Intern Blog

MEET OUR INTERNS

Our current and past interns have provided their personal experiences here at KADDI.

 Below you will find inspiring stories from our valued interns throughout their internship and beyond!

Cara Halverstadt

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Cara working with Altus Intermediate School 

It has been a long road for me to becoming an KADDI Intern, and I am thrilled to be one. I graduated in 2010 in Dietetics from Brigham Young University. I married my husband in 2009 and he is in the US Air Force. We have lived as far north as Spokane, Washington to as south as Pensacola, Florida. We have 3 kids. I have been a stay-at-home Mom since I had kids but a couple of years ago, I started to get the reoccurring thought to start my internship to become an RD. So, I called and emailed several different distance internship programs to seek the best fit for me. I am in a town of Altus which is not near any internship. Patti was so quick to respond and call me. I knew I could finish my internship in 6 months with KADDI. When it came down to it, KADDI was the internship that I nailed down as the one to apply for.

Since I was out of school for so long, I became certified as a Dietetic Technician by passing the DTR exam. I applied in February of 2021 and was accepted. Sara, Patti, and Crystal have been a joy to work with. They are quick to respond and give direction/support. I have thoroughly enjoyed my rotations with the local hospital (Jackson County Memorial Hospital) and Altus Public Schools and will soon be working with Dr. Hyde with her nutrition counseling business AIM Wellness. I feel that this internship has requirements that step me outside my comfort zone but have helped me to develop into the type of Registered Dietitian I want to become. I look forward to taking the exam within a few weeks after finishing my last rotation because we are due to move to our next location in the summer. If it wasn’t for the flexibility/support of the KADDI internship I don’t know if I would have ever started my dietetic internship. I cannot thank them enough!

Kelly Roberts

My “dietetic” journey started in middle school when I learned about the fascinating ways our bodies process food and how our food choices make a difference in how we function and feel. In high school, I took every science and health class I could take so when I entered college I was on a direct path. After completing my DPD program, I felt there was little guidance from my program regarding how to find and get accepted into an internship. I made a list of my top internship programs and then applied to them and come Spring found out none of them accepted my application. This felt devastating after years of thinking this was “my path.”

 

I continued my job as Wellness Coordinator for the City of Corvallis and traveled to see a few other internship sites that were not on my top list. The programs sounded interesting, and I wanted to make sure they were in locations I would be comfortable moving to. After going through another round of applications, I once again found out none of them had accepted my application. At this point in time, I told myself I needed to find another career path. I thought about how I could still work in nutrition education. I applied to get my Master of Arts in teaching and got in. I ended up getting a graduate degree in health education and a teaching license. I ended up teaching nutrition to schools and community organizations, however, it never felt complete.

 

In 2020, when the pandemic began, I had already been a stay-at-home parent for four years and knew I needed to make some career goals. I knew that if I didn’t, I would be settling for another part- or full-time job that I was only half interested in. With that said, I contacted my DPD program director and asked if there were any distance dietetic internship programs available in the country. She gave me a list of three and the first on the list was KADDI with Patti’s name. Nervously, I called Patti. Right away she was welcoming, open, and excitedly talked about the KADDI program. I was sold. I still called the other two programs; however, their programs did not sound as family friendly and flexible, so I did not apply. My next step was to study and pass the DTR exam, take a refresher course of Medical Nutrition Therapy, and then apply. I gave myself up to two years to get this completed and was able to pull it off. When I received my welcome letter, I felt a rush of feelings. I felt excited and proud, but I think most of all I felt content. I am finally back on the path that I started on so many years ago.

Amy Van Wyk

I am currently in the final weeks of my dietetic internship with KADDI. I feel so blessed to have found KADDI as their flexibility, compassion, and encouragement have helped me achieve my goals. I not only felt prepared, but I felt supported throughout my time here. Thanks to KADDI and my amazing preceptors along the way, I have grown to become a stronger person and prospective dietitian.

 

As KADDI provides the ability to choose where YOU want to complete your rotations, I was so happy with each and every one of my experiences. I selected to work with a level 4 teaching hospital and was fortunate enough to work in both outpatient and inpatient settings. I worked alongside patients of all ages, cultures, and conditions in the medical ICU, surgical & trauma ICU, neonatal ICU, pediatric ICU, cancer unit, neurology unit, cardiovascular unit, and more! I was so lucky to have the best preceptors and internship directors by my side. In addition, I am currently working at a private practice near my home for my community and business & entrepreneurship rotations and I have learned a tremendous amount in how to work well with a diverse clientele setting and the in’s-and-out’s of how to succeed in running a business. And, on top of all of this, I am in graduate school and able to do well with KADDI’s supportive atmosphere offering flexibility. I am so incredibly thankful.

 

Through KADDI, I was able to learn about new interests and passions for dietetic careers. I came in thinking I want to do one thing for my future career but find myself learning about so many other opportunities that I want to pursue. Originally, I had planned to work in an outpatient or community setting, however, after my life-changing experience at the hospital, I feel clinical nutrition is for me! My next step is to study for the RD exam and then hopefully excel in my career as a competent, confident, and KADDI-inspired dietitian!

Lindsey Overstreet

I have learned a lot during my KADDI internship experience. I am in the full-time program that started in Fall 2021. Some of my rotations have been the K&A office, two different school districts, 2 different hospitals, and several different nursing/group homes. Although it was nerve-racking trying to find preceptors (especially in a pandemic), I'm glad I found who I was meant to find to make my internship experience awesome! 

There's a little less than 2 months left in my internship and I'm feeling confident about the future. I feel like KADDI has given me tools to succeed for my RD exam and beyond.

Lindsey on the last day of her clinical rotation 

Lyla Joffe

Upon being accepted to KADDI, I was overjoyed. It felt incredible to work so hard for so many years towards a goal, and then to achieve that goal. Knowing that I am part of such an incredible program makes me feel safe and excited about the future. I was not able to relocate for an internship program so KADDI was the perfect fit for me. I love all of my preceptors and am striving for job opportunities as a result of my efforts during the internship. Overall, I am feeling wholly motivated and ready for what is to come. 

Ngozi Onwuamaegbu

 I started my dietetic journey in January 2015, when I declared Nutrition as my major from being an undecided college student. I spent a lot of my time figuring if dietetics is what I wanted to do, and once I dived in, I never looked back. This field is very vast and is always changing, that is why I enjoy it. What worked yesterday may not work today, so I find it important to stay up to date as best I can with the latest case studies/trials.

 

My experience thus far being a dietetic intern has been very insightful. I love having to retain the information I learned in my undergrad years, but I also love how much information I still tend to look up. It is very thought-provoking and really gets my brain hot and pumping. I like when I realized during our pre-orientation case studies that there are many right answers, but choosing the best answer is what is necessary for the patient. I enjoy the case studies, I ask myself, “why did Sara give me this piece of information?”. It’s like a puzzle to be solved. My favorite case study thus far is Case Study #3, dealing with IDDSI patients. It really made me think deeply.

 

I will be attending orientation next month in Tulsa, Oklahoma for the Keith and Associates Dietetic Internship. I have never been to Tulsa! I am very excited to meet my peers and supervisors. So far, the experience with KADDI has been made straightforward, and the support received has been amazing. I cannot thank Sara enough, and Crystal for being thoughtful and organized with the onboarding process. They really want us to be the best dietitians we can be. Applying for a dietetic internship was extremely difficult and stressful, especially with some unfortunate woes that hit my family and I the last few months. It is just nice to see that my hard work is paying off. I am going to continue to work hard for what I want, and that is to be a registered dietitian.

Scott Nealon

I am very excited to continue my journey to becoming an RD through Keith and Associates Distance Dietetic Internship program. I was very excited when I received the notification that I matched with KADDI. I have been working as a strength and conditioning coach in Major League Baseball and I wanted the flexibility in choosing my own preceptors based on my network and my timeline, which KADDI offers. Another reason I am glad I chose KADDI is that they offer prior assessed learning credits, which allowed me to use my experience towards community and foodservice hours. Meeting with the KADDI staff (Sara Hallgren-Tillery), we were able to review my experiences and I provided documents, like past educational presentations and menus I created, so we could work to adjust my total hours right there on the spot. So far, their resources have been great as we work through various assignments, case studies, and study guides which has made me more confident as I prepare for my rotations and ultimately, the RD exam. Overall, KADDI has been so helpful during my time and I am looking forward to my rotations and experiences!

Laima Numan

I was just recently accepted to KADDI and currently competing pre-orientation. The application process was very simple and not as stressful as other programs out there. I love how KADDI provides you with all of the resources and materials needed to secure preceptors and make a completed rotation schedule. The faculty was very helpful to me as an applicant! I had a lot of questions and concerns but they made sure to address all of them. They were accommodating to my concerns, especially during the height of the pandemic! 


It was my first choice because they really do simplify the entire process and don’t expect you to carry all the burden considering it is a distance program. They really help you out and make sure to provide helpful resources and materials so that we can succeed as interns. I am excited to pursue my supervised practice hours here and know that I’ll have a great experience because the KADDI team is fantastic!

Rachael Stalnaker

My very first rotation of my dietetic journey was interning at Hillsborough County's Head Start program in Tampa, FL. I was able to learn so much from my preceptor within the short timeframe. I learned about the community, children's nutrition needs, special diets, meal/menu planning, and how to communicate with the parents. My highlight of this rotation was creating a lesson plan and activity to do with the preschoolers. 

 

I learned that children can be picky eaters or even have food neophobias at a young age. It is crucial for children ages 3-5 to have enough exposure and try different foods before they make the decision that they either don’t like a food or never try it. I wanted to create a positive and fun environment with food to help the picky or scared eaters to try some different fruits and vegetables.

 

I decided on creating smiley faces using fruits and vegetables! My preceptor and I prepared cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, raspberries and carrots in serving bowls. Each child had a plate and we served them a few of each fruit and vegetable onto their plate. I really wanted to help the kids work through food neophobias and picky eating while having fun with the fruits and veggies. This activity allowed the children to tap into their senses and gave them time to “warm up” to the fruits and veggies. Once they were done making the smiley faces, I wanted them to try the foods and describe what they were experiencing when they tried the foods. What colors did they see, textures, flavors, etc. During the activity I asked the preschoolers to raise their hand and tell me their favorite fruit or vegetable they tried. The class was very interactive and they were excited to share!

 

 

I'm not sure who enjoyed this activity more, the kids or me? 

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