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3/13/13

What it means to be a Sodexo Registered Dietitian


By Guest Blogger, Nina Crowley

In seven years of working with Sodexo, I have grown from an entry level Registered Dietitian, just happy to be getting a paycheck, to a professional specializing in bariatric surgery nutrition with a promising career!

Nina Crowley, MS, RD, LD 
Bariatric Dietitian
I have learned just what it means to be a ‘Sodexo RD’ through several supportive experiences. In honor of Registered Dietitian Day today, I am excited to share how I’ve achieved excellence within my profession.

Flexibility

As I compare my experience with Sodexo to other employers of Dietitians, I am thankful for the ability to move around seamlessly within the company while trying to find a calling. I knew I wanted to work in Charleston, South Carolina, but was not sold on exactly what type of RD I wanted to be. I began with a clinical inpatient position but eventually settled in my niche with an outpatient bariatric surgery program. Like me, entry level RDs may not begin their careers with their dream job but working for Sodexo gives them a chance to work in different positions, while maintaining the continuity of working for one company.

Tuition Support

After finding my place within dietetics, I realized I wanted to return to school to pursue a PhD, but was unwilling to quit my job and attend full time. Even during difficult financial and economic times, Sodexo has been financially supportive of RDs attaining graduate degrees. The Tuition Assistance program Sodexo offers allows RDs like me to continue to work full time while working to pursue a graduate degree. Not only is the assistance a great financial benefit, it sends the message that professional development is a core value!

Professional Memberships

I’ve come across many RDs that are not involved in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, because their employers do not reimburse them for annual dues. As food and nutrition professionals, it is critical that we learn about advancements our profession by becoming active members in this organization. Financial support to belong to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, state and local chapters, and a dietetic practice group conveys a commitment to professional success! I am proud to say that Sodexo supports research and outcomes studies, and rewards RDs who present research at regional and national meetings with financial assistance and time away from the office. These are enormous incentives for me that enrich and diversify my professional experience.

Training and Networking

Another bonus Sodexo RDs gain from the sheer number of us around the country is the opportunity to participate in training programs. The annual Clinical Update each year is a chance to give presentations and share information with others the same region. I always enjoy the ability to bounce ideas off RDs from different hospitals and share best practices.

Job satisfaction comes from having autonomy, mastery and purpose in our positions. Armed with flexibility, tuition support, professional membership, training and networking opportunities, I think Sodexo RDs can achieve excellence!
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Nina Crowley, MS, RD, LD is a Bariatric Dietitian working at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston SC. She has been with Sodexo since 2006. Nina is the current President of the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is finishing up her PhD in Health Psychology with Walden University. Follow her on Twitter @PsychoDietitian or email at crowleyn@musc.edu

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