Hi friends! Today I’m excited to bring you another installment of my The RD to Be Series. For those of you new around here, RD = Registered Dietitian 🙂
In the Just a Pinch series, I will be interviewing fellow dietetic students and/or career-changers to show you that following your dreams is possible! The nutrition community is absolutely wonderful and filled with supportive, encouraging people who are all working to make the world a healthier place.
Today, I’d like you to meet Olivia Bubri of Oliva’s Plate. Her blog name (which I think is adorable!) stems from her collection of funky plates, which she uses to showcase her beautiful, healthy recipes. Similar to other aspiring RD’s that I’ve showcased in this series, Olivia graduated from the University of Florida with an unrelated degree (public relations,) but decided instead to pursue her passion: nutrition! Olivia is headed to Georgia State University this fall to start the Coordinated Master of Science in Nutrition program.
One thing I really love about the RD to Be Series is that everyone has a unique story to share. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to get to know Olivia and learn why she decided to pursue a career in nutrition!
Tell us three unique things about you:
- I’m Italian, but I could easily live without pasta (sounds crazy, I know.
- I grew up on a tiny island off the coast of Florida, so the beach will always be my happy place.
- I’ve always been an extrovert and thrive off other people’s energy. I love alone time, but I definitely prefer being around others!
Your perfect Saturday looks like:
Checking out the local farmer’s market followed by a day spent outdoors with family and friends, ending with a tasty homemade dinner.
When did you decide you wanted to become a Registered Dietitian (RD) and what factors influenced your decision?
Growing up, I was always overweight. I ended up seeing an RD my sophomore year of college to see if there were any underlying medical issues that could be addressed. My dietitian changed the way that I viewed food, which ultimately fueled my desire to work in this profession. It wasn’t until after I interned with a fashion PR company in New York City right before my final year of undergrad that I got serious about switching into dietetics. My internship was fun, but not fulfilling, and I wanted a career that would be full of both passion and purpose.
Tell us more about your graduate school plans:
I will be attending Georgia State University starting in fall 2015 for the two-year coordinated program. I had a very traditional undergraduate experience in a full-fledged college town (Gainesville, FL), and I knew that I wanted a change of pace for graduate school — hence why I chose Atlanta. I will complete my master’s degree and 1,200 hours of supervised practice at GSU, meaning I’ll be able to sit for the RD test immediately upon graduation!
Tell us more about your job as a Nutrition Educator at Community Health Partners and how you came across that opportunity.
My friend’s mom worked at CHP and mentioned there was an RD working there that graduated from a coordinated master’s program. I reached out to her and she initially offered me an internship position. I was able to sit in on various patient assessments and soak up a lot of knowledge. Now I work one-on-one with patients to help them make realistic, healthy lifestyle modifications. It has easily been the most rewarding job that I’ve ever had, and I’m able to learn something new every day.
What was your greatest challenge you faced when applying to graduate schools?
Chemistry! General chemistry was one of the most awful classes I’ve ever taken. It took a lot of self-motivation and determination to power through that semester. The good news: it gets better! General chemistry was a drag, but I ended up loving OChem. Sounds crazy, but the same could happen to you!
Describe your dream job.
My dream job would be working as a corporate dietitian for an awesome company/restaurant/supermarket. I’m still a PR/marketing gal at heart, so this route would allow me to integrate both of my skill sets. The end goal is to eventually open a sweet little cafe featuring seasonal menus in the city that I call home.
What resources did you find particularly helpful while you were applying to schools?
RD bloggers were definitely my number one resource. Most bloggers have an entire page dedicated to how to become an RD. I would generally read these pages then shoot them an email if I had further questions. They were all so eager to help, which was awesome! Some of my faves include: Kath at Kath Eats Real Food, Elle at According to Elle and Anne at fANNEtastic Food.
How did you find balance during especially busy times?
Honestly, I still struggle with finding balance, and it’s definitely a work in progress for me. Recently, I’ve realized how important it is to just trust in myself. 9 times out of 10, I find myself worrying for no reason. Trusting the process and the timing of my life was key to maintaining balance amongst stressful times. It also helps to have awesome friends and family who are there to keep ya afloat along the way!
What advice do you have for aspiring RD’s?
Get real-life experience! Don’t be afraid to reach out. Find RD’s in your area who are willing to let you shadow them and just be a sponge. Soak up every bit of knowledge that you can and make connections along the way. Be proactive and make it happen!
Favorite blog post you’ve ever written?
Definitely my recipe for southwestern stuffed sweet potatoes. Basically all of my favorite foods, compacted into one little recipe. I love that it’s so easy and quick, and keeps me full for hours! I’m looking forward to expanding my blog topics to (hopefully) include posts chronicling my time as a grad student for future RD’s to use as a resource!
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN BEING FEATURED IN THE RD TO BE SERIES?
Please send me an email and I’d be happy to share your story!