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


My DICAS Application

Today I got to sit on my balcony, enjoying some conversation with my roommate along with her pillage of goodies from her catering job. Our conversation varied from the beautiful SLO weather to our experience applying for the dietetic internship. We both realized that this time last year we were preparing for the dreaded DICAS application. Oh mama, is that thing a beast. We reminisced on Cal Poly’s virtual open house and the many fill-ins of the application process. Looking back at that time in life I remember feeling so uncertain about where I wanted to be next year and what opportunities I would be offered. Now, I find myself sitting at my kitchen table in San Luis Obispo, CA living this intern life that I dreamt about for years.

I wanted to write the first of many DICAS help blog posts today to get you ready for the process. The application isn’t due until February but I wanted to offer some basic tips that helped me through the beginning portions of the application process. As you make your DICAS log in and look at all of the empty white boxes, you can often feel very overwhelmed. There’s always a fear of forgetting something, a personal statement being uploaded improperly, or a letter of recommendation not being sent. But don’t worry! Trust in the fact that you have made it this far and thousands of people have completed this application.

Below I have provided a quick timeline to get you thinking about your DICAS application. This timeline might not work for everyone but this is just an example of what it might look like. Word to the wise; DO NOT WAIT TO THE LAST MINUTE!

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Portfolio Addition

I am very excited to be adding a new portion my by blog. Part of the dietetic internship curriculum is creating a professional portfolio that includes evaluations, projects, etc. Part of my future profession will include growing this blog and providing resources to my fellow RD2Bs. With this in mind, I thought it would be beneficial for my readers to have a centralized location that showcased more than just my recipes. And I thought it would be unique for my future employers to see more than just my resume but to demonstrate the skill set that I have developed through my years as an undergraduate student, and now as a dietetic intern. Throughout the year I will be adding various parts of my rotations. This portfolio will hold clinical, community and food service projects and evaluations. I hope to demonstrate my ability as a nutrition professional through this platform, while also providing additional resources to those that are looking into a dietetic internship. Feel free to contact me through that Contact page, if you find that you have any questions.

A passion of mine has always been teaching. As much as I have tried to run away from that profession, it always finds me. I have found such joy in mentoring fellow RD2Bs and helping them through this process. This blog is designed to make your lives simpler and I truly believe that this new section will contribute to that goal.



Chili Verde Soup

This week I went to my favorite local Mexican restaurant with my family and had the most amazing chili verde soup. I craved the soup the rest of the week and had to try and make it for myself! This soup is incredibly easy and so flavorful! It has a lot of canned items in it so it makes it cost effective by utilizing some non-perishable items.



I also made some pork in the crockpot while I was at class to add to the soup. The pork ended up being so tender! The crockpot is my new favorite cooking method for this season in life. It’s so old school and I love it! My working mom utilized the crockpot the entire time I was in elementary school and it was so nice to come home to a warm house with the smell of food that has been cooking all day!

Crockpot Pork


  • 1-2lb pork tenderloin
  • 2-3 T Trader Joes chili lime seasoning
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T pepper
  • water


  1. Rub the pork with the mixture of seasonings.
  2. Add pork to the crockpot.
  3. Fill the crockpot with water just above the pork.
  4. Cook on high for 1 hour
  5. Turn to low and cook for 7-8 hours.


Chili Verde Soup


  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 2 T garlic powder
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 cans diced green chilis
  • 2 can salsa verde
  • 2 cans white beans
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • pork or chicken


  1. Begin by heating oil over medium heat with white onion.
  2. Once onions are sweating and add chili powder and garlic.
  3. Once onions are softened and slightly browned add 1/4 c cilantro.
  4. Mix cilantro and onion well. Add diced green chilis, salsa verde, and white beans.
  5. Add chicken broth and pork.
  6. Cover and bring soup to boil.
  7. Once soup is brought to a boil, add the rest of the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Bring soup to simmer.
  9. Enjoy with cheese, a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and radishes on top!

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Mini Apple Tarts

The air smells like apple spice and pumpkin candles, an ungodly amount of leaves are falling on my Rav4, and I keep getting yelled out when I put Christmas music on… must be fall! One of my favorite parts about fall are my friendsgivings. I love my family, don’t get my wrong, but I really enjoy seeing friends that I haven’t seen in months. Especially now that I’m in SLO! For this year’s friendsgiving I was in charge of a salad and a dessert. I’ll be posting about the salad soon but spoiler alert – it’s AMAZING! This salad is so hearty and filling; perfect for your fall festivities.

Anywhooooo, back to the tarts. This was my first time making this little beauties and I have to say I am impressed. I got the idea while I was looking through instagram. I saw a quick video of these tarts and thought I could make that without a recipe! For those of you that know me, you know that I’m not great with following a recipe, anyway.


  • 2 pre-made pie crusts (or homemade, if you’re feeling fancy)
  • 3 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T cinnamon
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 3 T granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white, for egg wash


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Begin by rolling out one pie crust and cutting small circles.
  3. Place foil over baking sheet and add the circles on top of foil.
  4. In a large bowl, add apples, brown sugar, 2 T cinnamon, lemon juice, and 2 T granulated sugar. Mix well.
  5. Scoop small portions of apple mixture onto pie crust circles.
  6. Cut strips out of second pie crust. Create a lattice with the strips over the apple mixture.
  7. Use the same circle cutter and place over tart to get rid of any additional crust.
  8. Egg wash and sprinkle remaining cinnamon and sugar over tarts.
  9. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Chili

One of my favorite recipes to make during fall is chili. It’s really inexpensive, quick and easy to make. Plus it’s primarily made of canned foods which means I always have the ingredients on hand. Chili is a great recipe that can prevent food waste if you’re cooking for one or two people. Too often fresh products get thrown out because you can’t eat it fast enough. With chili, all you need is your canned goods!


  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1lb ground turkey or beef (optional)
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 12 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 small can of green chilis
  • 2 cans ranch beans
  • ¾ c pepper jack cheese (optional)


  1. Add 2 T canola oil and onion over medium heat to a large pot.
  2. Once onion has softened, add ground meat of choice, 1 T chili powder, garlic powder, and salt.
  3. Once meat is fully cooked add in your stewed tomatoes and chilis. Mix well.
  4. Add in your sweet potatoes, and ranch style beans.
  5. Bring chili to boil.
  6. Once it begins to boil bring it to a simmer until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
  7. Add pepper jack cheese and 1 T chili powder.
  8. Salt and pepper to taste.




Chicken Tortilla Soup

From a very young age I became obsessed with food. I remember looking through cook books and food magazines circling all of the recipes that I wanted to make some day. Most kids are given Disney picture books…I was given a Mickey Mouse Cookbook. I still have that cookbook. It’s from Disney World back in the 90s (or older). I would spend hours highlighting and circling recipes that I wanted to make someday when I got older. I have actually never made anything from that book, now that I think about it. I should probably do that! Anywhoo….the first recipe that I ever made by myself was from a Rachel Ray magazine that I use to get when I was 10. I went to my mom and begged her to help me make it. So we went to the grocery store and found all of the ingredients that we would need. This chicken soup recipe is an off shoot of Rachel Ray’s. This one recipe gave me the foundation I needed for other recipes and made me feel like I was capable of making any meal. So thank you Rachel Ray for inspiring the world with your 30 minute meals! I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!


  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 T garlic powder or 2 cloves of fresh garlic
  • 1/2 T chili powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 T cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • Meat from 1 rotisserie chicken or 4 cooked chicken breasts , shredded
  • 32oz chicken broth
  • 1 can of black or pinto beans
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 limes, juiced


  1. Add canola oil to soup pot under medium heat.
  2. Add white onion and cook until softened.
  3. Add garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper and bay leaves.
  4. Lightly toast the spices with the onion.
  5. Add canned tomatoes with chilies and mix with spices and onion.
  6. Add rotisserie chicken, chicken broth, lemon juice and lime juice (I like a lot of lemon and lime but this might be too much for you so maybe save those two for the end to taste)
  7. Cover and bring to boil. Once boiling start bring down to low and let soup simmer until ready to serve.
  8. Top individual portions with extras like sour cream, more citrus, red onion, or radishes.

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