Dietetic Career Spotlight: Sophia Kamveris, MS, RD, LD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RD on JULY 9, 2012
Meet Sophia Kamveris who shows that perseverance and being in the right place at the right time can help pave one’s future.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in the field for over thirty years, so I apologize that I don’t really remember what first attracted me to it. When I was an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire, I was enrolled in the School of Home Economics with a concentration in Dietetics. I had always enjoyed cooking and baking Greek foods with my grandmother, so, honestly, I think choosing my major just evolved. Nutrition didn’t necessarily correlate with wellness when I was in school and graduating with a degree didn’t offer the job opportunities it does today, so it’s great to see how the field has grown to accomodate individual interests.
Your Job Title?
Health and Wellness Consultant
Company you are with now?
Private Practice- Sole proprietor
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you.
Eating a hearty breakfast frames the day and then off to my office via the shortest commuting experience of my life-four miles. The close proximity enables me to see patients at different hours, so each day’s schedule is custom designed. I think the flexibility of my work hours is one of the things that I love the most about my job. Essentially, my time is my own for the first time in my career.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I started my private practice seven years ago, ironically after I was laid off as an outpatient dietitian at a Boston teaching hospital. When my clinical supervisor gave me the news, I smiled and said, “I think you just did me a favor.” Since then, I’ve had the good fortune to evolve my nutrition vocation into a variety of new ventures, including working as a consultant to the Food and Beverage Industry. I never looked back; never do.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
When I was in the second grade I received an award for a story I wrote on Abraham Lincoln, so my affinity for writing goes way back. I’ve learned the importance of time management and organization since I have been working for myself and realize that I need to run my business like a well-oiled machine and not wait for the wheel to begin to squeak.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I can answer that with two anecdotes. Back in the 70’s, graduates were limited to applying to only two internships. I did not get a slot, so I worked as a diet tech and then applied to graduate school. In the interim, I fullfilled my dream to backpack through Europe, so in retrospect, not getting an internship was the best thing that could have happened to me. Traveling on my own developed interpersonal, adaptive, independent, and self-reliant skills; all essential atributes for running a business.
Most recently, I congratulated a NE colleague, Maye Musk, for the award her magazine cover had received. I lightheartedly remarked that at a time when some of us were looking forward to winding down, she was still buzzing around and full of energy. She emailed me back, “Keep ramping it up-the best is yet to come.” Indeed, inspiring advice from which we can all benefit.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
While I haven’t become a published author (yet), I have six children’s book stories patiently waiting to find homes. So, to answer your question truthfully, and from the heart, it would have to be to have my manuscripts colorfully illustrated, bound, and on their way to Barnes and Noble!