Uncertain of a major, Jill Hermann from Bloomsdale, Mo., considered possibilities from interior design to accounting before deciding dietetics was right for her. “It wasn’t until I took a basic nutrition class that I found a deeper interest.”
Hermann graduated from Southeast in May 2009 and is currently a graduate student and dietetic intern at Southeast Hospital. Looking back on her time at Southeast, she notes that dietetics was a very challenging major with classes ranging from organic chemistry to medical nutrition therapy, but she had supportive advisors to guide and encourage her. With an extremely competitive application process for the dietetics internship, Hermann knew she would have to work hard and dedicate herself to maintaining a high GPA and balancing school, work and extracurriculars. She learned the importance of time management, independence and going above and beyond the requirements.
At Southeast Hospital, Hermann is completing her clinical rotation where she performs patient assessments and diet educations. She has organized health fairs, taught a cardiac rehab class and observed patients at the diabetes center. Her favorite part of the internship is the hands-on practice that allows her to apply her nutrition knowledge daily. She is enjoying a variety of experiences that will help her decide which area of dietetics she would like to focus on. After the clinical portion of the internship, Hermann will start her foodservice rotation where she will learn to manage a commercial kitchen including employees, food preparation, storage and purchasing. Her final assignment, the community rotation, will be spent with the public at locations such as a school, dialysis center, nursing home, fitness center or local health department. Hermann will complete her internship in May and then take the registered dietitian exam.
A country girl at heart, Hermann enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, sewing, playing sports, volunteering and hanging out with her boyfriend, family and friends. Her favorite things to do in Cape Girardeau are barbeque at the Capaha Park with friends and hike and picnic at Trail of Tears State Park. Hermann says her best memories at Southeast occurred during the years she lived in the residence halls where she met wonderful friends and had someone to talk to, no matter what time of the day. She enjoyed eating dinner at Towers with a big group of friends, playing hall sports, going sledding on snow days, having homework parties and hanging out in the lounge.
Hermann recommends future Southeast students work hard in class but take time to have fun too. “If you get the chance to live in the residence halls, do it! This is an experience you won’t get anywhere else or at any other time in your life. Find people with similar interests. Don’t change to make other people like you; just be yourself.”