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The Insightful Intern - Katie Wanger

The insightful Intern: Katie Wagner – Bio: I’m a dog fanatic.  I have three brothers.  I love the outdoors.  I’m a huge advocate of good nutrition and exercise, but I am also an ice cream connoisseur of sorts.  Contradicting yes, but I figure balance is important in all aspects of life.  

How did I get here?

Upon beginning my junior year at Virginia Tech, I had set a goal to find an internship by the end of that school year doing something which would involve what I ultimately wanted to do with my life.  I was looking for something dream-fulfilling, if you will… Paid or unpaid – it didn’t matter to me.   I thought that if I could just find an internship I would better my chances at eventually being able to find a job which would aid me in paying off the mountains of debt I currently owe Virginia Tech (seeing as at this rate I will owe them my first born son) and I wanted to find something that might also bring a little joy to my life.  The only problem with this goal is that at the beginning of this school year I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life or how in the hell I was going to find an internship pursuing my true passion and dream of eating butter pecan ice cream while rocking in a rocking chair with a big dog sprawled out beside me overlooking the mountains without a care in the world.  
Somehow though, I was able to achieve this goal.  No, I am not currently sitting in a rocking chair eating frozen deliciousness with my dog.  But, I am however at the Kindred Nutrition home office and one step closer to getting to where I want to be in my life.  “How did I get here,” you may be asking yourself. Well,  there’s a few events that occurred between the beginning of my junior year and now that I should probably tell you about. 

I guess I should begin with how I came to the realization of what I want to do with my life (besides eat ice cream and be a dog mom).  I have never been the type of person who knew what they wanted to do from day one.  I’ve changed my mind half a dozen times and through it all I have driven my mother (God bless her) up the wall as I have needed her constant guidance on what I should do or shouldn’t do.  One day a couple of weeks before the start of school we were sitting at our kitchen table and she was looking through Virginia Tech’s course guide and lists of majors.   Who knows what we had been talking about, but she turned to me and said “Katie, what about being an HNFE [Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise] major – you’ve always been interested in working out and eating right – you’d be really good at that!  Plus you would be helping people!”  And of course my response was “Wow mom!  That is perfect.  I’ll go see about changing my major right now!”   Just kidding - my response was more along the lines of “No, mom.  That sounds nothing like me.  I would not want to do anything like that.”  Something super dramatic and borderline rude like that. 
However, sometime that next week or so I started researching possible jobs which went along with having a major like HNFE and I came across dietitian.  I learned about what they did and how they help people.   A lot of people (myself included) sometimes just think a dietitians sole purpose is to help people lose weight by means of nutrition.  While weight loss is something dietitians can help with – their job description involves so much more than just that, depending on their specialty.  So I continued my research and ultimately came to the conclusion that mothers are in fact always right and I was able to eventually change my major over to HNFE without a whole lot of problem as I had already taken a decent number of courses it required. 

With that I began classes and found that I really loved my nutrition courses and thought I may have really actually found my calling.  Now the only problem was my awful procrastination and scatter-braininess that led me to about February before realizing I hadn’t done anything to aid me in achieving my goal of attaining an internship by the end of the school year.  So, realizing I only had about three months I began desperately looking for related internship opportunities in the Frederick area.  This is when I first came across Kindred Nutrition.   I saw that they were Frederick’s leading private nutrition practice and basically thought that there wasn’t a chance in hell that I would actually be able to intern there, but I knew I needed to at least try.  I was extremely interested by the services they offered and all that they specialized in.  I basically all out stalked their website and Facebook pages for two days before I finally gathered the courage to message Amy and see if they had any shadowing or internship opportunities.  Even if they didn’t I just wanted to get any kind of information or tips Amy could provide me with as to what it is like for her to do her job.  Sounds ridiculous, but I just knew there was so much I could learn from her and I wanted to learn as much as possible.  To my absolute shock, Amy replied and told me they did take on two interns for the summer and that she would be willing to interview me for the position.  Before I even responded I took a screen shot of her reply and sent it to my mom and we both had a little happy-freak out before I said I would really appreciate that.  Eventually we were able to have a Skype interview as I was still down in Blacksburg for school and she ultimately offered me the position.  As soon as I read this email I again took a picture of it and sent it to my mom and had one more happy-freak out before letting Amy know I could not wait to begin. 

So, that is basically how I ended up here.  Fulfilling my dream, if you will… No, I am not out somewhere eating ice cream with my dog children, care-free.  But I do think through my experience here I will be able to eventually live out another dream of mine to better people’s lives and overall health through nutrition and activity. It is only my third day here at Kindred Nutrition, but I already feel like I am learning a lot and am excited to see how the summer goes.  I look forward to giving you readers insight on my journey here at Kindred Nutrition if you keep up with me through my blog posts.   


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