To continue with Student Week, we're interviewing Healthy Bytes' very own Katie Hunter! Katie just graduated from New York University with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Congrats, Katie! Her main love is in community nutrition and helping kids develop healthy relationships with food. Join us to hear more about Katie's experience in NYU's DPD coursework.
Healthy Bytes: Hi Katie- we're so excited to feature you today! To start off, we'd love to know more about why you decided to go in to Nutrition and Dietetics.
I actually started at NYU hoping to get my degree in Communications. I really wanted to become a broadcast journalist. The summer before sophomore year, I got really into nutrition and food. I even started taking classes online on Coursera about nutrition sophomore year. That was when I realized that I was in the wrong major. I was more passionate about nutrition than communications, so I made the last-minute decision to switch junior year.
Wow, it must have been hard to fit everything in to two years! What did you think about NYU's DPD coursework?
It was a really good curriculum. It definitely did a great job in preparing students for their internship experiences and the national exam. Of course, there were some classes that I didn't like, but only because I wasn't as interested in those aspects of nutrition. That's the beauty of the program though. You really get to know what aspects of nutrition that interest you the most. That's how I found out that I love to work more in community settings than in clinical ones.
That's a great thing to realize early in your career. What would you say was the hardest part of college?
Keeping everything organized was always hard. Especially because I was trying to fit four years of DPD courses in two years, so I could graduate this year. It was also even more difficult because my class schedule was very different every day. It's hard to follow a consistent schedule when each day is different. The good thing is, it teaches you how to multi-task.
After completing your degree, what advice would you give to current and future undergraduate students in nutrition and dietetics?
Relax. There were times that I would get caught up in grade-comparing and test anxiety. Of course, I think that you should strive to do your best in all you do, but college is also such an amazing time to learn about your specific interests. That may mean that you devote more time and energy to subjects you love—that's okay! There's a desire to be perfect in every subject, but I think that finding your passion is more important. Grades are important, but they are not everything.
What was your favorite moment in your undergrad career?
I don't have a specific moment, but I loved my Biochemistry class I took last fall. That class made everything come together. I really began to understand how our bodies process food and different nutrients. Now, I feel more confident when I teach kids to eat the rainbow because I know why it's good for our bodies!
We're excited to be working with you full-time! Now that you've graduated, what are you looking forward to most?
I can't wait to have a consistent schedule. It seems funny to be excited about, but I think it'll be a nice change from a school schedule. As much as I love school, I'm excited to learn in a real-world setting. It's time to see if I can put what I was taught into practice! I'm also excited that I don't need to write papers anymore. That's always a plus.
We're excited to see where your career leads you! As of now, what's your ideal career path?
I honestly don't know! I really want to explore my options, like working on a farm. I love teaching kids how to cook, so I would love to incorporate that into my career, if possible. The best part of having a degree in nutrition, is that there are lots of paths I can go down, and I can't wait to find the best one for me.