Why get involved in your campus Student Dietetic Association?
There are so many benefits to being a member of your campus Student Dietetic Association (SDA). Not only is it good to put on your resume and show your passion for dietetics but it can also help you explore your interests with a supportive group. So I’m going to break down my top 5 reasons to get involved in SDA.
1 . N E T W O R K
First and foremost, SDA is an opportunity to network with your professors, peers, and other professionals. In the SDA chapter at K-State, we had a variety of speakers come for multiple different avenues of the dietetics field, opening the door for students to interact with other dietitians and find additional opportunities, such as shadowing or work experience. It’s also a great way to interact with the academic sponsors, giving both of you a chance to get to know each other outside of class. This will be very beneficial down the road when your looking for academic letters of recommendation. Networking with your peers can be one of the most enjoyable aspects of SDA. It give to a chance to socialize outside of the classroom and get to know each other and you dietetic interests. After all, they are the future of the dietetics profession, and I’m sure more than a few of them will be doing some spectacular things so you might as well connect now.
2 . E X P L O R E
As I have already mentioned, take advantage of the speakers who come to the meetings and other activities you might do. This is one of the easiest ways to explore different fields of dietetics with absolutely no effort to you. From private practice dietitians to eating disorder dietitians, I was able to get some insight on different areas of dietetics to see what areas I may want to pursue and what additional skills I may need to be successful in those areas.
3 . L E A D E R S H I P O P P O R T U N I T I E S
In some of my other posts I talk about the importance of leadership. Lucky for you, SDA has several officer positions you can run for. Although I never held a position in SDA, I think those who did really helped themselves out. Some positions take more effort than others but there is a position for everyone where you can best utilize your skills.
4 . R E S U M E B U I L D E R
Of course you can put SDA on your resume to show you pursued an extracurricular but what did it mean to you? If you really want to utilize the space SDA takes up on your resume make sure you made the most of the experience. If someone asks you what you did in SDA you’ll want to be able to talk about the events and how they have impacted you. Additionally, if your are applying to a specific internship or even a job and a speaker or activity from SDA relates you can give it it’s own space.
5 . F U N
My last reason for encouraging you to join SDA is because it’s fun. Dietetics curriculum is tough and we are held to a very high standard, so use SDA to hangout and relax with people who get it. You can talk about your loathing for Dr. Oz and fad diets with people who understand where you’re coming from. Never pass up an opportunity for fun that also helps propel you in your career.
Something else I want to mention here is that you can also apply to be your SDA chapter’s liaison to the Academy. It’s supposed to be a phenomenal experience that will open many doors. You serve as the connection between the students at your school and those who are active in the profession.
I totally understand that there are things you might prioritize higher than SDA, like work and studying, but take some time to utilize an opportunity that will help you understand the practice of dietetics a little bit more. It’s worth it.