Early Preparation for Becoming a RDN

Utilize your resources

Student Groups
Join one of our department sponsored Student Groups to meet people, learn more about the majors, and find leadership opportunities.

Join any other fun and enriching student groups on campus to make friends and build many different skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and time management.  http://sua.umn.edu/groups/

Career and Internship Services (CIS)
Visit CIS which maintains information for Nutrition majors with many career as well as paid and volunteer experience ideas and lists Job and Internship Fairs.  They have drop in hours and appointments available.  Their office is located at 198 McNeal Hall.  To make an appointment, call 612-624-2710.  Sara Newberg is the main contact for the Nutrition major; you can ask to be scheduled with her.  Look under “Career Info by major”.   

Golden Gopher Workshop Database
Find workshops, information sessions, fairs and information on academic opportunities, academic success, career services, community service and engagement, leadership and advocacy, off-campus opportunities, personal development, scholarships

Learning Abroad
Strongly consider incorporating a learning abroad experience into your undergraduate education.  Discuss with your Advisor and the FSCN Student Services staff for ideas on finding courses that meet requirements in your major and finding scholarships to help with the costs.

Get Experience

Check out “How to Increase your Competitiveness for a Dietetic Internship” for ideas on what you can do to not only boost your chances for a dietetic internship but also to help prepare you to be a strong professional.  Also review the resources provided on the Jobs and Opportunities webpage.

Recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website include:

  • Volunteer and provide community service, especially in areas related to health and nutrition
  • Get practical, paid work experiences, especially in areas related to your desired area(s) of practice.
  • Become actively involved in professional organizations, such as college dietetics clubs; district-, state- and national-dietetics associations; especially at the leadership level.
  • Publish and present any relevant research, projects or work that you have done in journals and at conferences or in poster sessions.

Keep track of what you do with your Resume and Portfolio - It is a great idea to maintain a current resume throughout your academic career.  Portfolios take the resume and your valuable experiences to the next level. Career and Internship Services provide resources to help you develop a resume and portfolio.  In addition, you can find more portfolio suggestions here.    

Additional Information and Resources

  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND):  It is highly recommended that you become a Student member of the AND at least by your third year of studies.  It is $58/year for student membership and begins June 1. Membership makes you eligible for scholarships through the Academy, and has other benefits.  
    • Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is this state’s branch, or affiliate, of the national level Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Membership in this is automatic when you become a member at the national level.
  • To help you determine the many career options and specialty areas available as a RDN, check out the Academy groups.  As a student member of AND, you are able to also join most of the Academy groups that might be of interest to you.  This would allow you to network with professionals involved in an area of interest to you.  You might also be able to gain some tips as you work toward that career path in dietetics.
  • Please know that The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spells Dietitian with a “t”, not a “c” (“dietician” is not acceptable to The Academy).  You will see it spelled both ways during your studies.  The Academy only recognizes “Dietitian” on applications to the internships and scholarships.
  • Before you apply and are accepted to the DPD sub-plan, you can be added to the DPD email Google group in order to receive emails about work/volunteer opportunities and other DPD-related communications.  Email dpd@umn.edu about joining this email group.