Dietetic Career Spotlight on Devon Golem, Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on DECEMBER 15, 2016
Meet inspiring Dr. Devon Golem, PhD, RD, who shows no limits and started her own organization, the Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals, providing online education opportunities for nutrition professionals worldwide. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I took an aptitude test as an undergraduate and was given a list of possible careers that included nutritionist/dietitian. I had never heard of that career before. I then realized that all my personal books were based in the field. Nutrition was always the subject that I selected when given a choice for course assignments. The clincher was that the major lifestyle changes that I had made were nutritionally-related. MY experience led to this advice to my students: “Only go into a field that you have a deep interest in…no matter when you realize that interest.”
Your Job Title?
Founder & CEO, Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals
Company you are with now?
Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/devon-l-golem-phd-rd
- Twitter: @novedgo_llc
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/InstituteCENP/
- Blog: http://drdevongolem.com/
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
My typical day at work begins with developing my schedule. I oversee all aspects of the Institute which includes everything from course development to marketing. I work with many talented contributors, a review board, and an advisory board. Today, I am writing a blog post, developing a conference presentation, meeting with a potential affiliate, editing a course submitted by a contributor, and recruiting reviewers for that course.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I created it. I have worked as a clinician, nutrition counselor, researcher, and educator. I advanced my education full-time for six years and earned a PhD in Nutritional Science. After gaining experience in various aspects of the field, I recognized that my talent and passion lie in education. When my husband accepted a position at a University in Virginia, I resigned as the dietetics program director at New Mexico State University and founded the Institute of Continuing Education for Nutrition Professionals. The Institute is now an accredited provider of professional education and delivers online education to nutrition professionals all over the world.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
Skills I was born with:
- I am a naturally social person and have an innate ability to build relationships with a wide-range of people.
- I enjoy communicating and relating with individuals.
- Finally, I was born with the ability to make decisions. I am very decisive but remain flexible if changes need to be made.
Skills I was naturally inclined at but needed to hone along the way:
- I was naturally comfortable in front of an audience, but have learned presentation skills.
- I am a naturally organized person, but needed to learn how to present education in a methodical manner to students.
Skills I had to learn along the way:
- Marketing myself was a skill that I had to learn. I recognized that I was not really selling the concepts that I was presenting as much as I was selling myself.
- I had to learn educational skills such as strategies to engage learners and to assess learning. I learned and practiced curriculum mapping, objective development, and many other educational strategies through formal and informal training.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
- Continually reassess your career. Do not be afraid to change jobs, go back to school, seek out opportunities, and learn more about yourself. I was warned not to leave a position before three years as it may look like I was too “flighty”. That was bogus advice. After one year, if I was still considering a change, then I went for it. I was never considered “flighty” and have expanded my view of this field. My perspective and desires changed with each new experience. If I did not continually reassess my career, I would not be the person I am today.
- Get involved in the associations. I am an active member in multiple associations. I not only go to meetings and conferences, but I serve on boards and committees. I contribute to newsletters, fundraising, planning, etc. This has been the best avenue for creating bonds with others in the field. They get to know me and my work. Almost all of the opportunities that I have pursued were presented by those that I met while getting involved and volunteering.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
If not money, then I would love to be paid with all-inclusive family trips to spas around the world.