Dietetic Career Spotlight: Marci E. Anderson MS, RD, cPT
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JULY 31, 2012
Marci Anderson is a multi-hat wearing RD who balances her successful private practice while employing four other dietitians, finding time to teach a course at Plymouth State University, writing a book, and contributing to daily social media venues. Read on to learn how passion makes all this work fun.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
In middle school I began cooking and baking. This began my love affair with anything food-related. In high school I excelled in and also really enjoyed all of my science-based classes (well, except chemistry). So when my Uncle told me about the dietitian he worked with for his diabetes, I was immediately intrigued. I took a trip over to the public library to check out a book on “registered dietitians.” Yes, this was before we used the internet for everything. A career that combined food, science, and working with people seemed like a match made in heaven! And over the years it continues to be an ideal fit.
Your Job Title and Company?
Owner, Marci RD Nutrition Consulting, LLC
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
I specialize in counseling clients with eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image disturbances. So the majority of my day is spent providing individual counseling. This also includes collaborating with therapists, psychiatrists, and physicians via phone and email. And in the course of any day I also supervise the employees that work for me, address billing issues, participate in social media, write for my blog, develop power points and presentations for upcoming talks, and manage the course I teach for Plymouth State University. The course is nutrition counseling for eating disorders and is designed for grad students and current clinicians looking to learn more about working with eating disorders. I’m also in the process of writing a book proposal and developing a workshop series with my colleague Amber Barke, who will also be highlighted in this series. One of the things I love about my job is that no day is the same and I have total autonomy in how I spend my time. I love being my own boss and feel fortunate to work with a group of amazing women that I admire, respect, and thoroughly enjoy being around.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I created it! I started my own business but had a lot of support and guidance along the way. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my MS in Applied Nutrition from Northeastern University. The program has four specializations and I was able to combine their eating disorder and nutrition entrepreneurship specializations to create my own masters degree. That program has served as the cornerstone of my business. I also had tremendous help from friends, family members, and members of my community. My practice started out small but through a lot of hard work and multiple leaps of faith it is thriving.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born with several skills that are a natural fit for owning my own private consulting business. I’m an absolute extrovert so networking, forming relationships, and verbal communication comes naturally for me. I’m also extremely stubborn and a self-starter. It also helps that I can channel my obsessive-compulsive tendencies into staying organized and creating systems that help a business run smoothly. However, I’ve also learned a lot of really important skills along the way as well. First and foremost, is taking risks. That doesn’t come natural for me but has been paramount to many small successes. Second, I have to practice letting go of my perfectionism. I’ve learned that perfectionism keeps me stuck and stifles my creativity. And finally, I’ve learned to ask for a lot of help. Given my independent nature, I have learned the importance of getting guidance and support both clinically and managerially.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Choose a field of nutrition that you are truly passionate about. There are countless opportunities as an RD, so don’t settle for a job that you really don’t like. Also, find a mentor for support and guidance. And finally network, network, network.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Ha! I’d get paid in restaurant gift certificates and spa services. Ooh, that almost sounds better than a paycheck!