Getting into Cal Poly: Interview

Happy DICAS everyone! I have been looking back on my DICAS application experience all week and am bursting with information! I wanted to share some words of wisdom from other voices to get you all prepared for the application! I will be interviewing other dietetic interns about their application process so that you all can have a leg up on the competition!

Meet my first dietetic intern, Rachelle Caviness. Rachelle is currently one of my roommates who moved to California in August to start the Cal Poly dietetic internship. This Washington native completed her Bachelor’s degree at Seattle Pacific University in 2017. Rachelle got into Cal Poly during her second DICAS application, after only applying to combined Masters/internship programs her first DICAS round.  Rachelle’s story is a little bit different from mine and I thought that it would be beneficial for you all to learn from her! She has been kind enough to not only share her story and answer my questions, but she has also shared her personal statement and resume with us! Here’s Rachelle…

1.Why did you choose Cal Poly Dietetic Internship? 

“I had already gone through every possible program on AND’s list of internship and picked out the cities I was willing to move to. I went through it one more time and Cal Poly stayed on my list. The program had an emphasis in wellness promotion and I liked that it was a broad emphasis rather than just clinical or community. Plus, it was only 10 months versus other lengthier programs…and California wasn’t too far from Washington. I created an excel spread sheet that listed a variety of information about each internship when it came time to apply for my DIs Cal Poly was ranked number one.”

2. What was the most difficult part of the DICAS application process? 

“I think for me, the fact that I had already applied before was really scary. I felt a lot more pressure to get into an internship this round so my personal statement, my descriptions; everything felt like it needed to be perfect. I had applied to combined programs during my first round of DICAS and got into one of the internship programs but not the graduate program. It was really challenging to go through the second application process with the fear of not getting in the second time.”

3.  What resources did you use when applying for DICAS? 

“I used the all access internship personal statement and resume guides. The personal statement guide was extremely helpful! I also received help from my advisor, who read my personal statement. I also had my friends, who were also applying, read my personal statement. I also asked my parents to read through it and that was hilarious to watch them have no idea what was going on. Their oblivion was actually very helpful because they could just tell me something didn’t make sense.

4. How did you prepare for the application? 

I started DICAS 5-6 months before it was due because of the amount of time that it took for my personal statement. I typically write with an outline so I made one for my personal statement as well. I also made a lot of excel spread sheets that had DICAS due dates because some had earlier due dates than February. The sheets told me what programs I was ranking highest, GPA minimums, and internship directors information. I also used my school’s career center for making my resume. They were very helpful with layout and verbiage.”

5. How confident did you feel in your application? 

“HUHHHH…I didn’t feel great about my DICAS application but I felt really great about my personal statement. I adapted my personal statements to each internship very well…plus I networked the crap out of the four programs I applied to. Even if you don’t have questions, just ask questions.”

6. What was the strongest part of your application 

“Probably my work experience. I had worked as a diet aid and an NDTR at two different hospitals.”

7. What was the weakest part of your application? 

“My GPA was my weakest. I received Cs in the majority of my science classes but my nutrition classes had an average of 3.4 GPA. Not saying that you can get into any internship with a 2.8 GPA in your science classes, but it can be done.”

8. Discuss some of your volunteer experiences

“I worked at a food bank through my church for a year ,on and off. I was on a community kitchen team during my undergrad which was a group of students that planned monthly cooking classes for low income families. I also received class credit for this opportunity which was a bonus. Another important volunteer position that I had was being on the board for my school nutrition club which showed leadership skills on my application.”

If you have any more specific questions for Rachelle feel free to email her at

And as promised…here is her personal statement and resume!

Cal Poly Personal Statement

DI Resume



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