The Life of a Dietetic Intern: Food Service Week 2

Hello there friends! This week of food service was absolute madness because we had our big holiday party which meant lots of last minute running around, putting out fires, and waking up (extra) early. So far food service has been much better than I thought it would be, and much of that is due to having a preceptor who isn’t just sticking us in a corner or sending us into the kitchen to chop carrots. I cannot stress this enough – you are not paying thousands of dollars to be a prep cook for 8-10 weeks. You need to be learning the job of a dietitian – that’s the whole point right??

Anyway, I’ll get off my RD2Be soapbox and tell you about my week. On Monday we had a didactic day at school and all the interns did a cookie swap. It was so much fun and there were so many cookies y’all. Here is a photo of some of us interns staring longingly at the spread:

Then Tuesday it was back to work, and we started things out in typical intern fashion – by making a gingerbread house. I feel like in a dietetic internship you literally never know what you’re going to be doing, especially in food service, and my fellow intern and I got super into decorating our house to be displayed at the party on Thursday.

Then Wednesday was spent clearing out and decorating the lunch room, which included a drapery disaster when the curtains we rented to hang around the entire room where the wrong size. Luckily we found another vendor that saved the day at the last minute and the room looked like a winter wonderland – yay! Y’all, I can confidently tell you that party/event planning is NOT one of my passions after the stress extravaganza that was this week =D

Finally Thursday came – the big day. I forgot to mention that the holiday party is a breakfast affair, in order to provide an event for as many of the staff members as possible (night shift and day shift folks). Many of the kitchen staff members showed up at THREE IN THE MORNING to get started on prep, and my fellow intern and I showed up at 6 am to pitch in. At least there’s no traffic that early in the morning?

When we arrived we started helping out with prep, setting out trays of food, and putting final touches on the room. It was super stressful because there was SO MUCH to do and just not enough time. Once the attendees started showing up things got crazy – Ari (the other intern) and I ran food from the kitchen to the event the entire time, refilled condiments and creamers, and put out as many fires as we could with the knowledge we had at the time. It’s a fine balance when you’re an intern between being helpful and staying out of the way, but I think we did a pretty good job of pitching in and making a real difference.

Two little baby interns about to get obliterated by a holiday party

After the party was (finally) over, we got ourselves a plate of what was left and sat down for the first time that day. I can’t remember the last time I was that exhausted and when I got home, I passed out for the rest of the day. Luckily Friday was an easy day, but my weekend was packed full with a mini road trip to see my brother-in-law’s team play in Tennessee. I really knew I needed to take it easy because I could feel myself burning out big time, but I had already committed myself to going and honestly I did have a great time. I got to see my parents and hang out with my husband and family, but boy did I pay for it the next week … more on that in the next post 😉

Lessons Learned This Week:

  • One big lesson – honor your energy. Rest when you need to rest. If you don’t, you’ll be forced to rest, friendo.

Published by kelliroseyates

Kelli Yates is a health and nutrition writer, dietetics student, and co-host and creator of The Nutrition Nerds Podcast. In her spare time she teaches the free class Well-Fed Survival: Eating Well After Disaster.

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