Dietetic Career Spotlight on Kristin Kessler, RDN, Public Relations
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JUNE 29, 2015
Meet Kristin Kessler who fell into Public Relations (PR) during a summer internship and decided to stay. Dietitians have so many opportunities in various fields while still incorporating their passion for food, nutrition, and health. Read on to learn more about Kristin’s diverse job. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I am originally from New Orleans, the biggest foodie city that I know- and for good reason, the food is delicious! When eating breakfast there, you talk about what you’re going to eat for lunch. When eating lunch, it’s onto planning for dinner. Eventually, when I got older, I realized that not only is food tasty but it also has the amazing power to heal. That was when I first realized that I could potentially turn my love of food into a job that helped people.
Your Job Title:
Account Executive/Registered Dietitian
Company you are with now:
– Twitter: https://twitter.com/kriskesslerRD
– Instagram: https://instagram.com/kriskesslerrd/
– LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinkessler
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
There really is no typical day! On any given day I can go from working with our food clients to create educational handouts and recipe cards for dietitians to coordinating events for our clients to interact and share relevant research and news with registered dietitians. Just last week I helped to staff a dinner for a group of about 20 media dietitians where they learned from an independent researcher how prunes can be great for bone health. In the world of PR, there’s always something new!
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I honestly feel like I sort of fell into it, but that’s not 100% the case. I was doing counseling and sales before, in addition to teaching family classes on the side, when I decided I wanted a change. I found a temporary internship at a PR agency over the summer in Austin, Texas, where I was living at the time, and applied for it. Needless to say, they somehow thought I was a fit for the internship. So, I nearly gave my mom a heart attack by quitting a stable, full time job with benefits to take this internship that might lead to a full time job or might lead nowhere! Thankfully, it worked out and I stayed with that agency before moving to NYC to work on an in-house PR team. I took a quick detour into program management at a non-profit following the in-house work before coming back to agency life here at Ketchum.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I am a naturally gifted talker and love to ask questions in order to learn more about a person and cultivate relationships. However, I knew nothing about PR! Learning how to plan a conference, a campaign, or create strategy decks were all trial by fire. I didn’t realize I was also a naturally timid person in the work place (because I’m definitely not in my personal life!), so I had to learn how to speak up for myself and never be afraid to ask a million and one questions.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Jump right into it. It’s so easy to push off dreams until tomorrow or to sit at the back of the room, where no one notices you and you learn nothing. Take control of your own career and use every experience as a learning experience. Don’t be afraid to take initiative, but also understand when you don’t know something and ask how it’s done!
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Either airline miles or chocolate. Maybe airline miles with my dietary preference permanently set to “chocolate only.”