Julie Jun was our past TSDA Historian who completed her undergraduate degree at Texas Tech University. She is currently enrolled in The University of Texas Health Science Center Dietetic Internship Program. This program was her first choice because she loved the public health nutrition concentration. At Texas Tech, Julie was involved as a research assistant assessing health disparities minority populations and the differences in the availability, accessibility, and affordability of healthful foods across neighborhoods. Through this, she gained a deeper appreciation of multiethnic perspectives which furthered her aspiration to pursue a career in public health. Furthermore, this program offers vast opportunities and resources that would prepare her to be a public health professional including a simulation lab where you can realistically practice assessing patients, a state-of-the-art kitchen, and a holistic garden that offers hands-on training on using fresh, organic produce as a part of preventative health.
Currently, she an intern for the City of Houston Department of Health and Human Services. She explains it has so far been one of the most eye-opening experiences and has revealed how deeply involved the City is in providing numerous programs shaped by policies aimed to promote the health of the communities and to address numerous public health problems. One of her favorite parts is the holistic garden they have. The garden is filled with fruits and vegetables and it has been exciting watching them grow and learning how to take care of them. The interns host demonstrations in their kitchen where they have been able to take the produce from the garden and demonstrate how to prepare nutritious foods using the fresh ingredients. This farm-to-table experience has both been fun and exciting!
Julie’s current plan is to continue her studies and apply to a doctorate program where she can further her knowledge and contribute to the research field. In five years, she hopes to be finishing her doctoral degree and will be accepting a job offer.
Below she offered questions about the internship and preparing for the internship to share some insight on the process!
How did you plan for this internship?
Once I became committed, I took the trip to Houston to explore the area and to look for possible housing. I narrowed my housing choices down to the few that fit best with me, and in that way I wasn’t rushing to find a place to stay after I got matched.
What did you expect going into the internship? is it what you expected?
I expected to be equipped to be a practicing professional in dietetics and in the public health field. It is very similar to what I had expected, and through the public health courses and the dietetic internship rotations, I am gaining more comprehensive experience and knowledge.
What is something that you think DPD students can do to stand out to in applications?
I would advise all dietetics students to start early. Start getting your volunteer experiences, job experiences, and relationships formed early. Having a well-developed application with many experiences will present a holistic, multi-dimensional picture of yourself that will help the dietetic internship selection committee and directors know that you are capable of being a successful dietetic intern. The relationships you form during your undergrad is important. You should set yourself out to become a well-rounded and unique individual not only on paper but in person. Professors will help guide you, support you, and can help translate your strengths by writing you strong recommendation letters. Also, spend time on your personal statement – utilize your university’s writing center to revise and revise again.
Anything you want to let people know that are applying to internships?
Try not to be too stressed! It is easier said than done, however, you’re just trying to relay how much you have developed during the course of your undergraduate years. By the time you apply, hopefully you have plentiful volunteer, work, and leadership experiences, but if not, you can show off your other strengths through your personal statement. Match day is just around the corner once you apply! I wish you all the best!!!
Written By: Erin Maxwell, Historian of TSDA