Minnesota native Erin Reicks was drawn to public health as it involved her two main interests: health and helping people. She narrowed her focus to exercise and nutrition sciences because she believes “that adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best form of prevention for disease and disorders. Plus, everyone is capable of exercising and eating right!”
After earning a bachelor’s degree and completing coursework in dietetics, Reicks came to UB to complete the Dietetic Internship, the last step before sitting for the registered dietitian (RD) national exam.
“I was impressed with the staff and faculty here,” she said. “They were extremely approachable, enthusiastic and they genuinely care about us learning and growing. The directors, Liz Raleigh and Barb Schultz, are excellent and really work with you to make sure you get what you want out of the internship. I also loved the other interns—it’s like we had our own little family!
“We had so many experiences and opportunities to grow professionally. My favorite rotation was my community nutrition rotation which I spent with the Buffalo Public Schools. It was so great counseling kids and teaching nutrition classes to them ... some of them are so eager to learn.”
Reicks’ advice to future interns is to be fully prepared and committed to the rigorous program, which in addition to requiring 1,200 hours of supervised practice over a 12-month period, includes 15 credits hours of graduate coursework leading to a Nutrition Advanced Certificate.
“And be open to different opportunities and experiences,” she said. “The point of the internship is to figure out what you are interested in and you never know what you like or are good at unless you open yourself up to different opportunities. The final piece of advice I have is to be positive and be confident in yourself. You will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish in this one-year internship!”