This past summer, I had the amazing opportunity to complete two field experiences in Hershey, Pennsylvania. One experience was at Hershey Medical Center, working closely with three of their clinical Registered Dietitians, and the other was at The Farmers Market in Hershey, working with the market itself and their community outreach programs. I was able to find the opportunity at Hershey Medical Center through Dr. Coleman-Kelly after an announcement she made at the dietetics option information session. After being presented with this opportunity but only being guaranteed 200 hours, I found the farmers market opportunity through my alumni mentor, and the market was able to provide me with the additional 100 hours I needed.
These experiences were equally incredible and I am so blessed to have had them. Through my clinical experience, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and learned so much more than I had originally thought possible. I followed up with patients for 7-day nutrition rescreens under many different services of the hospital, updated educational handouts given to patients, and attended meetings and presentations with the RDs. Through the farmers market, I updated their current social media, created and continually updated an Instagram account for the market, created health and nutrition educational handouts in both English and Spanish for workers and jockeys at the Penn National Race Track, and worked at the market itself, along with many other little things throughout my experience. Despite initially stressing out about finding a field experience, worrying about the complications of completing two experiences as opposed to one, and being concerned about not making any money, I had a fantastic summer. I met many amazing people and learned much more about what I want to do with my nutrition degree. I didn’t want to leave Hershey when the time came, but I am excited to use what I learned during my field experience in my future classes and professional career.