defeated but also motivated to improve my competitiveness in the matching process.
I wanted some support and direction without breaking the bank. I decided to apply to distance internships for my next round. I was impressed with the amount of helpful articles. There was several articles on how to approach distance internships from finding rotation sites to how to talk to preceptors. It helped me gain direction in the application process. I felt more confident in my application. I applied to a couple distance internships and a couple coordinated graduate programs.
At the beginning of this year, I was matched to coordinated graduate program. Although it was not a distance program, Nutrition Edumacation aided me in the writing of my personal statement and resume. They had helpful articles and even offered to read over my personal statement via email.
I am excited to start my program at the beginning of August. My application would not have been as strong if I did not have Nutrition Edumacation’s articles and email support."
"Toby and Leia are phenomenal mentors and very professional. Their guidance and suggestions are very straightforward and provide you options to choose the best applicable option to one’s needs. They helped me narrow down my DI choices, helped me navigate to write a PERFECT personal statement, uplifted my confidence I needed to show in my personal statement. Their online articles are very helpful in terms of what to expect and prepare you at its best to successfully complete a DICAS application, interviews, and DI. I just love that you can ask them any question via email and get a response in a timely manner. I can go on and on about both Toby and Leia and highly recommend their services."
"I felt more positive and hopeful after I found your website, I was scared I wouldn't get matched because I didn't have a high science gpa or a ton of clinical experience. After finding your website I realized that I had to be more strategic with my internship searches and research more distance internships and newer internships. In general, my confidence level increased.
A lot of your articles were beneficial some are; finding preceptors, personal statements, how to craft emails, studying for interviews, beating the odds to name a few.
My confidence level after the revisions was high, you really asked questions to make sure I highlighted the right experiences, that it was concise, straight to the point.
You reply to emails pretty quickly, your explanations are very detailed, you guys make your members very comfortable to approach you. You really make people feel like they are not alone in the process. I recommend Nutrition Edumacation 110%. I got matched and I can't wait to start my internship!"
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