Hello everyone! Today on the blog I chat with Esther who is a third-year Nutrition and Food student. As a student, I like to hear the sound of food, but not so much the nutrition part since I never eat healthy. But, as someone who knew very little about this program and almost considered going into it, I thought an interview with someone from the program could help those of you interested. After speaking with Esther, I can confirm it is a cool program, and I might even be rethinking my program choice. Just kidding! Anyways let’s cut to the chase and learn more about Esther and the program.
Why did you pick the Nutrition and Food program?
“I am a third-year Nutrition and Food student minoring in Marketing and Health Services Management. I wanted to diversify my portfolio; I wanted to learn more about different aspects including business. I enjoy the nutrition classes but liked having the business side to it. I applied to kinesiology, [but] nutrition stuck out to me because it was a Bachelor of Applied Science. I knew it would be hands-on. I like the welcoming community here, which was an important factor. This program has more diversity, I have a mixture of business and science versus focusing on just one thing.”
How would you describe your experience at Ryerson?
“I think because I am a first-generation student, I was nervous. I started with the orientation and meeting people, I met my first friend there and we’re still best friends today. I also am involved in the school community, I talk at the Open Houses and help out incoming students because I remember being that scared girl. Also, the campus is huge, I sometimes get lost even as a third-year.”
What has been helpful to you as a university student?
“Finding a peer mentor was super helpful in first year. She gave me tips on how to do well with professors, taking notes. Knowing that someone cares about you while in university is nice especially when trying to figure things out.”
Explain what the internship is about as Nutrition and Food student.
“My program allows you to take an internship where you shadow someone. I want to take the internship to get hands-on experience, and even as a third-year student I still don’t exactly know what I want to do. For the internship, you can take it in third or fourth year but for my program, after we graduate, there is a specific nutrition program you can take with another university. It has to be specific to take the dietetics test to become a certified dietician. Ryerson has so many resources, so it is really up to you to take advantage especially when it comes to applying to the internships.”
Do you have a favourite part of the program?
“The professors care about us, tell us how to prepare[and]what we need to focus on. I am fast-tracking and it is very practical. What I’m learning now is something I’ll be doing in practice. Professors will bring in actual dieticians and will tell us about their experience, that is not something you can get from a textbook.”
Do you have a favourite course you’ve taken?
“As a third-year student, surprisingly I like MKT00 the most. It’s a required course in the program, but doesn’t relate to the program as a whole. As I minor in Marketing it makes sense that I like that course a lot. FNR100 was another great class that I enjoyed that was all about research.”
Do you think minoring was worth it for you?
“I liked marketing and it was fun for me. I recommend people take a minor in something if you like it, and it is something you can use for your future. My academic advisor was like “marketing is a different mix”, but I liked that because I wanted to stand out. Don’t do something out of your field but if you like it and want to learn more, you should go for it. My second minor Health Service Management helps me learn about management positions where I could end up even working in a long-term healthcare place. Having as many experiences and understanding diverse perspectives within a sector, I think is always important.”
In first year did you struggle in any way and how did you overcome it?
“In high school I always had a group of friends, I also lived off-campus so I didn’t have anyone at first. I had to meet new people all over again, it was hard for me to make friends. I started joining different clubs to figure out where I fit in. It is important to be willing to meet new people and it helped my experience.”
Did you enjoy living off-campus?
“I lived off-campus every year except right now, since I’ve moved back home. Residence life kept me well in school because you have a support group. You have people that can come help you out, I met new people and have a lot of fun playing games and doing other activities. I also would study in the study rooms and would even strike a conversation with someone I didn’t know without even realizing. It was a good experience overall.”
What would you like to say to our prospective students?
“For me, going to an academic advisor is important. Things change, but I meet with my advisor once a year to touch base and help plan out my goals and even discuss my opportunities. If you’re scared about something you can talk to them. A lot of people don’t go to their academic advisor, so definitely reach out to them.”