To share the story of your Massachusetts General Dietetic Internship and what you have been up to since graduation, please visit the Alumni & Friends page.
Graduate Spotlight: Jennifer Westerkamp RD
My Mass General Experience:
The internship really allowed me to grow and mature professionally in a real world setting. Looking back, I also appreciate the dress code that was required because I realized how important it is for my job. The internship honed in on public speaking skills, and I got over my fear of public speaking. Thank goodness, because a majority of what I do is give talks in locker rooms!
During the internship, the intern locker room was probably where some of the most fun memories occurred. Interns shared their stories and joked around. It was like an escape from our preceptors and a little mental break before, during, or after our work day. I also remember the craziness of working in the kitchen and the kindness and patience of all the kitchen employees while I tried to make hundreds of grilled cheese sandwiches!
My Life Beyond the Internship:
After the internship, I connected with my mentor, and MGH alum, Julie Burns, MS, RD, CCN and was hired as a sports nutritionist for her practice--SportFuel. In this position, I work with the Chicago Blackhawks and their affiliate team as well as their prospects. I also do weight loss and wellness counseling and speaking engagements to teams including the NBA Development League. In addition, I run All Access Internships, a website and coaching service for DI applicants, which I started in the first month of my dietetic internship! I also served on the Executive Committee for Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG for 2 years and am now the President of the Chicago Food and Nutrition Network. My next project is completing my book – Breakfast Lunch and Twitter: 140 Social Media Rules to Eat By, due out September 2012.
I still keep in touch with MGH interns. My intern roommate and I always try to get together at FNCE every year. Facebook also makes it easy to stay updated on everyone’s life post-internship.
My Words of Advice:
Keep a positive attitude and focus on your end goal of becoming an RD. I think it is easy to have a negative attitude or complain during this part of your RD journey, but it doesn’t make for a very fun experience if that is the case. Instead, stay positive, laugh, have a great time, and know that this will make you stronger as a professional and it will all be worth it in the end!
Jennifer Westerkamp RD (class of 2009)