Charlotte Guebels is currently completing her Women, Infant and Children program rotation in her final two months in the UC Davis Medical Center’s Dietetic Internship. Charlotte graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelors of Science degree in Physiology and a minor in Sport Studies-Fitness Instruction. She went on to complete her Masters of Science at Oregon State University in Nutrition Science. Charlotte worked as a graduate teaching and research assistant while attending Oregon State University. Born in Belgium, Charlotte and her family moved to the United States when she was eleven years old. Furthermore, she is fluent in English and French as well as being able to converse in Dutch and some Spanish. She is currently completing her dietetic internship and is looking forward to pursuing a career in Sports, Maternal and/or Pediatric nutrition.
Interviewer: Why did you choose the UC Davis Medical Center Dietetic Internship?
Ms. Guebels: Location was very important to me when applying to dietetic internships. I selected internships based on proximity to family and future job opportunities in the area. I was impressed with the UC Davis program, particulary its emphasis on a strong clinical experience and working with complex medical conditions.
Interviewer: What was the greatest lesson you have learned so far during this internship?
Ms. Guebels: The greatest lesson I have learned this year is that nutrition counseling is much more complex than the nutrition coursework you learn in school. Understanding each patient's living situation, access to food, and mental health, along with multiple medications they may be prescribed, is critical when developing an individual nutrition plan.
Interviewer: What have you found to be your greatest challenge?
Ms. Guebels: Starting a new rotation every few weeks has be challenging in terms of keeping up with constant learning. As soon as things start to become more familiar, I am faced with a new challenge. That said, it has been exciting to experience so many different job positions within one profession.
Interviewer: What has been your greatest accomplishment during your internship year?
Ms. Guebels: I believe my greatest accomplishment this year has been completing the critical care rotations in the Intensive Care Unit. The complexity of patients receiving care at UC Davis Medical Center has been very eye-opening.
Interviewer: Prior to starting your dietetic internship what were your career goals and have they changed while going through the internship?
Ms. Guebels: Prior to starting the internship I was unsure of the direction of my career goals. Now, my dream job would relate to some aspect of maternal and/or pediatric nutiriton, or be in the field of Sports nutrition.
Interviewer: If you could give any piece of advice to future interns, what would it be?
Ms. Guebels: Do no get discouraged if you feel like you do not know everything in spite of how prepared you may be. The internship is a learning experience and preceptors are always happy to answer questions. Most importantly, share experiences/challenges you have with other interns as they will be able to relate and help put things into perspective.