End of Food Service/Admin rotation: A look-back and a real eye-opener

It’s now been a week since my Food Service/Admin rotation officially ended.  (I say “officially,” because I still have to try to teach one more class and I have to finish up my Admin Project and present it in December.)  My last couple weeks of the admin rotation was spent teaching employee classes, working on reports, and doing research for my Admin Project.

One of my favorite assignments during those last two weeks was to shadow the Clinical Nutrition Supervisor.  During the rest of the rotation, I was working with the Food Service Supervisors so it was nice to see what happens on the clinical side of things and compare the different responsibilities of each side of things.  I ended up learning a lot about the hiring process, and since I would really like to have a job as soon as I’m out of the internship, you can bet I took a lot of notes during that part of the shadowing experience.

One of the other assignments during the last two weeks of the rotation was to meet with my internship director to learn about the responsibilities of an internship director and let me tell you – there’s a lot of paperwork involved.  The biggest revelation to me was that the selection process is as stressful for them as it was for us applicants.  Let me repeat that, with emphasis: THE SELECTION PROCESS IS STRESSFUL FOR INTERNSHIP DIRECTORS, TOO.  I don’t know why it never occurred to me- maybe I was just too stressed during the internship selection process to even consider it may be stressful for people on the other end.  See, while we intern hopefuls are filling out forms, writing and rewriting essays, ranking and reranking, ordering transcripts and making sure they arrive on time, asking for letters of rec and pestering those who are slow to submit those letters, and everything else we do during the internship application process, the selection committees from each internship we apply to is hoping we really do like them and we’re not just saying things in our essays that will get us picked, that we really are a good match in real life and aren’t just a good match on paper, trying to decide who to interview, trying to decide how to rank the ones they interviewed, arguing about the ones who get the same number of points..,  And then on Match Day when the internships find out who they matched with?  Like us, they’re hoping they get their top choices AND they’re hoping that all their top choices match, even if it isn’t to their program.  Everything for everyone involved in the Match process is stressful.

Now that my Food Service/Administration rotation is officially over, I really feel I should point out the most important lesson of all: be flexible.  I think this is something that applies to all aspects of the internship, not just the food service/admin rotation.  In food service rotation, though, it was really key because you have to have a back up plan because anything and everything could go wrong.  Maybe your food delivery was incomplete due to a nationwide shortage of something.  Or maybe the dishwasher broke and you have to figure out if you can get your dishes cleaned somewhere else or if you need to switch to disposables until the dishwasher’s fixed.  When your preceptor is dealing with problems like that, you have to be willing to help out and to change up your schedule.

My rotation partner was great.  We knocked our projects and reports out of the park!  We’ve gotten some of our scores back and they’re awesome!  Next week, we’ll get the remaining scores and our evaluations.

Oh, yes!  Evaluations!  For every rotation we do, our preceptors fill out evaluations of us, and rate how well we met the different competencies.  These will be used to determine if we get the all-important slip of paper that says we’re competent enough to take the RD exam at the end of the internship.  Plus, we fill out evaluations of about each rotation, too.  This feedback is critical for the internship director because the director will use it to make changes to the internship for the next set of interns.

Next up, one of my community rotations.

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