Dietetic Career Spotlight on Katie Mulligan, WellFamily Nutrition Coaching
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on DECEMBER 1, 2017
Katie Mulligan, MS, RDN, LDN, is a hard-worker who is motivated and driven. She has found her dream jobs through her determination, organization, and passion. Being a coach is rewarding in many ways and Katie shares her career path with us. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I was a big dieter in high school, but I was never very good at it. When I learned that I could count calories for a living, I knew I had found my calling. Luckily, I quickly learned the error of my ways and that there are many more paths for a dietitian. I’m quite happy with the one I’ve chosen.
Your Job Title?
Dietitian, Wellness Coach
Company you are with now?
My own company is WellFamily Nutrition Coaching. I also work for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program at the University of Rhode Island. I am the Program Manager.
– Facebook: @KatieMulliganNutritionCoaching
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Since I have two jobs and a family, my typical day consists of many hats. I start my day at University of Rhode Island. After a full day there, I pick up my children and head home where I start job #2. Sometimes I’m seeing pediatric patients out of my home office and other days, I’m doing telephone-based wellness coaching or feeding coaching for parents. When I’m not directly working with clients, I’m working on marketing for WellFamily. Making downloads, working on my next webinar, connecting through social media. I try to keep my client-facing time to Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, so I can be there for my kids on the other days.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I’ve been employed at URI since 2006, when I went back to graduate school. My graduate assistantship was with EFNEP, and I was hired there after I graduated. I’ve been there ever since, taking on more responsibility each year. WellFamily Nutrition is my second private practice. My first practice, I sold in 2013, 2 days before my second daughter was born. WellFamily is a labor of love! I hired a business coach while I was selling my first practice and was drawn to the coaching method. In 2015, I completed the Wellcoaches training course and began WellFamily Nutrition Coaching. With WellFamily, I help parents manage feeding and nutrition for their families as well as their own health and wellness.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I was born organized, a doer, and a planner. I would wake the kids up an hour and a half before they had to be at school, neatly dressed, homework in bag, breakfast eaten and waiting for everyone else! I’ve had to learn the art of letting go and taking things as they come, not easy for a worrier like myself. I’ve also had to learn patience and flexibility, not everything will happen exactly as I want it to or when I want it to, and that’s okay. I’ve had to learn to relax (I’m still practicing). In coaching, I’ve had to learn to be a better listener. I still find myself doing only level 1 listening sometimes. It’s a skill I’m always working at.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I’ll give the advice that my father gave me, “Find something you love to do, then find a way to get paid for it.” Seriously, if you could be doing anything, what would it be? Now, how can you do that and make a living from it? Also, look fear in the face and do your thing anyway. Quotes about facing fear speak to me when I think about what it takes to be successful. For example, “It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” – Theodore Roosevelt. The other bit of advice I would say is to say “no” to the things that don’t fulfill you. Don’t take jobs just for the paycheck. Spend your time and energy on what you truly love and success will follow.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?