When you think about a college education, classroom learning is probably what comes first to mind. But a student's education is increasingly about learning experiences that take place outside the classroom. Summer internships or work experiences can provide real-world perspective and opportunities to apply what you have learned in the classroom.

Students should start early and begin making contacts with prospective summer employers by February 1. Some students also make initial contacts for summer employment in December during winter break.

Where to find summer internships and work experiences:

  • The Center for Career Opportunities on Purdue campus can assist students with resumes and cover letters. The CCO also posts internships on their website.
  • Nutrition Science advisors post announcements about summer work experiences in the weekly email newsletter to students. Watch your emails!
  • The College of HHS Career Development webpage has links to the CCO as well as a Facebook page dedicated to posts of job opportunities for HHS students.

Dietetics Students:  Students who are majoring in Dietetics and want to become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) must complete a supervised practice experience after completing a B.S.. The supervised practice experience is called a “Dietetic Internship.” These are accredited supervised practice programs that meet certain requirements to provide the experience necessary to become a RDN.

Use of the term “internship” is often confused with “Dietetic Internship.” Most students participate in summer “internships” while working towards their B.S.. This is invaluable experience that helps students assure they are in the right major, is critical in obtaining a Dietetic Internship, and provides future references for jobs and a Dietetic Internship. However it does not qualify as a Dietetic Internship.

The majority of successful applicants to Dietetic Internships have had more than 1 year of work experience related to Dietetics. Students are highly encouraged to participate in more than one volunteer and/or paid work experiences while an undergraduate. Jobs that are closely related to traditional dietetics are recommended (e.g. hospital/medical center settings, long-term care, foodservice, and dietetics education (WIC)). Also, gaining experience in more than one setting is beneficial. Volunteer experiences are an additional way to round out a Dietetic Internship application.

Examples of Summer Internships and Work Experiences

  • Summer camps – assist with special dietary needs for campers (e.g. diabetes camps)
  • Hospital or Long-Term Care foodservice
  • Nutrition Education settings – e.g. Women, Infant, and Children Program (WIC)
  • Research laboratories. Information about Nutrition Science undergraduate research opportunities can be found at here.
  • Foodservice Management companies – e.g. Marriott or Aramark
  • NACUFS – Foodservice Management
  • Food & Nutrition Industry positions – e.g. Nestle, Kraft, ConAgra, General Mills, Abbott
  • Fitness/Wellness – e.g. community fitness centers
  • Magazine and Cooking publication companies

Department of Nutrition Science, 700 W. State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2059 (765) 494-8228, Fax: (765) 494-0674

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