Dietetic Career Spotlight on Mary Purdy, Coach, Arivale, Host of Mary’s Nutrition Show
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 5, 2018
Meet Mary Purdy, MS, RDN, whose broccoli obsession turned into a life passion/dream job. And through the power of networking, she was able to meet the right people who hired her as their 3rd dietitian (and they now have 65 in the company). Dreams are achievable. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I’ve been fairly obsessed with broccoli since I was a young child so entering the dietetics profession was a natural progression of an early realized passion. I have also been a longtime believer in the concept of food as medicine so when I realized that I could actually make a living helping to implement that concept with people in order to prevent, address and possibly reverse disease, I was sold.
Your Job Title?
Coach, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist & Host of Mary’s Nutrition Show
Company you are with now?
My full time job is with the scientific wellness company in Seattle called Arivale. My side passion project job is with “Mary’s Nutrition Show”
– Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaryPurdyRD
– Twitter: @marypurdyhere
– YouTube: MaryPurdy
– Podcast: Mary’s Nutrition show on iTunes
– Instagram: @marypurdy
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you?
Arivale is a start-up company, so every day is pretty different. A large chunk of my day involves speaking with our clients – interpreting their data that we provide (blood work, genetics, microbiome) and providing nutritional/lifestyle counseling. I am also reaching out to them by text/email in order to keep them accountable, inspired and encouraged, and responding to questions on a regular basis. Often, I am in a meeting with other RDN’s or members of our clinical team to brainstorm on tough clinical cases, or having a one-on-one with my supervisor. Almost every day, I am reading research and either building or attending trainings on latest data offerings or updates. For Mary’s Nutrition Show, I plan and tape the show, post and respond on social media, and brainstorm ways to build the brand and expand our reach.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I heard about Arivale from a former intern of mine who I ran into at a nutrition conference and who was working there when it was in its infant stages. She told me they were looking to expand. The job posting was not yet up, but her supervisor had been a professor of mine so I contacted her to ask about applying. After a 4-hour interview with some of the key players of the company, I was the hired as the 3rd dietitian (we now have 65).
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I feel like I have always been an active and empathetic listener with a creative and silly streak, an analytical mind and a passion for helping others and promoting social justice. What I have learned is how to navigate difficult conversations, delegate tasks, supervise others, read and interpret scientific data (are people born with this skill?) and make an excellent blueberry crisp.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Be willing to dip your toes into a number of areas before you decide to settle on one. Trust your instincts and intuition. Speak up for what you believe, even if it causes short term discomfort. Stay humble and never stop learning.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?
Travel to foreign countries with funky and fabulous accommodations outfitted with fridges stocked full of local fresh fruits and vegetables and a tour guide for one day. And a sauna. Is that too much?