From experience, getting a place onto a Dietetics course can be challenging. Due to limited placements available on the course, universities in the UK can only accept around 10-20 applicants out of hundreds! When I was applying, I contacted as many students/dietitians I could find on LinkedIn and social media for any advice to prepare me as much as I could. I know it would have been extremely useful if I had all my questions answered in one space! This series of posts will help those of you who are applying for dietetics in the future, whether it’s a BSc/MSc or PGDip! With tips and tricks for your personal statements and interviews!
Your personal statement is your first chance to sell yourself to the university and to show the admissions tutors that you’re right for the course.
"How can I make my personal statement stand out?"
1) Why Dietetics?
This is the million-dollar question that will be asked in all statements and interviews!
Really think about why you are passionate about dietetics (as opposed to nutrition), why you want to become a dietitian and how you know for certain it is what you want to do - stay away from things like 'my gran needed to see a dietitian'.
They want to know you understand the wide range of specialities a dietitian can be involved in.
Include any dietetics experience you have had in detail.
This is essential to show you have a great understanding of what a dietitian's role involves and you have really thought about what the job entails.
Try and get experience within a dietetics department if you can! This can be tricky and so any care job or voluntary work where you have worked directly with patients will be well recognised.
3) NHS Values
A strong desire to work within the NHS is essential.
It is good to understand the values by intertwining them within your statement, giving examples how you have demonstrated them:
Working together for patients
Respect and dignity
Commitment to quality of care
4) Remember it’s personal!
It may sound obvious, but it should be personal and so only written by you, try not to rely on websites or other people.
Don't forget to showcase your personality, achievements and experiences outside of dietetics - which you could also relate to the NHS values.
5) Ask for feedback!
If you are at university, ask your careers services as they have professionals that can give you really helpful feedback!
Ask your friends, family or colleagues to have a read, you will always benefit from another set of eyes!
From experience, it is good to have people familiar to dietetics and people who are not to read your statement.
Those who are familiar will give you pointers on your structure and ensure you are addressing the question. Whilst those who are not will check for SPAG.
"How can I structure my personal statement?"
1) Theme and direction
The first thing you may want to do is write down everything under the earth you have done that suits the course.
But first, tell them who you are and use your experiences to back it up.
Ensure you discuss your goals and how studying dietetics will help to achieve this. What do you want out of the course?
2) Paragraph structure template
Begin with a statement about an interest or characteristic about yourself.
Then back this statement up with a few sentences explaining what you have done to demonstrate this. e.g. volunteering, an event or a group project. Now is the time to discuss whether you demonstrated any of the NHS values too!
Close with how the course will help you build upon these things to further yourself and your goal in becoming a dietitian.
I hope you have found these tips useful! Good luck!
Reema x (IG: dieteticallyreems)