How to Write the Best Personal Statement for a Dietetic Internship

A woman excited to finish her personal statement for a dietetic internship application

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Happy Tuesday y’all! Today’s post comes as many of you are completing your final edits on your dietetic internship applications and personal statements. (Keep on keeping on y’all; you’re doing fantastic!) Today’s post is not on what you should cover in your personal statement, like many other creators in the field have done an amazing job sharing through blog posts or filmed videos. Instead, this article discusses one specific point: how to personalize your personal statement for a dietetic internship.

In my opinion, a key way to set yourself apart is by showing that you fit perfectly with the internship. This is what today’s post explains in three simple steps.

1. Do Your Research on Dietetic Internships

In order to personalize your personal statement for a dietetic internship, you have to know what it’s about. Just like applying for a job, it’s important to research the school and its program. Think about:

  • What are the program’s values?
  • Where will you earn rotation hours?
  • What does the internship emphasize through its concentration?
  • Does the program ask you to move to another area or will you work near the school the whole time?
  • And how competitive is the program?

Answering questions like these will help you evaluate whether you’re interested in applying before you put all your time and effort into it! Here are a couple of great places to look for information.

School website

The school’s website will probably be the best source of easily accessible information on an internship. A dietetic internship’s website will explain at the very least, what you need to apply, where the program is located, what the program timeline is, and what the concentration is in. Sometimes a website will also include a dietetic intern handbook, possible rotation sites, and intern-created content such as videos, example assignments, or testimonies.

People connected to the school

If the school’s website doesn’t explain everything you’re looking for, consider talking to people connected to the dietetic internship! This could be the program director or former interns, for example. Open houses, both in-person and online, are also a fantastic way to get a more in-depth understanding of an internship. If you aren’t able to attend an in-person meeting or would like to show some initiative, consider reaching out via email to someone. They can help answer questions you couldn’t find answers to anywhere else.

YouTube

Sometimes, either the dietetic internship or interns will post YouTube videos related to the program. Although these are less common, it never hurts to do a quick search, as the ones that I’ve found are always highly informative.

The Future RD

Last but not least, consider searching my site for dietetic internships! I write articles that do all the legwork for you and summarize everything I can find into one amazing article. Although the number of internships I’ve researched is low at the moment, I’m always adding more to the collection. If there is one in particular that you’d like to see on the site, leave a comment on this post and I’ll let you know!

2. Consider What You Appreciate

So you’ve done your research and know all you can about the dietetic internships you’ve chosen. The next step is to review everything you’ve learned and consider what is meaningful to you. If you’re set on working in a certain setting or specialization, maybe it’s that the program has a concentration in that. Maybe the program has an elective rotation that would empower you to craft your own journey. Maybe the program emphasizes resumes when looking at applications and yours looks terrific! Your situation and connection to each and every school will be unique to you and only you can decide what you like.

I want to add that while price or location might be something that’s important to you, you should be able to bring to light other reasons that you appreciate a dietetic internship. These will enable you to connect more powerfully with the internship.

3. Connect the Dots

Now that you know the programs and what you value in them, it’s time to apply that to your each personal statement for a dietetic internship. As you write, ask yourself: “What can I reveal about myself that shows I am an incredible pick for this internship?”

When I applied to dietetic internships, my top pick was Montana State University (MSU) (I wrote about their dietetic internship, which led me to apply and eventually be accepted!)

Example #1

Here’s a personal example from my statement that I tailored to MSU:

After completing my undergraduate degree, I’ll complete the dietetic internship at MSU, become a registered dietitian, and earn a master’s in nutrition science. Although my undergraduate degree and the internship will provide a great foundation for my career, I look forward to the deeper study that will come through the graduate degree in topics like obesity, and food innovation and entrepreneurship.

I like that I tied what I had learned from my sources into my future plans. Because I knew I would be applying to the MS/DI program (meaning I would complete the dietetic internship with a master’s degree), I researched the degree and incorporated some of the topics here in this section and throughout my personal statement.

Example #2

Some advice you might have heard elsewhere about writing your personal statement is sharing a weakness of yours. Some internships even require it as part of your essay! Here’s how I approached that for MSU:

One weakness in my application is that I don’t have much experience with sustainable food systems. But I’m applying to MSU because I believe that understanding this area of nutrition will be vital in the future. The world’s resources are dwindling, and consumers are starting to examine their foods’ impact on the environment. As a dietitian, I’ll need to identify sustainable foods, so I can share with clients in my future private practice. Even before I start my private practice, I’d personally appreciate knowing more about this area so I can apply what I’ve learned to my life.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to not know much about your program’s concentration. MSU’s dietetic internship has a concentration in Sustainable Food Systems, which means learning about how to evolve the way food is produced, distributed, and consumed to support the health of people and the planet. Although people might chose a dietetic internship for its concentration because they want to go into it, I had no prior experience with this concentration. Instead I chose it because it was so unique. (Also notice how I shared why this part of the program was important to me and my future.)

Conclusion

In order to personalize your personal statement for dietetic internships, you need to remember these three things:

  • Do your research
  • Decide what matters
  • Connect the dots

I hope this article left you feeling more empowered to push through the last of your applications. Good luck to you all! Be sure to celebrate all the amazing work you’ve put into not just your application, but improving yourself.

Are you applying to dietetic internships? What sources have you used?

Until next time,
Emmalee

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