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Personal Statement
Caden Mitchell
Sodexo Dietetic Internship
My Journey to becoming a Registered Dietitian began at a very young age and
stemmed from a physician explaining to me that a genetic predisposition left me within a
high risk category for developing Type 2 Diabetes. At the time, I had no idea of the true
implications of this but my parents, both involved in the medical field, had a true grasp
of what this meant and attempted to explain it to me. As an adolescent, I interpreted the
message simply that I needed to stay healthy in order to prevent diabetes. Eventually
though, I reached a point of overwhelming curiosity where I needed to know more about
the reasoning behind this and how the whole process of genetic predisposition occurs.
This is what led me to make the decision to pursue my undergraduate degree in
Nutrition and Dietetics. Surprisingly, what I discovered early on, was that the field of
Nutrition was remarkably vaster than I had imagined.
Completely immersed in my studies, I began to visualize myself in the future
practicing within the field, but I discovered an obstacle early on that appeared to impede
my academic progress as well as potentially my future counseling ability. Through
mostly non-verbal communication, I tended to receive negative feedback from peers
while always leading conversations, specifically when participating in group work or
team activities. Realizing this is an important skill to master I sought assistance from a
professor in the public speaking department at the university. What they helped me
understand was that I came across as slightly overconfident at times and tended to

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dominate the conversation and ended up talking more than I was listening. With their
help and my later experience working with people at the Learning Assistance and
Resource Center, I have developed strategies to prevent this. I now see how much my
peer to peer interaction has improved as I not only feel I can work with others students
collaboratively, but in such a way that both myself and the other individuals both
highlight each others strengths.
Given that I now felt more comfortable speaking in front of others and that I tend
to be very personable, my junior year I set a goal to get experience practicing this new
skill. After looking around at various nutrition-related job and volunteer opportunities to
apply it to, I decided to attempt to become a certified university health science tutor.
Given my highly cultivated knowledge of the body, I specifically aimed towards receiving
a more difficult yet experientially beneficial position, tutoring Anatomy and Physiology,
given its relevance to my ultimate goal. Before the start of my senior year at West
Chester University, I was able to achieve this and was officially given the position of
Anatomy and physiology tutor which, I hold currently. From there, I was even able to
exceed my original expectations and started offering supplemental instruction outside of
the university working as a private peer educator for both an individuals and groups of
clients in a small business setting. Overall, I found this experience has directly
contributed to transcending my inability to appropriately lead a group discussion through
practice leading an educational client-based session as well as facilitating learning in
other students.
Another experience I really benefitted from was working in food service. Starting
in the summer of my sophomore year, I had the opportunity to work at Chipotle Mexican

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Grill and some of the skills I learned there have really impacted my ability to work in a
group setting. The quintessence of this was learning how to divide up tasks and working
together as a unit. Additionally, it was an eye-opening experience to be a part of a
quantity food production and see what variables can effect it. One of the real draws of
working at Chipotle specifically, however, was the knowledge gained about the food.
Since they strive for high quality, healthy food options, part of the job was educating
customers and even other employees on the differences between GMO and non-GMO
foods along with the result of using pesticides. Being a nutrition major, when I found out
this was part of your training I knew it would be a wonderful opportunity and that I had
the chance to gain invaluable knowledge about currently trending foods.
The most influential part of my experiences at Chipotle had nothing to do with the
food though. Instead, it was the time I spent while volunteering at Highlands Medical
realizing how astonishingly similar the two operations ideals were. Although healthcare
and foodservice are not typically looked at as similar, the idea behind it all that no one
person can master every area rings true for both and the level of interconnectedness
between the two is virtually identical. With multiple tiers of employees working together
to self-manage all while working collaboratively with others to eventually get a final
product; whether that be reaching a diagnoses and treatment method or getting
customers out the door, I learned just how well I flourished in this type of environment.
This is what has led me to pursue my RD and in due course my next goal of becoming a
CDE.
With all of the experience I have gained, I know I would be a valuable asset to
the Sodexo Dietetic Internship program. Already having worked in a quantity foods

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program, peer education service, hospital setting, out-patient care facility and even
experience organizing a food drive, I have a wide array of capabilities that will benefit
your program as well as provide a great knowledge background for my future. Lastly, all
of this is complimented by an unmatched determination to succeed but also to elevate
others around me to even higher levels no single person could reach on their own; that
is why I would be a perfect match for your program.