Some students enter a nutrition degree with a clear goal in mind and pursue that dream when they graduate. Others start with an idea or an interest and let it evolve as they study. Nutrition is a varied field, so we asked four of our recent graduates to share where they saw the opportunities for budding nutritionists.
Corporate health and wellbeing
When Justyna Kalka was studying, she had one plan and that was to open a clinic when she graduated. “I’m sure the lecturers tried to introduce us to other career options, but I didn’t see them at the time. I was focused on opening a clinic,” Justyna says. “The health industry is so exciting, there are many opportunities – many more than I realised when I was studying.”
After starting in a clinic, Justyna ventured cautiously into public speaking. Her career took off. Justyna now designs and delivers corporate health and wellbeing initiatives on behalf of Sano Health for clients including Australia Post, Origin Energy, REA Group, Roads and Maritime, Amcor and Qantas. “I never imagined I would be doing this, but I love it. It’s really important to give yourself time to explore different options. You can do this while you study by doing work experience or volunteering your time.”
“The opportunities in corporate health are growing as companies begin to understand the value of keeping their workforce well,” Justyna says. “Large businesses are increasingly prepared to invest in healthier work cultures. They can see the advantages of reducing injury time and lowering absenteeism.”
Gina Ulrich loved clinic when she worked in the Wellnation clinic as a student. By the time she graduated, she was ready to start her own practice. “For me, it is really important to balance work and family. Running my own business allows me to do this,” Gina says. “Being a mum and having my own health challenges with polycystic ovaries, I have a natural affinity with other women. I found my niche in women’s health.”
When Gina moved from Australia home to New Zealand, she continued to see her loyal clients by delivering Skype consultations. “If you love what you do, you'll find a way to make it work. There are endless ways you can use your skills and knowledge,” Gina says. Every Friday, she runs her clinic at the Weleda company headquarters, which creates a great synergy for both businesses.
Gina has also created recipes for magazines such as Tots to Teens and OHBaby! and embraces the experience. “I’m a strong advocate for using social media to get your name out there and find like-minded brands to work with,” she says.
Your own niche
Jackie Morgan also found success when she identified her niche. As the owner of Well Hub Nutrition, Jackie specialises in creating high fat, low carb diets, helping women to heal their relationship with fat. From this base, she’s ventured into other avenues in this growing industry.
“In nutrition, you’ve got the opportunity to create your own career,” Jackie says. “Today, people are so much more interested in their health. They’re hungry for information and they look for it in various ways – not just by going to see a nutritionist in a clinic.” Realising there are many opportunities out there, Jackie has successfully launched three e-books. She creates nutrition content for Kiss the Berry (the açaí specialist food store) and loves sharing recipes and tips with her Instagram followers.
“There are so many ways you can link nutrition into your work,” Jackie explains. “I regularly speak about nutrition, I run workshops, I talk with my Pilates students about their diet. I take people to the local supermarket to look at products. I provide advice about what’s in different products and whether it will hinder or help them. People respond really well to this relaxed and social way of learning.”
Small business and social media
Hayley dabbled in creating raw food desserts while she was studying, and it soon became her full-time business. “I never anticipated my sweet tooth would lead me to a career!” she says.
Hayley sold raw treats to Adelaide cafes, at the markets and via private orders. She created eBooks, which she sells online and she’s currently working on her next business adventure – plant-based grazing platters. Since her studies, Hayley has amassed an Instagram following of almost 30,000 people. “I made so many connections online,” she said. “It's opened a lot of doors and allowed me to explore collaborations with different businesses.”
Given her social media success, Hayley was approached by a health food brand to help them with its campaigns. “I love nutrition because it gives me the freedom and flexibility to mix things up,” she says. “You don’t have to just work in a clinic. There is so much to explore. That’s one of the benefits of this career – you can make it what you want.”
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