“I’ve had the incredible opportunity this past summer to participate in the Meals on Wheels of Tarrant county internship. It was an intensive, selective, educational 10-week program with interns that came from all over. I was the first to attend from the University of Incarnate Word, and what an honor it was to represent my school.
We had professional speakers that came from different career paths within the field of dietetics that participated in the program. Sports dietitian and co-author of “Swim, Bike, Run-Eat” Amy Goodson went into detail about how she works with high profile athletes and is always available 24/7 for her clients.
Another keynote speaker was Dr. Dee Rollins. She spoke about the importance of understanding different generations and their eating habits that are associated with each one, and future generations to come. Guest speaker Robin Plotkin discussed how she merged her background in culinary and dietetics, with social media to create a whole brand for herself.
All of the guest speakers took the time to answer questions and emphasized on the importance of networking within this field. One of the things that stood out to me was that a majority of them attended the “National Food and Conference Nutrition Expo,” which is hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It introduces the latest information from nutrition science to foodservice trends as well as identifying additional career paths for dietetic majors. The dietitians strongly encouraged that we try to go to FNCE if we have the opportunity.
Part of the internship program curriculum was a series of 2-3 projects we were expected to manage and execute. I was fortunate enough to be selected for the 2017 spring/summer Menu Cycle, Kitchen Inventory Sheet Project, and the Emergency Preparedness Video Project. Being a project manager of three projects helped me embrace a leadership role and learn how to manage my peers and work with different personalities. I had to practice patience, constantly maintain a positive attitude when working with everyone. I had to step up my organizational and multi-tasking skills, in order to keep up with all of our activities and projects. I knew absolutely no one and had to get out of my comfort zone to put myself out there to make friends and to also be recognized by our coordinators. I became confident with speaking publicly, since we had numerous presentations and I didn’t realize how naturally it came to me.
We conceived an Emergency preparedness video for the organization; we created the upcoming 2017 summer menu and developed a kitchen inventory sheet. I constructed educational handouts to give to clients on a daily basis, we made sure meals were getting sent out at appropriate temperatures and checked in with every client to make sure they were receiving his or her meal. Upon our final review our Internship Coordinator Sherry, told me she didn’t know what to expect from me since they had never had a student from UIW participate in their internship
program. I exceeded her expectations, impressed her with my work ethic, my passion and how I carried myself.
It’s difficult to quantify how valuable the MOW internship experience was. It changed me as a person and pushed me beyond my limits and showed me what I was capable of achieving. The journey was not easy, sometimes rigorous, at times demanding, but was incredibly invaluable and I would highly recommend it to any dietetic student looking for an internship.
As I’m embarking on this school year I would like to continue to expose myself to different opportunities that will not only enrich me educationally but personally as well. I was given the most exciting and educational chance to attend FNCE this year in Boston. I took full advantage of listening to guest speakers, attending seminars and networking. It gave me great pleasure to know that because of my past experience at Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County, I was able to ask my school for funds and support in taking my next step. In return I was able to convey what I’ve learned and the benefits of attending these types of conferences to show my fellow peers about my experience in the student dietetic association. I was so elated to be part of this amazing program and was beyond proud to represent my school. None of this would have been possible had I not pursued the Meals on Wheels internship.”
–Krista Miller, 2016 Summer Intern
“As I am sitting here studying for finals, I am reflecting on my experiences this summer as I have many times throughout this semester! I can honestly say, it remains and will always be one of the best things I did! I almost didn’t take the leap of faith to apply, however, I am glad I did because, as I said all summer, I learned more than I ever could in the school setting.
It’s exciting to hear that the menu Krista and I have created is going through the process of getting refined for the next cycle.
Thank you for everything!”
–Jessica Gibson, 2016 Summer Intern