Good morning and happy DICAS season! You applicants are only 1 month away from submitting your internship applications! In light of that, I thought I would provide another interview with a current dietetic intern. Jacy is one of my sweet friends from high school; we played volleyball, tap danced, and embraced our white skin and sunburns together. After a switch in schools we lost touch…until my junior year of college when Jacy walked into my healthy cooking class. Of course we were the same major! It was one of my favorite surprises of college! Jacy graduated with me from Fresno State in May and was matched with the Morrison Dietetic Internship. I hope you enjoy the wisdom and info from Jacy!
- Why did you choose Fresno State / Morrison?
The main reason behind my choosing to apply to both Fresno State and Morrison was the fact that they were both located in Fresno. My husband was in Fresno State’s nursing school, so at that point in time, I could only apply to internships in the area. However, with that being said, I was interested in each internship based on what they had to offer.
Fresno State offered a wide variety of experiences in every field of dietetics, which would allow for numerous connections with Registered Dietitians all over the Central Valley. Another aspect that was appealing to me was the fact that I knew that the Fresno State internship would be run in a fashion that I was used to, seeing that I completed my undergrad at Fresno State.
Morrison’s internship was of interest to me because they concentrate on the foodservice and clinical aspects of dietetics. Clinical was my concentration, so I was excited for the possibility of participating in an internship that focused on clinical. Another draw to this internship was that the education section of the internship was online, which I knew I would enjoy. I also knew that this internship would push me outside my comfort zone due to its overall unfamiliarity, which I knew would benefit my professional career.
Overall, I had connections to each internship, which is why I decided to apply to both. I completed my undergrad at Fresno State, so I knew the director personally, along with some of the members on the selection committee. For a year prior to applying, I was employed through Morrison as Catering Associate at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno and my boss made sure to mention me to Morrison’s director so that she would recognize my name when she saw my application.
- What was the most difficult part of the DICAS application process?
The most difficult part of the DICAS application process was writing the personal statement. Adequately portraying myself, my accomplishments, and my professional goals in 1,000 words was difficult and took time. I wrote and rewrote my personal statement about a dozen times to finally reach a personal statement I was willing to turn in. I also had had my professor, the University Internship Coordinator at Fresno State, friends, and family read through my personal statement to offer their input and advice. However, I knew ahead of time that this part of the application would be difficult for me, so I made sure to start working on it months before that application was due.
- What resources did you use when applying for DICAS?
The only resource I used to help my application was All Access Internships. I purchased a checklist, along with other resources from that website that helped me navigate my application.
- How did you prepare for the application?
Years prior to applying, I sought out specific and meaningful volunteer experiences and purposefully tried to build relationships with my supervisors to use them as references when applying to the internship. Throughout this time, I also made sure to consistently update my resume so that I could accurately portray my experiences on paper at around the time they were happening. The semester prior to applying, my professor assigned many assignments to better prepare for the application, such as organizing all volunteer/work experiences and researching each internship of interest.
- Describe your confidence level in your application.
Though I knew my application was thorough, I had doubts regarding my competitiveness compared to the other applicants. However, when I submitted my application, I knew that I turned in the very best application I could at that point in time.
- What was the strongest part of your application?
I believe my two strongest aspects of my application were my work experiences and my GPA. For two years I was a Registered Behavior Technician through Kings Canyon Unified School District and one of the kiddos I worked with dealt with a carpet eating behavior. Through my time working with him, we were able to decrease his behavior. This experience gave me a unique opportunity to understand and implement behavior therapy in a real-life experience. My next job, a Catering Associate, gave me experience in both foodservice, as I built trays for patients, and clinical, as I delivered food to patients and interacted with hospital staff. Both experiences showed that I had dedication to expanding my knowledge in various aspects of dietetics. My GPA was also another aspect of my application that I focused on throughout my entire college career. My GPA at Reedley College was 3.75 and my GPA at Fresno State at 3.88.
- What was the weakest part of your application?
I felt the weakest part of my application was my lack of specific leadership opportunities, such as being a leader of a club, organization, or project. I also was not confident that my application had a wide enough variety of experiences, as I purposefully did not take every experience offered to me in fear of becoming too overwhelmed and negatively impacting my GPA.
- Discuss some of your volunteer experiences.
One of my volunteer experiences was volunteering at a WIC office in Clovis with the Breastfeeding Coordinator through United Health Centers. Through this experience, I was able to gain a greater understanding of WIC and all they do for their participants, while also increasing my knowledge of the importance of breast feeding. Some of my jobs were to create promotional material, create content for meetings, and I also created a study guide for the staff to ensure that they understood the logistics of breastfeeding education. Another experience I had was through the Community Food Bank. I entered data into their software system that helped them keep track of their participants and also kept track of important details such as how many lived in their household and their education level.
Jacy is an incredible person and is going to make an absolutely AMAZING RD! I am so glad that you all had the opportunity to learn from someone who successfully was matched to such a competitive program! Jacy also shared her personal statement and resume with all of us! Feel free to take a look and get some inspiration from a polished example.