Bronco Spotlight: Nathan Reed

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Bachelor of Science, dietetics, 2009

Registered Dietitian at Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

I do nutrition education and counseling with a nutritionally at risk population of pregnant women and children from birth to 5 years old.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I am making a difference in the health and well-being of many parents and their children. It's rewarding to see a client and they are excited because they implemented something we talked about at their previous appointment and now their child has better eating habits. It's great to be able to ease a parent's fear about whether their child is eating enough or too much.  Sometimes the most challenging thing is just trying to keep things simple. With the way that our food industry is today, and parents trying to give their kids healthy foods, it can be extremely challenging. Trying to come up with simple and attainable goals is sometimes easier said than done, especially if a parent has so many things telling them what is good or bad for their child, between friends, family, internet, media and doctors, it can be challenging for them to figure that all out. But that's what I'm there for, to work through those challenges with them and come up with plans that will work for them and their family.

If you had a campus job or internship, how did they impact your career development?

I did do an internship, but that was after I graduated. One of the biggest things that helped me in my career development was volunteering. My senior year of college I started volunteering with the WIC program I work with now. It gave me a lot of good experience to know what area of dietetics I wanted to go into. I love working with parents and their kids and volunteering gave me a lot of good experience with that before I even started working. It also allowed me to get some good professional references that would be in my career field from other Dietitians.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

I would encourage anyone considering Nutrition and Dietetics as a career to talk with someone in the field already. Ask them questions about what they do and what they love about their current job or other jobs that they've had. A degree in Dietetics gives you a lot of different opportunities and they are not all the same, you can work anywhere from a hospital to the food service industry and lots of other areas as well. Try to find somewhere that you could volunteer and get some experience to see if this is really the career you're interested in.

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