Vanderbilt Dietetic Internship


1. What is the GPA requirement?
There is not a required GPA. In reviewing applications, the review committee considers the individual’s grades, work/volunteer experience, references, personal statement, etc.  We look at the total person and application.

2. Do you require applicants to take the GRE?
Applicants are not required to submit a GRE score.  If you have taken the GRE include it, but it is not a requirement.

3. Do you interview applicants?
 Applicants do not complete a phone or in-person interview.  The review committee consists of 15-20 preceptors, faculty and staff.  Each member of the committee reviews all internship applications.  It’s not like sorority recruitment, where committee members discuss applicants.  The application review process is done without discussion.  Each committee member ranks each applicant. The collective ranking by committee members determines the ranking submitted to D and D Digital.  The take away message from this:  your application packet is very important!  It’s your introduction to each committee member.

4. What are locations where your graduates work?
In today’s economy, graduates have learned quickly that they need to go where the jobs are located!  We train entry level practitioners to work in clinical, management, business and community settings.  Some job destinations include:  public relation firms (i.e. Fleischman Hillard or Ketchum), food companies (Nestle, Sysco), WIC clinics, teaching hospitals, community hospitals, home care agencies (Lincare, Walgreens), outpatient clinics, contract management companies (i.e. Sodexo, Aramark), school systems, health and wellness companies.  In some cases, the intern’s first job might be their dream job.  In most cases, their first job is a place to get experience, bond with a team and grow.

5. Do you accept ISPP students?
At this time, Individualized Supervised Practice Pathways are not part of the Vanderbilt internship program.

6. How many interns are accepted each year and how long is the internship?    
16 interns are selected each year for the 10 month internship program.

7. How many applications do you receive each year?
The number of applications received each year is variable.  Over the past years, internship programs across the US have received an increased number of applications.

8. What is the greatest travel distance to a rotation site?
Clinical rotations are based at Vanderbilt.  The majority of management, business and community rotations are off campus.  The average travel time is 30-45 minutes to a variety of locations throughout Nashville and surrounding communities.

9. Where do interns live?
Preferably close to campus.  Nashville traffic can be challenging.  Soon after internship selection is completed, information is sent to the incoming class to help with housing selection.  Oftentimes, interns will share apartments, houses, etc.

10. Can you explain the selection process?
Each year, a committee of 15-20 preceptors, faculty and staff volunteer their time to review all applications. Committee members represent all types of practice (clinical, management, business and community). Additionally, 2-4 interns from the current class also participate in the application review process.  The application review process is done without discussion.  Each committee member ranks each applicant in the areas of grades, work/volunteer experience, recommendations, and personal statement. The collective ranking by committee members determines the ranking submitted to D and D Digital. 

11. Do you have a preference for students from Tennessee?
No. Geographic location does not influence selection.  In the current class, interns are from 10 different states.  It is the variety of geographic locations that makes it fun, much more interesting and diverse!

12. Do you only take 1 student from a school/university?
No.  There is not a limit on the number of interns selected from a school/university.  In the current class, there are 3 students from one university!

13. What makes a good personal statement?
Your personal statement should be well written, including correct spelling and grammar.  Content reflects you have put some thought into it and you did your homework when it comes to finding out about Vanderbilt.  You clearly describe what you can bring to Vanderbilt’s internship program and why you are a good match for the program.  Expressing your career plans and goals are important.

14.  What about time off during the internship?
Time to re-charge is important.  We feel very strongly about work-life balance!  There are designated days off during the internship; during Thanksgiving week, Christmas holidays, Labor and Memorial Day (i.e. 17 days total during the 10 months).

15. Do interns need a car or can they ride bikes, take a bus, etc.
Nashville does not have an easy mass transit system like Chicago, for example.  If your rotations are on campus, you can walk or ride a bike. You will need a car for offsite internship rotations.  Oftentimes, interns ride to offsite locations together to save on gas!

16. Can I work during the internship?
The internship is a busy year; like having a full-time job.  However, some interns in the past have worked part time jobs on weekends.  This is coordinated with the Internship Director on an individual basis.

17. What is your pass rate for first time test takers on the exam?
Our pass rate is 98% for the last 5 years.

18. Do you offer a review course for the Credentialing Examination for Registered Dietitians?

19. Do interns work on weekends?
Generally, the work schedule is Monday-Friday.  There are some scheduled weekends to work at health fairs, a community clinic and/or community events.  Interns receive rotation schedules in advance to allow for planning.

20. Do interns get to attend professional meetings?
Yes!  Attending professional meetings (i.e. The Academy’s Food and Nutrition Conference Expo, local district and state dietetic association meetings) is an important way to network, learn, and grow professionally.

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