A few weeks ago I officially began my last full-time semester of graduate school to become an RD. It’s pretty crazy. I’m in the process of applying to Dietetic Internships (DI) and my application is due in two weeks. I can’t believe I’ve finally gotten to this point!
Around the time when I started this blog, in 2010, I decided to go back to school for nutrition. I attended an info session at my current school, applied, and got in! But, from 2010-2013 I took prerequisite courses that I needed for the Didactic Program in Dietetics (DPD) at my college. Thankfully I already had a Bachelor’s, but since it wasn’t in science, I had to pretty much start from scratch. The DPD program is required to apply to a DI and eventually take the RD exam. The pre-req courses included Psychology, General Chemistry, Microbiology, Statistics, Accounting, Intro to Nutrition (I had to re-take at my current school, even though I got an A!), and Anatomy & Physiology 1 and 2. I took these courses in the evenings at Hudson Valley Community College, after work. I was working full time (at the same place I still work part time) and taking classes and doing homework, and training for marathons. Busy! Little did I know, it would get way more intense.
In spring 2013, I completed my last course at HVCC, A&P 2. Next fall it was time to start graduate school! I was enrolled in the Applied Nutrition graduate program for a Master’s degree, but I also knew I wanted to become a Registered Dietitian, so I had to complete two different programs. I started taking graduate classes and courses for the DPD program, which are mixture of undergrad and grad students. I was a full time student again! My classes were in the evening, and I was still working full time. I was taking three courses a semester! Every night after work I was at school. That year was really hard, but I got through it.
By fall of 2014, it came time to take more DPD courses, all of which were held during the day. I knew something had to give and I decided to work part time. Thankfully, my Agency let me cut my hours and work half the amount. I got to organize my work schedule around my classes, and for that I am forever grateful! It also gave me more time to work on homework and get projects done. Now it is 2016 and I’m in the process of applying for my DI. We rank the DIs we want to apply to and submit our application electronically through a program called DICAS. On April 3, we get matched with one of the programs we’ve selected. The DI is 10 months long with rotations in clinical nutrition, food service, community nutrition, and out patient care. To say I’m looking forward to April 3 in an understatement!
This process has been pretty crazy. It has been almost six years since I started. Since then I’ve moved five times, ended one relationship and began a new one, ran four marathons, and started hiking the 46, all while chugging along to another goal: becoming an RD! And now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If I get matched to an internship this year, I will be completing it from August 2016 through June 2017, finishing seven years after starting this process. All that remains after that will be taking and passing the RD exam (and finding a job)! I’ll also be graduating in May 2017 with a Master’s in Applied Nutrition. Thank you to everyone who has supported me through this crazy long process. The end is near!