Dietetic Career Spotlight: Hillary Wright, MEd, RDN, LDN, Diet Author, Counselor
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on DECEMBER 2, 2014
Meet Hillary Wright, who wears several hats in her career and advocates getting involved in your local or state dietetic association in order to enhance your career, meet new people, and network, network, network. Read on to learn how her networking landed her her current jobs. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I grew up in a family with two brothers with type 1 diabetes and when I was struggling with what to major in my mother shared with me how helpful the nutritionist she saw at Boston’s Children’s Hospital was. Both of my brothers are now in their 40’s and thankfully in good health, much of which I attribute to them learning early on what they needed to do to manage their health.
Your Job Title andy Company:
I have several! I work part time as the Director of Nutrition Counseling at the Domar Center for Mind Body Health at Boston IVF, one of the nation’s oldest fertility treatment practices, and part time as a Senior Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. I’m also a freelance writer, book author (The PCOS Diet Plan and The Prediabetes Diet Plan), and consultant to industry.
www.pcosdiet.com and www.prediabetesdietbook.com
Twitter: @pcosdiet @prediabetesDP
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
My two 10-hour days at Dana Farber are pretty predictable in that I move around the Institute seeing outpatient oncology patients during their infusion, in the Radiation Department, or in a consult room. The rest of the week I get to manage may own schedule. Two half days I see clients at the Domar Center, but the rest of my time is spent working from home on my computer writing, consulting with my clients, and planning outreach efforts to market my books. That involves submitting proposals to speak at meetings, pitching ideas to the media and managing my social media.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
After the first of my three sons was born I started working part time, and as they got older I began to add additional work to supplement my income. My husband is self-employed so I’ve always needed a part time job with benefits, but by increasing my hours by managing a small private practice, writing and consulting I’ve made more money overall than if I worked full time for one employer with the incredible added advantage of managing much of my own time.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?:
I’ve been blessed to grow up in a large Irish family where talking is sport and few things are funner than meeting new people, which definitely helps given our need to relate to a variety of people. Along the way I’ve also learned to listen and set people at ease by helping them feel I’m here to partner with them, not judge and lecture.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
The most important move I ever made professionally was to get involved with the Massachusetts Dietetic Association very early in my career. Over a period of about 10 years I worked my way up from PR Committee member to Committee Chair, and eventually State Media Rep and PR Director for the Association. I’ve met so many great people, and the networking has led to countless great job opportunities. Also, if you’re feeling stagnant in your career, do something about it. Find out where the jobs are you think you’d enjoy and network!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
I consider the free time my schedule allows me to exercise, hang with friends, and spend time with family to be great compensation!