Why did you choose to study Dietetics at Ulster University?
Leaving school and home can be a daunting time at 18 years old; I was keen to study to become a dietitian locally; mainly to be close (but not too close) to my family and friends. I received excellent feedback from my now colleagues who also attended Ulster University studying a variety of subjects; all of whom thoroughly enjoyed their time there. Being close to the beach helped!
What did you enjoy most about the course?
- The variety of modules available
- The dynamic range of teaching methods used including valuable input from guest speakers, health promotion activities, practical lab based work and clinical placements.
Tell us a bit about your placement year.
I completed my A, B and C placements in the Southern Trust, my B placement was predominantly community based encompassing nursing homes, clinics and domiciliary visits.
My C placement was solely acute, based in Craigavon Area hospital; it was fantastic to put all of the theoretical skills learnt at University into the clinical setting.
My acute placement experience was instrumental in me getting my first graduate band 5 post in a large teaching hospital in England.
What other opportunities did studying at Ulster University bring you?
Studying at Ulster University provided me with some fantastic opportunities. I organised the annual Biomedical Science formal and also presented my dissertation at the Dietitians New to Research event organised by the British Dietetic Association. My abstract was published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. On the social side I also had the opportunity to play in the volleyball league.
How did you find the support of the staff during your time here?
The library facilities available are excellent and the lecture theatres comfortable, spacious and conducive to learning. The staff support was incredible, offering an open door policy and endless support when we needed it. Dietetics is a challenging course but it has to be, to equip you with the necessary skill set and knowledge to be an expert in diet and disease.
Ulster had a relatively small dietetic cohort which we all absolutely loved. Everyone supported one another, including the late night cramming sessions before exams to the making of the 5th coffee on an evening when you couldn’t look an excel spreadsheet for much longer!
What one piece of advice would you give a new student starting this course?
Embrace your precious time as a student; get involved with a range of activities and opportunities. Enjoy meeting new people from different backgrounds and be kind to one another- you are all in it together!
Another piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid to explore overseas options. The opportunities are phenomenal, including the range of specialities that you can go into. I travel all over the UK and Europe delivering talks in my specialist area and adore working in the area of cancer care.
I made friends for life attending Ulster, such a happy, supportive environment to learn and flourish as a young professional. It was one of the best times in my life! Being a dietitian is one of the best careers in the world, enjoy it!
Where has your degree led you to, in your career?
My job title is MacMillan Senior Specialist Dietitian at University Hospitals of Leicester. Ulster University gave me an excellent grounding in the field of dietetics; the support from the staff was incredible from the outset and continues even today.