Melissa Quinn (2006)
Coordinator of Industry Development and Competitive Transition

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition 

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I work at Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture as the Coordinator of Industry Development and Competitive Transition. I work with individual agri-food businesses and industry associations to develop and adapt innovative solutions to problems in the Agriculture and Food Processing Sectors. 

3. How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

I had an opportunity to work with an agriculture firm during my degree at Acadia, sensory testing blueberries. Upon graduation, I was hired by the firm and worked as a Product Development Specialist developing healthy snack options for the public school system as well as developing a fresh cut line for vegetable processing. This experience led me to the Provincial Government position in 2008. 

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

Try everything you can while you are at Acadia. There are many opportunities to apply your studies to real world examples in working with companies which in turn gives you experience for both your resume as well as a clearer idea of what you want to do upon graduation. 

Contact: Melissa.Quinn@novascotia.ca 


Kate Comeau (2006)
Manager of Public Relations and Media for Dietitians of Canada

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition with Honors.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I am the Manager of Public Relations and Media for Dietitians of Canada. In a nutshell, my job is to be the key face of Dietitians of Canada for the media and also help dietitians to feel more confident. I am responsible for planning, developing and executing communications strategies that continuously grow and strengthen the association’s relationship with members and that bring added value to members through stronger relationships with the media, other stakeholders and the general public. In September 2015, I also took a position as a part time lecturer at Acadia University to teach the Professional Practice in Dietetics course.

3.How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments? 

During my undergrad I was very interested in research. At the urging of my professors, I did a Master’s degree at McGill where I increased my skills and interest in nutrition and dietetics and completed my internship. Acadia prepared me for the research work as well as for the internship. The diversity of the course work helped me to gain an interest in other areas like communications, which eventually became my full time job.

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

I would encourage students to get involved. I learned a lot from the various volunteer opportunities that I took part in. Also be a mentor to people coming behind you. When starting out in our careers, we feel like we don’t have much to offer. However, there’s always something you can say to someone in the other years that can help them and you talk to them about their experience.

Contact: kategcomeau@gmail.com

 

 

Sarah Campbell Bligh (2007)
In-store Dietitian at Sobeys

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated in 2007 and received a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Acadia University. I completed my integrated internship from Acadia in December 2007.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I work full time with Sobeys pharmacy in HRM as an In-store Dietitian. My key responsibilities are to support the mission and vision of the company, which is to help Canadians “Eat Better, Feel Better and Do Better”. I do this by providing staff education, customer education, and networking in health care systems to promote the services we offer in the store, and partner to meet the needs of the community around the store. We do free group nutrition classes. We also do one-on-one consultation through the pharmacy, which is a fee for service, and most health care plans cover this. We have partnerships with the health care system as well. Dietitians who do classes through outpatients or other clinics will refer their patients to me for more education, specifically for sessions to help them prepare the foods they are supposed to be eating and label reading. It is very food focused. I also worked at Acadia part-time from July to December 2015 as Interim Dietetic Practicum Coordinator where I oversaw and supported all the practicum students and preceptors. I was the connection between Acadia, the practicum students, preceptors, and the practicum partnership committee.

3.How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

The food knowledge helped for my position at Sobeys. Having the practical knowledge and not just knowing nutrients and how they work in your body - but how to use those foods has been very important. For example, after a heart attack, people are told they need so many grams of fiber and fat but this means nothing to most. They need to know how to eat those foods, which foods to avoid, and how to read the label. It’s the practical stuff that I use the most and I love having the science to back it up. This allows the customers to know they are getting the correct information. Also, being able to go through the Research Methods course and Professional Practice based courses helped for my role as the Interim Dietetic Practicum Coordinator, knowing the regulations for the profession, and being able to speak to the students about them was an asset.

4.What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

I didn’t know a position as a retail dietitian was a possibility until I saw a job posting. I did not know what they did and had never met one. My advice is to  make sure you look around for different things. I encourage students to be open to different opportunities and to not be afraid to contact a dietitian and ask what they do. People are happy to tell others about their jobs.

Contact: Sarah.Campbell@sobeys.com

 


Lauren Peters (2010)
Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated from Acadia University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition. I then completed a Master of Science in Foods and Nutrition at Brescia University College at the University of Western Ontario in 2012.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I am a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. I work for the North Lambton Community Health Centre Diabetes Education Program in Forest, Ontario. I work with an interdisciplinary team to provide education and support for those living with or at risk for diabetes. I provide one-on-one counselling and help to facilitate cooking classes, one-time education sessions (e.g. diabetes management, carbohydrate counting, etc.) and group series’ (e.g. Craving Change™). Furthermore, I work closely with a diabetes nurse educator and physician to offer monthly diabetes group medical visits. I am actively engaged in diabetes research and am currently working on a poster presentation to share at the World Diabetes Congress in Vancouver (December 2015).

3. How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

The Bachelor of Science in Nutrition program provided me with a broad general education and a strong foundation in nutrition, dietetics and the sciences. The professors were engaging and constantly encouraged their students to dig deeper to develop their full potential. As an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to work closely with my professors as a teaching assistant and research assistant. I also had the opportunity to volunteer with nutrition professionals in other settings (e.g. community health, public health, etc.).  These experiences helped me to determine which career path I wanted to take.

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

I encourage students to seek out work, volunteer and/or job shadowing opportunities in various settings to learn about the many options available after graduation. Don't be afraid to step outside of the box and try something new!

Contact: laurenpeters22@gmail.com

 

 


Keira Barron (2010)
Long Term Care Clinical Dietitian

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition in 2010.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I’m currently working in Long Term Care as a Clinical Dietitian at Brentwood Care Centre in Calgary. I’m responsible for the nutritional needs of 237 residents. This includes regular nutrition screening, assessments, care plan development and review, as well as monitoring weight monthly and as needed. I also perform swallowing assessments, develop and review cycle menus and I am part of my facility’s wound care team. I’m currently working with the other dietitians within the company to develop a nutrition process or protocol for us to use in pressure ulcer treatment. 

3. How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

The Nutrition and Dietetics program at Acadia provided me with excellent foundational knowledge, which I built on during the Acadia Graduate Internship program.  I was taught not to be afraid of challenging processes and incorporating best practice into my day to day work. The faculty and staff were very encouraging and helped me develop the self confidence to push my own boundaries. They have also acted as great role models and mentors over the years.

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

Even though there are times during undergrad when you feel like you’ll never have any spare time again, it will prepare you for internship, if that’s the path that you choose, and help you develop the time management skills to maintain a good work/life balance. I’d also like to encourage people who may not land their dream job right out of school to continue to find ways to incorporate and adapt their passions to their work. The results will rarely disappoint and will almost always help with the next step in their career in nutrition and dietetics.

Contact: kbarron@intercarecorpgroup.com


Valerie MacPherson (2010)
Administrative Dietitian

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition degree in May, 2010 and completed an Acadia University Integrated Dietetic Internship in December, 2010.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I am currently working as an Administrative Dietitian for Nova Scotia Health Authority at Roseway Hospital in Shelburne, N.S. My position involves two main components – Manager of hospital food service operation and providing clinical nutrition services to inpatients. I am responsible for the day to day food service operations such as scheduling of staff, ordering food, financial reconciliation and inventory control. I am also involved in menu development.

3. How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

My degree allowed me to feel confident in the technical abilities required for my job which relate directly to my work responsibilities. The hands on experience gained from labs (especially Food Commodities and Food Service Management) have helped me put theory into action. I also gained many transferable skills such as organization and communication which have been an asset in my career thus far.

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

The biggest advice I have is to enjoy every moment of your university degree. It is a unique time in your life filled with learning and self growth. It is important to get involved in the extracurricular activities Acadia has to offer! I particularly enjoyed participating in NADS (Nutrition and Dietetics Society) activities, S.M.I.L.E, Best Buddies and the Acadia Dance Collective. School can be busy and stressful but it is important to make time for activities that interest you. Many lifelong friendships and professional relationships can be formed through these activities.

Contact: Valerie.MacPherson@nshealth.ca


Glen Butt (2012)
Logistics Officer in Food Services and Accommodations Officer

1. What year did you graduate and what degree did you receive?

I graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition.

2. Where are you working now, what is your job title and what are your key responsibilities?

I work in the 3rd Canadian Division Support Group Garrison Wainwright, Alberta, as a Logistics Officer in Food Services and Accommodations Officer. My responsibilities include providing food services to military soldiers both domestically and abroad, in response to Canadian Armed Forces Operations and Training Exercises.

3. How did your degree contribute to your career accomplishments?

I work with the Directorate of Food Services within Canadian Armed Forces where I am responsible for implementation of a safe work environment that meets the dietary needs of Canadian Soldiers and enabling effective and efficient feeding support to the CAF thus achieving optimal nutrition, food safety, compliance, and environmental stewardship. Specifically, my nutrition degree has taught me food safety, staffing ratios, and cost recoveries. The experiences I gained while working in a commerical food environment at Acadia gave me the necessary 'corporate knowledge' to implement a safe work environment. Additionally, staffing ratios and cost recoveries are also important components to running an effective dining facility. Learning to staff properly has taught me to use a modified 5/2 schedule rather than a 10/4.  On a 10/4 schedule, 50% of my staff work weekends, but on a modified 5/2, only 33% of my staff work weekends. Reduced labour costs means higher revenue and a better work life balance. Ensuring cost recoveries are also important because it allows the Kitchen Manager to better determine where to focus his/her staff: salary reduction, lowering food or non-food costs or other (maintenance). 

4. What advice would you give to students currently in the program?

Acadia gave me all the advice I needed. The instructors prepped me well.  I would stress that when you hit the work force.  The most powerful advice I got from Acadia came from Barb Anderson when she told me, "no matter how important or long or complicated your report is, you have to be able to sum it up in either 1 sentence, 3 sentences, or 1 page."

Contact: David.Butt3@forces.gc.ca