Updated: Feb 28
Some of the biggest questions I had when I was a student were- how do I know if a certain career path is right for me? AND how do I know what opportunities are available to dietitians?
If this sounds like you, make sure to read on... One of my biggest goals with this page is to help future dietitians gain exposure to some of the unique and amazing opportunities available to them. So, to start off with our awesome RD Spotlight, I'd love to introduce you to Olivia Cupido!
Where do you work?
I'm now working at Medcan, which is an interprofessional clinic downtown. I've actually recently (as of July!) started my own private practice, OG Nutrition. I typically also work at Dish Cooking Studio, where I teach cooking classes and create my own recipes and menus. It's all food, no 'nutrition' if you will, it's great. Sadly I haven't taught a class now since March, but my fingers are crossed I will be going back.
What was your path to get there?
I struggled to find a steady job for about 2 years post-grad (I'm sorry this may not start off as an inspiring story). Before I even got into the masters program, I worried about my future and thought about going farther into food itself vs nutrition, so emailed Dish begging for a job on a whim and have now been there for 4ish years. Post MHSc grad, I also did consulting (i.e. writing, research, recipe work) for a few other dietitians, worked for a non-profit (food-related) and took some contract work. All of these came from reaching out to everyone I knew, going to every educational event I could and putting myself out there. Ryerson had me help update the MHSc alumni page by interviewing and writing bios for fellow grads. One of these grads worked at Medcan and let me know about an opportunity there, and that's how I eventually got my current job. I always wanted to start my practice, so after getting some inquiries from family and friends, I finally decided to go for it.
What do you love about your job?
The best part about my job is that I have 3! So I get a bit of everything, and each job seems to fill in the blanks that the others lack. Dish is my creative outlet. Medcan is where I get to focus on science and research. My private practice is where I foster relationships and dive into eating as it relates to our psychology and lifestyle patterns.
What’s the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of my job is that I have 3! It's a lot to manage, as you would guess. On top of all the actual work, I want to make sure I'm up to date with research, so it adds up fast. Plus, some people don't want to hear about my approach to nutrition, which rejects diet culture and focuses on delicious food. In my opinion, weight loss efforts are a waste of your time and my knowledge. So not everyone is a fan, and sometimes it stings, but you learn to let it roll off.
One piece of advice for students?
Be open to all opportunities. Meet as many people as you can, and don't forget them. Do not sell yourself short and do not limit yourself. Do not work for free. Be confident in setting a price (but also research and come up with a fair/realistic price).