Dietetic Career Spotlight: Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD, Social Media and Sports Dietitian
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on DECEMBER 13, 2011
From social media to sports dietitian, Corinne Dobbas, MS, RD, shares how she balances her blogs, twitter, speaking gigs, counseling, and more.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
My fascination with the fact that food has the power to change your overall health. What you take into your body determines how you feel, function, and thrive in your everyday environment. Additionally, while running track and cross country in high school, I started reading sports nutrition books and articles, furthering my passion on how food is your body’s fuel. Ultimately, I loved exercising, cooking, healthy eating, and nutrition science as well as working one-on-one with people. I knew if I could use my strong interpersonal skills coupled with nutrition knowledge, I would have the power to change peoples’ lives—and that inspired me.
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Every day is different! Typically, I’ll see clients, answer emails, return phone calls and do some marketing/social media work in the morning hours. Early afternoon, I’ll get in a good workout (after all, I work out of a health club … I must use it!). I’ll then return back to my office, see more clients, and tie up loose ends—phone calls, phone meetings, interviews, emails, etc. Throughout the day, I’m always on social media outlets, specifically Twitter and Facebook. I may write a blog post; however, I usually don’t have time at work and do my best writing at home. Once I get home, around 7 or 8 PM, if I don’t have a networking event or nutrition talk, I’ll write nutrition articles, blog posts, or client menus, if needed.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
A good friend of mine had interviewed for the position, but decided to pass on the opportunity and recommended me. After much persistence—emails, phone calls, face-to-face meetings—I finally became the Nutrition Director at Bay Club Marin. Here, I mainly do private nutrition consultations, specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, and disordered eating. Regarding Green Grapes Nutrition, I started Green Grapes Blog almost three years ago, while a dietetic intern. The blog took off and once a RD, I changed Green Grapes Blog to Green Grapes Nutrition. Since—through networking, social media, and word of mouth—I write nutrition articles for various outlets, speak at a mixture of events/conferences, and participate in a wide variety of social media nutrition-press needs, such as The Whole Grains Conference.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Great question! I mainly do counseling, writing, and speaking. Therefore, I will share some strengths and challenges that I’ve had along the way for each area of focus.
For my counseling skills, I naturally have a high degree of relatability and easily connect with people. Since a child, people have always opened up to me. Therefore, I simply listen to my clients and reflect what I hear that they’re really saying, enabling them to truly see themselves and where they are on their level of change. This allows my clients to come up with their own solutions. Thus, they have a high rate of success. Throughout counseling, I have to work on my “poker face,” so my thoughts don’t interfere with my clients’ answer/s to their problems. I will offer advice, but it is my clients’ job to put the tools I provide to use through their own given solutions.
Regarding writing, I have a fun unique approachable tone that allows readers to connect. My writing is very much “me.” Yet, along the way, I’ve learned how to adapt my writing for given audiences/tones and really “kick-up” my grammar.
Lastly, I love crowds. Thus, I love speaking. I feed off the crowd’s energy. Despite my love for public speaking and ease I feel with it, I’ve found that I still need to practice before a talk—no matter how many times I’ve done it. This prevents any sort of stumbling and ensures an easy flow of speech. I’ve also learned how to provide a high-energy talk—even if the crowd isn’t high energy. I’m so attuned to peoples’ energies that this took a long time to master. But, I’ve found that it’s all mental. Just keep thinking that the crowd adores you, even if they don’t show it. You’ll give the best talk ever.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
You must be persistent. Gone are the days of applying for a job and simply getting it. If you want something—whether a job or speaking gig—you must go after it 100%. Call the company, go to their door, find out the main contact by name and email them. Whatever you need to do to get what you want—do it. It takes a lot of work and time, but eventually, if you’re good at what you do and persistent (in a professional way, of course), you’ll get what you want. Also, get online! If you’re not on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, and if you don’t have a blog and/or website, then you’re behind the curve. We’re in the age of the internet! If you want to grow, get on it! Yet, just don’t get on it, do it well and be aware that everything you do online is searchable, or rather “Googleable.” Define your voice, image, brand, etc. and make sure that it is consistent with your overall web presence. Lastly, use your support network. If you’re not sure about something, reach out to other dietitians. Not only will you make new friends, but you’ll develop more connections and a bigger better network. And the larger your network is, the better your chance is at finding new job opportunities. Funny how that works.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Grapes! No, I’m just kidding. Letters, testimonials, or words from clients on how I’ve empowered them to change their life for the better are more than enough. At the end of the day, having the ability to partake in someone’s life transformation is an honor—truly. There’s nothing more that I could ask for—except perhaps having the ability to prevent that transformation from needing to occur, which is why I also love giving talks to younger kids on health, wellness, and proper nutrition. I will say that what I do is very rewarding, as other dietitians know.