Despite my previous experience in food service, I was looking forward to my food service systems management rotation as an opportunity to hone my skills as a manager, especially in responsibilities related to purchasing, inventory, budgeting, forecasting, and human resources.
However, the Registered Dietitian’s role in this facility was not directly related to food service systems management. The objective of the Registered Dietitian at Aramark primarily focused on student health and wellness through the corporate wellness platform known as “Healthy for Life.” This initiative provides nutrition education to the student population via Aramark funded restaurants and facilities on campus.
Although I am thankful that my time in this rotation was not devoted to developing skills already acquired through my previous employment, it was also unfortunate to be disconnected from the management skills I was hoping to acquire while studying food service systems management. The assignments required for this course did not align with the responsibilities of my preceptor, which in turn required me to seek out further assistance from UK Dining employees, who were extremely busy with their own responsibilities. Despite the eccentric nature of this FSSM location, I was able to re-evaluate my personal learning goals after gauging the work environment and responsibilities of the RD.
The challenges met during this rotation raised many internal questions related to my personality and tested my professional capabilities. I found myself questioning personal attributes that I had always maintained as staunchly true to my character, including but not limited to independence, flexibility, efficiency, and the abilities to accept criticism and communicate openly. From my perspective, the most enticing aspect of being a Registered Dietitian is the necessity for lifelong education, and it was clear to me that this was yet another opportunity to continue to improve, learn, and grow. There will always be room for improvement, even in areas I consider myself proficient. This rotation was a good reminder that continued work and education is necessary for maintenance.
A Smooth Transition
My rotation at UK Dining ended with a luncheon between my current and future preceptors. It was very interesting to observe the collaboration between these two health and wellness program leaders. Truly, the difference between the two locations is the audience being served, students or employees/retirees/spouses. I enjoyed sitting in on a meeting where like minded professionals shared their experiences and gave each other advice on how to approach challenges being faced within their own respective departments.
This was not only a good chance to touch base with my next preceptor about what is yet to come, but also a great opportunity to develop more rapport and to get to know her on a more personal basis. Developing an amicable relationship with preceptors definitely fosters success.
I am thankful for my experience with UK Dining and excited for all that is planned for my final rotation.
No new competencies met this week