Saint Louis University

BLOG: Life Beyond the Internship, What’s Next?

Author: Lori Sinclair
Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saint Louis University Graduate Dietetic Interns

On March 18, 2013, a Career Day was scheduled for the dietetic interns. SLU, Fontbonne, and VA interns were given the opportunity to discuss their resumes, cover letters, interviewing techniques and negotiating tactics with skilled professionals from the dietetics department and SLU’s career center. We also participated in a panel discussion with experienced dietitians who shared their career paths and advice for starting our own careers. The information gained from this experience will help us better prepare for our future careers, which will begin very soon.

“You never have a second chance to make a good impression.”

Saint Louis University Graduate Dietetic Interns

The day began with a resume building workshop with Millie Mattfeldt-Beman. The resume and cover letters are a written snap shot of our work and education. These resources are the only things that employers have to judge us on. The format and content of the resume and cover letter are of great importance. Highlighting transferable skills, like communication and leadership, will help us get our foot in the door for the coveted interview. For more information about resumes check out SLU Career Services.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Saint Louis University Graduate Dietetic Interns

The career center’s Chandra Johnson put on the next session of the day. The topics included interviewing and negotiating techniques. The theme of the presentation was to prepare as much as possible to impress future employers. A few things to do before your interview include:

  • Prepare and answer practice questions
  • Prepare questions for the employer
  • Decide what materials to have with you
  • Consider your visual appearance
  • Know the time and place of the interview
  • Research the company and position
  • Practice your handshake

The next step in the interviewing process is salary negotiation. Having a basic knowledge of what type of salary to expect can help you determine if the offer is fair or not. A few resources for looking up salaries include:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • MERIC
  • Payscale.com
  • Glassdoor.com

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game”

The final part of the day involved a panel of dietitian’s from the area who have had many different experiences throughout their careers. Some of the main themes of this session were the importance of being open to new opportunities and also building business relationships through networking. A few keys to networking include:

  • Be passionate
    • Find what speaks to you and find others who can help
  • Use the resources available
    • Strategic usage of available resources and information is key. Invest in yourself!
  • Follow up
    • Keep the connection alive, follow up within 24 hours of the meeting

Graduation is only a few short weeks away, and with that comes the task of joining the workforce. The idea of searching for a job and preparing for interviews may seem overwhelming, but Career Day 2013 was a way to break it down into more manageable steps to help us land those first dietetic jobs we have been dreaming about.

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