We are excited to announce the “Student Edition” of our monthly Featured Member post!
Alexandra Sarkisian, NSAND’s Social Media Committee member.
Works at: Currently working on my MS/DI at Northern Illinois University
Hobbies: Cooking up interesting concoctions, running, gardening, yoga, doing jigsaw puzzles with my roommate!
Did you always know you wanted to be a dietitian?
I honestly didn’t know what a dietitian was until I was in highschool. I took a career aptitude test that suggested a future career in dietetics, and after researching the field I decided it was the best fit for me! Nutrition is so fascinating and is the perfect blend of science and food (two of my favorite things) and I love that I can use my knowledge and skills to actually help someone. After my initial research I decided this was what I wanted to pursue and I can say I can’t imagine doing anything else!
What's a fun fact about you?
I was inspired by the show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse to create my own foil ball. In the show he had this giant ball made of foil and people brought him pieces of foil to add on to it. I have been adding pieces of used, but clean, foil to my ball for over 10 years now and it’s gotten really big! It’s a weird thing but people always remember me as the ‘foil ball girl’!
What is your best advice for younger dietitians on how to network with experienced dietitians?
Although I am not yet a dietitian, I would say from my experience as a student that getting involved in your local dietetic group, like NSAND, is the best way to network with experienced dietitians. Outside of a giant conference like FNCE there are not many opportunities where you’ll be surrounded by other dietitians, so by coming to meetings or better yet, joining the board, you’ll be able to have access to experienced dietitians. Also, everyone is always so welcoming and genuinely interested in what you do, and once they get to know you they can offer you great advice and introduce you to people you otherwise wouldn't meet.
What is your favorite food?
I LOVE sweet potatoes! They’re so versatile and just happen to be known as one of the healthiest foods out there. They’re great mashed, baked, in the form of fries or soup, made sweet or savory, honestly any way you make them, I’ll eat them!
Which area of dietetics do you like or have considered switching into that is different from your area of practice?
I would be interested in exploring the area of nutrition and agriculture. I volunteer on a farm that donates all its produce to local food pantries and also acts as a teaching garden, and because of my time there my interest in agriculture has really grown (pun intended). I love being able to show people how their food is grown, and you can’t help but become more appreciative of the food you eat!
Name one thing an RDN could do to benefit the dietetics profession in general.
I think dietitians can do a lot to benefit the profession by staying educated and up to date with research and trends because things are always changing!
Which DI are you enrolled in?
I am currently working on my master’s and DI at Northern Illinois University and I completed my bachelor’s in nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I have a year and a half left before I complete the program and so far I really enjoy it!
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter: @alexandra_sarki Instagram: @alexandra_sarki