Daniela Matza, DTR
Daniela Matza is part of the 2015-2016 Dietetic Internship class at the UC Davis Medical Center’s Dietetic Internship. Daniela graduated from the Metropolitan State University of Denver with a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Asian Studies from Bard College and a Masters of Arts Degree in Chinese Studies from the University of London. While completing her degree in dietetics, Daniela became a Registered Diet Technician and had three years of experience working as a Diet Technician before beginning her dietetic internship program. Furthermore, she is fluent in Spanish and proficient in both Mandarin and French. Daniela is particularly interested in renal nutrition and diabetes education.
Interviewer: Why did you choose the UC Davis Medical Center Dietetic Internship?
Mrs. Matza: First and foremost, I knew I wanted to apply to programs with a strong clinical focus. As UCDMC’s dietetic internship program is more than 65% clinical, I knew it would be my top choice. Second, I wanted to work in a facility with a diverse patient population. The more opportunity to work with a diverse patient population, the more I knew I would learn. Lastly, I knew I wanted to be in the setting of a teaching hospital. By learning at a teaching hospital, I felt the institution would be investing in giving me the best learning experience possible.
Interviewer: What was the greatest lesson you have learned so far during this internship?
Mrs. Matza: I am learning to gain confidence to be an integral part of a patient’s overall care by advocating for the patient, and collaborating with the team to provide excellent service.
Interviewer: What have you found to be your greatest challenge?
Mrs. Matza: How to be flexible! I considered myself easy going prior to starting the internship, but I really learned what it meant to be flexible and adapt to new situations after starting the internship. Working with a variety of preceptors not only taught me how to become more flexible but also exposed me to new experiences and areas of dietetics.
Interviewer: What has been your greatest accomplishment during your internship year?
Mrs. Matza: Learning how to apply the nutrition knowledge learned in my didactic program in the context of real patients in the field clinical dietetics. It has been an amazing learning experience working hands-on in the field of dietetics and referencing what I’ve learned in a real-life situation.
Interviewer: Prior to starting your dietetic internship what were your career goals and have they changed while going through the internship?
Mrs. Matza: Prior to starting the internship, I already knew I wanted my career to have a strong foundation in clinical dietetics. Though I still feel this way, the internship has given me experience in various specialties which has helped me decide what I would like to focus on after the internship.
Interviewer: If you could give any piece of advice to future interns, what would it be?
Mrs. Matza: Besides working hard for excellent grades, my advice would be to gain experience working or volunteering in a hospital setting prior to applying to the internship. Not only will it help a prospective intern’s application stand out, but it will expose the intern to the workings of a hospital as well as the opportunity to possibly meet and shadow dietitians.