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Dietetic Internship moves all sites to Hershey/Harrisburg and receives record number of applicants

Marie Kamp’s job is getting tougher every year. Kamp, the director of Penn State’s dietetic internship program, received eighty-six applicants—a record number—for the eight open slots in Penn State’s dietetic internship program. The internship may appeal more to students this year because Kamp and her colleagues have been working to consolidate all rotation sites in the Hershey/Harrisburg region.

“The really big coup was finding a management site in the Hershey area, which we were able to do with the addition of the Masonic Village [Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania],” says Kamp. That came about through a contact with a past dietetic intern who worked at the Masonic Village.

Other sites for the internship include:

  • Hershey Foods Corporation (a research-based site)
  • The state office for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), including three weeks in a WIC clinic
  • GIANT foods, including one week at the corporate office and another week at the store level.

Penn State Cooperative Extension and Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center will continue to play a role in providing valuable experiences for dietetic interns.

Penn State’s internship program consistently graduates successful interns, in part as a result of the wide variety of experiences unique to the program. The pass rate for the national registration exam for the internship class of 2008 and 2009 was 100 percent.

Shannon McNaul ’09 NUTR and Heidi Heddings ’07 NUTR sum up what attracted them to the Penn State dietetic internship:

“I chose the Penn State Dietetic Internship because it offered so much more than other internships,” says McNaul. “For starters, we got to work at the Hershey Medical Center, which was an amazing opportunity. Another factor is that the program offered an Enrichment rotation, which allowed us to explore any area of dietetics that maybe we hadn't covered in other rotations or that we wanted to learn more about. It allowed us to expand our horizons and test the waters in other fields. The Research rotation was awesome too -- we got to eat a lot of chocolate at the Hershey's Food Labs!”

“What drew me to the Penn State dietetic internship was the variety of opportunities in the different rotations,” says Heddings. “The chance to learn about pediatric nutrition at the Children's Hospital was of great interest to me as was the enrichment rotation where we got to coordinate four weeks at a place of our choosing. I chose to work with the dietitians at WEIS Markets and had an amazing time working on my community education skills by actually getting out in the community and working directly with people who wanted to learn about nutrition. The Penn State dietetic internship provided me with a well-rounded internship experience and confidence that I will be successful in whatever area of practice I choose to pursue.”