This year I had the privilege of attending the Dietitians of Canada National Conference in Toronto. I say privilege because I personally know dietitians who have not had the opportunity to attend and yet here I was, a third year dietetics student, getting to experience such a great event.
It truly was an amazing experience – I left the conference feeling inspired and ready to take on the world of dietetics. I came back home and immediately called my fellow dietetic students selling them tickets, hypothetically, to next year’s conference in Victoria. As I reflect on my experience I think that all students should have the opportunity to attend this type of event because it gives you a chance to discover what is actually out there in the real world and not just the fields you’re taught about in university. In school we are told we have to pick between clinical, community, or administrative dietetics, but in reality we don’t have to…we can create our own pathways in this field. This profession allows us to explore our personal skill set and passions and match these to something in dietetics, whether that be media dietetics or even politics. Fellow delegates at the conference treat you as a colleague and not as a student. They will tell you all about where they work and what they love about their job.
As I mentioned above I left the conference after a full three days of networking feeling enthusiastic about dietetics. I want to make a difference in this profession but I know it would be so easy to graduate, land my first job and stop there. However, there is so much I could do to actually make an impact and I am so grateful to have learned this lesson. So, what are my next steps? Well, I am going to start creating little films based on my food blog – thanks to the information I learned in the session Film 101. I’m also going to start job shadowing as many dietitians as possible as I am curious about the variety of fields in which Canadian RDs work.
Lastly, thank you DEN for sponsoring me and allowing me to attend this conference - see you next year in Victoria!