10 Tips to Get a Job from Your Dietetic Internship
Getting into the dietetic internship was the first challenge. Completing all your rotations will be the next trial. After the internship, passing the national exam will be the third test. The final challenge will be finding a job. Use each rotation and experience during the dietetic internship as an opportunity to land this dream job. Here are 10 tips to get a job from your dietetic internship.
1. “Begin every rotation as a potential job interview that may lead to a full-time position,” notes Nicole A. Withrow PhD, MS, RD, Assistant Professor/Dietetic Internship Director at University of Northern Colorado. Behave your best. “Professionalism is a must.”
2. “Communicate prior to the first day of the supervised practice experience and ask the preceptor what you can do to prepare, etc. I stress professional communication in a written and verbal format,” informs Withrow.
3. Build relationships during your rotations. Employers tend to hire people they know or those who are highly recommended. The better relationship you develop with your preceptors and fellow staff, the more likely they will want to continue to work with you.
4. Stay organized and be self-sufficient. Show your preceptors that you can do the job at hand so they see your worth and value as a future dietitian.
5. “Whether or not the intern is seeking a potential job at a rotation, stress the importance of looking for extra things to do to be of service to the preceptor. Going the extra mile instead of simply completing a rotation is noted. Our evaluations indicate the preceptors are seeing this and are more likely to be a reference for the intern or hire the intern when an opening occurs,” explains Miriam J. Gaines, MACT, RDN, LD, Assistant Professor & Dietetic Internship Director at Samford University.
6. Network. Network. The internship is a perfect time to meet as many people as possible and make connections with others. The more people you know, the more opportunities can arise for future job opportunities.
7. “Act enthusiastic during your rotation. This means asking lots of questions and suggesting projects and experiences you would like to complete,” advises Tina Shepard, MS, RDN, FAND, Clinical Professor and Dietetic Internship Director at Arizona State University.
8. Be kind and professional to everyone. You never know who you will meet again during your career path that could also help find you a job or become a referral source.
9. Begin each rotation with an open mind. You may experience certain areas of practice that will entice you to work in that field.
10. Be straightforward with your preceptors. If you really enjoy the rotation, let them know you are interested in working there. Ask them for any tips or suggestions to apply for a job after the internship.
Every experience you have is what you make of it. Work hard. Work smart. Make as many connections as you can. And most of all, have fun. The internship will go by fast. The more you know, the more you grow, and the more opportunities will come your way.
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