Jacy Joplin Gives us the Inside Scoop of the MS/DI at TWU!

Jacy Joplin (2)

Which program are you currently enrolled in?  Texas Woman’s University Dietetic Internship- Denton Campus. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition Masters)

Where did you complete your undergraduate program? I completed my first degree in Kinesiology and minor in Psychology at UNT & my second degree in Nutrition: Emphasis in Dietetics at TWU.

Why did you pick the program you are in now? For one, TWU has amazing teachers in the Nutrition & Food Science Dept who offer quality education! Though the thought of moving to a new state near a beach or the mountains for my DI seemed like a grand adventure, in the end I really couldn’t picture myself continuing my education anywhere else. TWU is also one of the few schools that offers an optional combined Masters degree in Sport & Exercise Nutrition, which is exactly what I wanted to pursue. The program offers a wide range of practicum rotation sites expanding all across the metroplex. Being one who loves variety, this characteristic of the program was very appealing.

How did you plan for this internship (time/finances/living/ect)? Fortunately back in high school I saved just about every penny I made. At that time I did not have a plan for my savings, but as of today I have decided that collection will directly fund my survival when I am working 40 hour weekdays during rotations, unpaid! I have also received many scholarships for my grades (one good reason to focus on your studies and keep a high GPA). Since TWU offers a masters degree with their program I have been giving the opportunity to work as a graduate assistant in the nutrition department the past 2 semesters which works great with my busy schedule.

What’s been your favorite part of your internship so far? Honestly I really enjoy when my intern class & our director meet for our long 4 hour class every week! I’ve been fortunate to end up in a vibrant intern class where we all enjoy each others company. I am also a part of the planning committee for the Texas Academy NE Region Winter Seminar as a part of my professional hours! It has been so fun working as a team member with the dietitians on the committee and a few of my fellow interns.

What do you plan to do after you’re done with your internship? Immediately start studying for the RD exam so I can obtain those prized credentials!…then I plan to accept the first dietetics job offered to me. If the first position I accept is not one I am completely thrilled about I can always continuing looking (but at least I will have a source of income during the process)! I don’t want to make too many plans at this point, but I am hopeful that I will be presented with a few opportunities that will lead me down the right path.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I see myself in a peaceful setting near food where my primary duty is infusing happy into the lives of others!! 😉  Pretty serious about that in a way…but on a toned down note, it is actually hard to say. I love too many areas within this profession! I am really depending on my experience during rotations to help me decide the field I am most interested in. However, at 5 years I would love to see myself opening up my own private practice or wellness facility (complete with an extravagant kitchen/gym and a vivacious garden in the back!). Some sort of establishment where I can blend nutrition, culinary skills, mindful living, & exercise to benefit the community. Dream big!

What did you expect going into the internship? is it what you expected? I expected to learn everything there is to know about holding a career in the dietetics profession! Along with that I expected a large workload and a minuscule life outside of school and internship work… As far as the learning and work load go, it has been pretty much as I expected. However I am pleasantly surprised that I am in a very positive and rested state in light of my busy schedule. My internship director is great about working with our schedules so we can complete our tasks to the best of our ability. She holds high expectations for us, but she does not try to cause us unnecessary stress. My internship experience is challenging but overall rewarding!

What’s something you did not expect? One thing I did not expect was the “voice” I have obtained through the transition from undergrad to dietetic intern. I feel like people actually listen to what I am saying now instead of grading it! If that makes any sense? =) Being able to finally apply all that I have learned in undergrad to real life situations has done wonders to my confidence.

What is something that you think DPD students can do to stand out to in applications? In general I think it is good to display “variety”. Shoot for being a gourmet sample platter rather than a single gourmet dish. Good grades, dietetics/food experience, & volunteer work all look great. Try to find one skill within your variety to highlight. For example, I have a background in art & design, which seems unrelated to dietetics..BUT I have used that skill set to make my own nutrition handouts, graphics, & videos to spark an interest in nutrition to others in a unique way. Also, staying active within the dietetics community is a plus! Attending professional academy meetings, student org meetings, state & regional conferences not only enhances your learning, but exposes you to the many outstanding professionals within this field. Those are the people you want to learn from. =)

Anything you want to let people know that are applying to internships? RELAX 😉 Remember that your body needs, food, sleep and oxygen! Grab a pen and a piece of paper and write down 3 of your best characteristics and a few achievements you have made during your undergrad experience. Post these somewhere where you see them frequently!I think people tend to get so wrapped up in being a perfect candidate for internship that they start to forget what they have already achieved. Never stop trying to better yourself, but at the same time give yourself credit for your hard work from time to time! Try to determine how you can utilize some of your natural qualities to create a unique, impressive, & confident applicant. Doesn’t it seem more rewarding to succeed as yourself then as a forced someone you thought you needed to become?

Jacy Joplin (3)

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