Melissa Adamski is an APD and AN with a specific interest in the area of nutritional genomics. Melissa completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of NSW before completing a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Sydney. Melissa reflects that her science degree provided her with a solid foundation in food science, food technology and understanding of our food supply which has served her well during her career working as an APD in a variety of different areas including corporate dietetics, private practice and tertiary education.
Tell me a little bit about your job and/or describe a typical day for you?
My days are so varied there is rarely a ‘typical’ day for me! While at Monash University, I am currently leading the development of a new suite of online nutrition courses and being involved in nutritional genomics research; so my day revolves around working with different team members and different departments on a wide range of activities. On days with my private practice I see patients, along with providing advice to clients and businesses on all things nutrition!
What do you most enjoy about your role?
I love being able to make a difference. The reason I always wanted to work in corporate nutrition was to help make a difference to our food supply through providing the right nutrition advice to the right people (key decision makers in business). I love working with all different areas of a company to help them understand more about nutrition and health, but most of all work together to develop the right solutions.
My other passion – nutritional genomics – is an area I enjoy working in immensely; from educating healthcare professionals and students, to learning the latest evidence and understanding whether there is an evidenced based utility in dietetic practice, to advising patients on this space, to conducting research…as you can see I am interested in many areas.
Tell me a little bit about your career in dietetics thus far and/or why did you choose dietetics as a career?
My mum has Type 1 diabetes and so growing up I was always aware there was a role food plays in health and saw first hand how dietitians could make a difference in someone’s life. So I decided that being a dietitian was for me! After graduating from university I worked at DAA in their new-graduate role, which was a fantastic experience. I learnt so much during this time, which has helped guide my practice as a dietitian throughout my career. After my time with DAA I have worked with a number of companies as a corporate dietitian; working alongside many other departments including product development, marketing, IT, executive team etc. It was during this time I was introduced to the area of nutritional genomics and have worked in the area in different capacities ever since. Also during my time as a corporate dietitian, myself and another dietitian started up a private practice, so we could continue to help people one-on-one. Currently I am very fortunate to be working alongside the team at Monash University, and providing advice through my private practice. So I guess I am lucky to be able to continue to pursue all of my passions in nutrition!
What would be your number one tip to someone starting their career in dietetics?
Be open minded, yet critical – sometimes as dietitians we can be criticized for not being open minded. While foremost we must be evidenced based and base our practice on best practice guidelines, it is also important to understand the latest in nutrition developments and be open minded to evidence evolving over time as new research comes out.
What is one interesting fact about you?
I have an English Staffy (who is my furbaby) and she has food intolerances/allergies. I struggle to keep to the diet recommended by her vet… I feel like such a hypocrite – dietitian fail!