Jessica Mirkin- CT Academy Student Liaison Co-Chair
If on BOD -what is your position?
My position on the board is the Student Liaison Co-Chair. In this role, we are actively trying to collect and provide students with resources and information for the CT website in order to help student members get accepted into a dietetic internship and to pass the RD registration exam.
What inspired you to want you to be an RDN?
I have always had a passion for nutrition and fitness. While obtaining my first degree, I was debating if I wanted to go the food product development and business side or if I wanted to work with individuals to overcome challenges related to their nutrition. After my bachelor’s degree in Business and Entrepreneurship, I worked behind a desk for several years. At that moment, I realized that I wanted to provide nutrition counseling and work one-on one with individuals over an extended period of time and have a direct positive impact. January of 2014 I went back to school to start on my path to become an RDN.
Where do you work now and where have you worked in the past?
I recently began my dietetic internship with The University of Saint Joseph. Prior to returning to school for a second degree, I worked at Northwestern Mutual in several capacities. I have worked with the USJ SNAP-Ed program as a nutrition educator and health coach for the last couple of years and I am still working per diem. I was able to intern at the Department of Public Health and Malta Van, and took part as a volunteer in several events and groups.
I love hummus and grilled vegetable salads. Being allergic to dairy and tomatoes, I make my own modified pizza. I throw on all types of vegetables and soy cheese onto my dough and either leave it sauceless or spread some dairy-free pesto or olive tapenade.
General tip for improving one’s diet?
The main tip is to have confidence in yourself and pride in your successes. If you have a set-back it is important not to look at yourself as a failure or disappointment and instead figure out what made it a barrier and then strategize how to overcome the barrier next time. I would say that small changes and modifications over time have a better outcome than trying to change everything about one’s diet. I also feel that strong support group whether that means family, friends or co-workers is important to aid in success.
What is best part of your job?
When I complete the health coaching sessions, and the client sees his or her growth and changes over a period of time, or has better health outcomes due to achieving their goals and you can feel their excitement and happiness, that is the part I love because I feel like I have made a difference.
Where would you like to see the RDN/NDTR profession be in 10 years?
To be more publically recognized as the experts. To be required and demanded in all work and school settings. There is definitely growth as you see Registered Dietitians collaborating with primary care doctors and insurance companies. However, to have all ages and demographics have an RD/NDTR readily available in all settings would be fantastic.