Background

I am an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) and completed the mentoring program in April this year. I began studying nutrition in 2004 at the University of Western Sydney where I gained a Bachelor of Applied Science (Nutrition and Food). I then decided I wanted to do further study to become a dietitian and was accepted into a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Newcastle which I completed in 2012. 

While studying I worked with Tony Ferguson Weight Loss for around five years and I found this to be a valuable experience. I was exposed to the weight loss industry and learned very useful skills during this time as I learned how to interact with customers dealing with the sensitive issue of weight loss and assisted many to achieve great results. 

Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?

During the week I work for a company called Aspen Nutritionals who own the infant formula S-26. I manage a team of dietitians and nutritionists who answer calls from Mum’s seeking advice. Each day in this role is different especially being in a management position. I ensure everything in our team runs smoothly and provide support to team members. I also get to work on interesting projects, such as designing recipes for our website and cookbooks and completing the nutrition analysis of each recipe using Foodworks.

On Saturdays I run my own private practice, Dorber Dietetics, which I started this year. I rent a room from a psychologist for the day and provide consultations to clients. I am in the beginning stages of establishing my practice and found it has been challenging but very rewarding and definitely worth the hard work.  

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really enjoy working in the corporate environment which initially surprised me as I didn’t picture myself working in such a setting. It has provided me with opportunities and experiences, particularly in regards to managing staff that I had not previously been exposed to but I have found really rewarding. I have also gained so much experience in the field of infant nutrition and see this as real area of interest going forward in my career.

Starting Dorber Dietetics was important for me to continue to grow my clinical skills. I also missed working with clients face to face, providing them with support and helping them to reach their goals. I also like being my own boss on Saturdays as I can make decisions about how I want to run my business and the goals I want to achieve within it.

Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why you chose dietetics as a career?

I have always had an interest in food for as long as I can remember. I love cooking and if I wasn’t a dietitian I would probably be a chef. The way our body uses food for nourishment is fascinating to me and I believe prevention of disease through a healthy lifestyle is so important. As soon as I started studying my first degree in nutrition and working in the weight loss industry I knew this career path was for me. 

What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?

I think it is so important to take every opportunity you can, don’t limit your options when applying for jobs. I never saw myself working for a pharmaceutical company, however this has opened so many doors and given me invaluable experience. I never thought I would be in a management position my second year out as a dietitian. 

My second tip is in relation to my private practice and that is don’t be afraid to take a chance and give it a go. If you are thinking of starting up your own practice just start one day a week while you have other income to support yourself. Make sure you do your research about where you are thinking of setting up and if there is a need for a dietitian in that area.