Dietetic Career Spotlight: Elysa Jacobs Cruse, MS, RD
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on JUNE 6, 2012
Elysa Jacobs is an RD on top of her game in the corporate wellness industry from leading webinars with over 600 participants to working with individual employees’ nutritional and exercise goals.
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
My passion for the positive impact that food and exercise choices can have on how you feel each day and your long term health.
Your Job Title?
Manager, Health Improvement Programs (Pitney Bowes)
Company you are with now?
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Pitney Bowes Wellness Program website (which I manage)
Describe a typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you.
Each day is different but might include:
- Leading a webinar for our weight management program (600+ participants)
- Working with production sites and implementing and tracking their stretch break program
- Strategizing with the communications and benefits team to discuss how to encourage employees to “Know their Numbers” and understand the impact
- Meeting with our onsite Fitness Department to plan upcoming programs
- Reviewing results from our Tobacco Cessation Program
- Updating our website with new nutrition and fitness videos, employee success stories etc
- Interacting with employees and family members on various social media platforms
- Planning meeting for Spring exercise program
- Working on evaluation/summary report for walking program
- Meeting with food service to plan National Nutrition Month events
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I began my career in corporate wellness after doing a variety of internships in worksite wellness and worked for several companies. I wanted to work with a company that had a strong commitment and vision that helping employees be their healthiest is a win-win for everyone. Pitney Bowes fit that bill. I started with the company doing nutrition counseling and eventually got the job to manage the program.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I have always been very involved in sports/athletics and became a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise instructor even before I became a dietitian. My graduate degree which combined exercise and nutrition has been particularly helpful in my role. My dietetics experience has been a tremendous help in creating programs with results. Organizational skills, drive, ability to see the big picture, being able to seek out talented individuals for your team, being able to work with individuals with a variety of backgrounds-these have all been important skills that I possess and have developed through my work.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Explore what you are passionate about. I love the diversity in my work, the ability to work on creative projects but also to have the input/brainstorming/information sharing of a great team. Being able to work directly with employees and family members as well as indirectly through program planning and evaluation is very satisfying. For me, variety in my work is important. I would advise others to think about what the most important aspects of a job are. What do you really want in your work that you know will help you feel fulfilled?
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
I think we all want to make a difference for people. When I hear from employees or family members that I have given them tools to change their lives for the better; that is worth so much! And when we see the results in the numbers (reduction in diabetes costs, reduction in back pain incidence), that gets me on a natural high.