Tag Archives: information technology

RD Web Presence – A Valuable Thing

I have always had a passion for social media and information technology, which is no surprise if you have followed my blog or know my background!  Communicating with the public online is something I really enjoy.

Having a website, blog, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc can be a lot of work to maintain (especially when you have a full-time job, too!)  however it can really pay off.  For example, I was contacted by a company called AD Medical, or America’s Dietitians, which is in Chicago.  One of their employees in the communications department stumbled upon my website and blog, and took the time to contact me directly.  He asked if I would be interested in writing a guest blog for his company’s brand new website.

Just some background – AD Medical works primarily with those on Medicare and with diabetes.  Their new website provides information for both clients and health care providers.  Their new blog, BlogAbetic, offers a more interactive feature for clients to learn tips on healthy living.

I was really excited to be featured as the first blogger featured on BlogAbetic after they debuted their brand-new website.  I definitely hope to work with them more in the future!

Check out my entry – Color Your Plate, Improve Your Health!

Having a website, blog, and various social media platforms have given me many other opportunities as well, such as career advice, notification of available jobs/volunteer work, and even an offer for free RD exam study materials!  Plus, when you apply to a job, all you have to do is refer them to your portfolio to find all the information they’d ever want.

It may seem like a lot of work to maintain a web presence, but don’t give up.  For example, my blog had very few views when I first started, but now I get more than I ever initially expected!

How has social media and web presence helped you in your career/education?

Recent Work: from FNCE, to the First Lady, to WordPress

Since I have to remain mum for many of the projects I have been working on while at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, I just wanted to update Mission: Dietitian with some updates about some other things I have been working on.

Today I submitted an abstract to the American Dietetic Association for the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (ADA FNCE) about a project I worked on at CNPP.  I also plan on submitting it to the Maryland Dietetic Association Annual meeting…we’ll see what happens!

Also, in the past couple of weeks I have submitted two more blog posts (I suppose it’s 3, now!) to the ever-expanding blogosphere:

Blogging: What’s the Word(press)? -about using WordPress for your nutrition-blogging needs, for the Society for Nutrition Education blog

Modeling…With Moderation -a reflection on Rush Limbaugh’s accusation that Michelle Obama does not follow her own dietary advice, for the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship Blog

Check ’em out and let me know what you think!

And the Coolest Place to Intern Right Now is…

Hello all, sorry about another lengthy delay in updates.  My life as an intern has become even more hectic with over 3 hours of commuting to Northern Virginia each day.  Luckily I can often drive in with my dad (who works in DC nearby) or stay with friends who are closer.

But I don’t mean to sound whiny- I feel like the luckiest dietetic intern out there.  Why, you ask?  I have the opportunity to currently be working at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP).  Still not clicking?  Well, you may have heard that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recently came out.  USDA’s CNPP along with the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are the ones responsible for this project that is released every 5 years.

In a nutshell, I have been afforded the opportunity to be rotating with the organization responsible for releasing the Dietary Guidelines, a document that outlines the best nutrition research out there, DURING the release of the Dietary Guidelines…which only happens once every 5 years.  How cool is that?!

USDA MyPyramid

USDA CNPP is also responsible for the Food Guide Pyramid

The people working at CNPP are so inspiring, whether they are Registered Dietitians or non-dietitians who work to support nutrition communications and policy.  They all seem to love their job and feel very passionate about communicating nutrition to the American public.  Can you tell I love it here, or what?

The projects we are assigned to work on are very exciting!  My partner and I are mainly working with the Nutrition Communication and Marketing Division of CNPP.  I actually can’t share too much with you all because it’s confidential at this point in time…but as certain things are released I will blog about it and let you know what I was a part of.  It feels awesome to know that things I am helping out with now may impact the public on a national level.  It blows my mind!  I mean, I loved helping people on an individual level during clinical, but to reach thousands, potentially millions of people?  I can’t even tell you.  I mean, I’m just an intern!

I’ll return another time to summarize what I’ve learned about the development of the Dietary Guidelines that were recently released.  Looking forward to another three weeks here at CNPP!

Eat…Sleep…Blog!

Hey everyone- sorry if it seems like I’ve been neglecting Mission: Dietitian! However I have been in my information technology and communication rotations.  The commutes to DC and Alexandria are extremely long plus I work on a computer all day- by the time I get home I’m a tad crosseyed.  Not that I’m complaining- I love it! But theres only so much blogging you can do in one day.  Speaking of which, I have two more to offer you (I know, I hate referring you all to OTHER blogs in my past few entries…but it would be silly to be posting the same blog in two places, right?)

my partner and I

Ala & Chrissy: Nutrition Blogger Extraordinaires!

IFIC has another blog up that my partner and I wrote (see here and here for past published entries).  It’s about keeping those health-related new years resolutions a top priority!  It offers suggestions to help you reach your personal goals:

A New Year: A New You?

…And the University of Maryland Dietetic Internship Blog has a recent posting by yours truly!  (See here and here for my past entries to the internship blog.)  It talks about some of the stuff I learned about the public perception of foods and ingredients while at IFIC:

The Blame Game: Science, Hype, and Consumer Attitudes

I hope you enjoy the posts!  Any feedback is much appreciated.  I just started my rotation at CNPP– so I’ll keep you updated with what I can, when I can!

Internship Class: Animoto-ed

Hope everyone has been enjoying the holidays! I know I have been sleeping more than I think might be healthy, but I also need to keep up with internship duties of course!

I thought I would share something I am currently working on. The DC-MD area dietetic internships often have joint class days, in which one internship will host at a time. Next month is the University of Maryland College Park Dietetic Internship’s turn to host at the National Agriculture Library. The focus is on information technology, social media, etc, which is what is unique about our program in the first place. Each of the UMD interns will get a chance to participate in the joint class day. My job is to present a 3-4 minute presentation on a “Tech Tip” in between speakers, my tech tip being about Animoto.

The free version of Animoto lets you make 30 second videos, so I made this spiffy little video about the UMD Dietetic Internship 2010-2011 class as an example of an Animoto project. Please enjoy 🙂

http://static.animoto.com/swf/w.swf?w=swf/vp1&e=1293492104&f=KObJRuHPGIuJ10xHrkIeNA&d=37&m=b&r=w&i=m&options=

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.

Note: 30 seconds is not a lot of time, which is why the pictures may seem a bit rushed! I originally had all this fancy text introducing each intern, but had to cut it out because it was only enough time to show four of us.
The song is Of Montreal‘s “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger”.

Technologic

Template

Basic template- I still have a lot of work to do!

Today we had technology training at the National Agriculture Library in Beltsville, MD.  We learned about copyright issues with online images, databases, making surveys and polls, and we also got time to work on our websites.  Creating surveys was pretty cool- we explored a few different ways like Survey Monkey, Survey Share, Polldaddy, and Googledocs.  I practiced making my own survey on Googledocs- you can check it out, but I won’t be needing any data so you don’t have to fill it out!  I also made a lot of progress on my website, since I’ve been so busy with clinical I haven’t had much time.  We learned more about photo editing and embedding, and I finally figured out how to make a template (although it’s quite possibly the simplest template ever!) I’ll post the link once it looks presentable…which it probably won’t be for a while haha.

Back to the hospital tomorrow morning!

Not Your Average Internship

Match for Internship

The Greatest Relief EVER!

For those of you not in the field of nutrition, you may be wondering why I am blogging about a silly little internship.  So I can share stories of getting coffee for the boss? Doing menial tasks to assist the real workers? Silently suffering at the bottom of the ladder in the hope of one day being hired?

While I’m sure that would be a thrilling blog to read, this is NOT that kind of internship.  Instead, I like to think of it as nursing school, but for dietitians.  A college degree is required, and completion of an internship is necessary to obtain the coveted “RD” (Registered Dietitian) credentials behind my name so I can get a job.  It’s sort of a graduate program that you pay for, but you don’t earn graduate credit.  Basically, I am in career limbo.

My dietetic internship has a ton of different rotations and sites that I will be blogging about.  For example, I’ll be working at a local hospital for my clinical rotation, Riderwood Village and UMD Dining Services for my foodservice rotations, Food & Friends and School Lunch for my community rotations, and IFIC (International Food Information Center) and CNPP (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion) for my information technology rotations.  My internship director explained this process as “A 10.5 month job interview.” All the rotations will definitely help me pinpoint where I would like to go in my career, and who knows, maybe a job will come out of it as well!

Getting here wasn’t necessarily simple.  For each internship I applied to, I had to write a slightly different essay, fill out lengthy forms, and solicit three letters of recommendation from my work supervisors and professors.  The various internships I applied to had different requirements and different due dates; this caused me many afternoons of stressing out at the post office, triple-checking to make sure I had everything in order for an overnight, traceable delivery (I couldn’t risk my applications getting lost in the mail!)

After that, there was a long period of waiting: first for an invitation for an interview, and eventually for match day.  Match day was the day that we found out 1) If we got an internship 2) which one we got.  No, we weren’t offered admission from different programs and then got to choose; instead, we had to rank the internships, they ranked us, and we were matched by a computer system.  Sound stressful? It was.  Of course, the <50% acceptance rate to dietetic internships didn’t help with the anxiety.

Fortunately, on that fateful day, I was matched to the UMD internship, and here I am!  I loved the variety of rotations within the program and its focus on nutrition communications and information technology.  I could not be more excited to get started!  First up: clinical rotations!