Dietetic Career Spotlight: Shana E. Sporman, MS, RD, LDN
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on AUGUST 7, 2012
From private practice to outpatient counseling at the hospital, Shana Sporman has channeled her passion for counseling and coaching in order to combine the best of both worlds in clinical and private practice settings.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
From an early age, I was introduced to the importance of health and wellness through my parents’ career paths, family medical conditions, our family farm and being an athlete myself. I’ve always loved leading, inspiring & helping others in school, sports and life. After a year of general education and “career development” courses at Indiana University, I decided a B.S. degree in Dietetics with a minor in Psychology was the best fit because it embodied my two greatest passions: people and health.
Your Job Title and Company:
Nutrition Consultant with MarciRD Nutrition in Cambridge
Patient Services Manager with Sodexo at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston
Outpatient Dietitian with Sodexo at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Needham
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Funny question – there are very few “typical” days which is what makes my work life so fun & exciting (& also requires a lot of deep breaths) it changes all of the time. Most days I try to empower people (clients, patients, hourly staff, or co-workers) with the knowledge, motivation and practical tools to live their life or do their job in a more balanced and effective way. The time-line varies whether I’m at the private practice, hospital or in the kitchen.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
After finishing my Master’s degree at Boston University, I started as a Sodexo Resource RD filling in vacant jobs or helping new accounts in the greater New England area. I supported eight different facilities while on reserve before committing to work at BIDMC. Although I signed on as a Food Service Dietitian, I continued to look for experience in the outpatient setting. Marci and I met through a friend & colleague in the eating disorder field. I was so eager to gain experience, I started taking on clients in the evenings on top of my other commitments. Before long, I knew that I wanted to balance my Food Service life with more one-on-one client counseling work. By taking on more hours with Marci’s practice as well as joining BIDNeedham, I was able to find the perfect balance. I’m very thankful to have the loving support of several wonderful supervisors that have been flexible and have allowed me to seek the various opportunities in the different fields that I work in.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with coaching skills; it’s in my genes as both of my parents are great coaches. With that comes the listening, understanding, motivating, and collaborative nature that helps me learn from and connect to others. Along the way I have learned/still learning to be more organized, not be so goal-focused that I miss details and slowdown in order to enjoy the journey.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Follow your gut. Your brain can be too practical and your heart can be too passionate. My gut has given me the patience to wait and seek for the right opportunity and the instinct to seize it. I have been fortunate to have been offered jobs that I could probably do, but not LOVE. I currently LOVE my jobs.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Plane and sports tickets! History and culture as well as games are best seen in person.