“I’ve had a really fantastic experience at Montclair. I am from NJ but I did not know much about the school until I applied to the program, and I was lucky enough to get an assistantship position. I’ve found that Montclair truly has a small school feeling within a huge university. I’ve gotten to know a lot of members of faculty, both adjuncts and full time faculty, and I’ve built a really wonderful relationship with them. I went to a huge undergraduate school with about 13,000 students and it very much felt like a large university, so I was expecting the same thing here but it’s not the dynamic that I found. Montclair offers a very personalized experience with small classrooms, so students have the benefit of really getting to know your classmates and your professors.
After I graduate, I will be completing the Montclair Dietetic Internship with hopes of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Right now I’m leaning towards continuing to do research within the field. I’ve been lucky enough to conduct research through my assistantship and through my thesis, and from those experiences I’ve really learned that I want to continue doing research, whether it’s through some type of research facility or through a doctoral program. I’m really interested in behavioral aspects of nutrition, so my thesis focuses on weight loss apps (food diary apps), logging behaviors, and psychological components in order to highlight the role that technology can play in people’s weight loss journey.
My favorite part of the Master’s in Nutrition and Food Science was the practicum experience. Students in the Nutrition and Food Science program find placement with a company or setting where they run their own nutrition intervention or food science intervention, depending on their concentration. As a Nutrition Education student, I had to run a structured nutrition education intervention, and I choose be placed at a bariatric surgery center though it was was something I didn’t have much experience with previously. I spent 90 hours on site developing and implementing the intervention, starting from the theoretical background all the way through running the program myself. Actually getting that hands on experience in education for a population that I had previously known little about was a great hands on experience that allowed me to take what I learned in the classroom and apply it to a group in a practical setting.
My advice to Montclair students would be to take advantage of the faculty that’s here. A lot of professors really want to work with students and truly want to get involved; they’re here to offer guidance. If you take the time to speak with them, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about their varied focuses and different backgrounds which you might never expected. Some of my greatest conversations were not with my personal professors but with others in the department or long after I completed a course. I’ve had such a great experience that I would definitely encourage people to go and meet as many people here as possible, students and faculty alike.
As for people who want to be RD’s, my advice would be to put fear aside and try to step up to the leading positions. There are countless different avenues you can take as a dietitian; while a lot of people go into clinical dietetics, some people want to work in counseling, conduct their own research, or work for a food company. With such a wide ranging field, I know my personal goal is to explore as much of it as possible, and that’s what I would suggest for others, as well. Take every opportunity you can find to work with diverse faculty members or in unique food-related settings so you can view as large of a scope as possible. ”