Today we chatted with Katie Dodd, MS, RDN, CSG, LD, FAND
Hi Katie! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Medford, OR. I am a geriatric dietitian, writer, speaker, consultant, mentor, and leader. I work full time at VA as a home care dietitian and have been side hustling since 2014. I am a Board Certified Specialist in Geriatric Nutrition, the founder of The Geriatric Dietitian blog, and the Dietitian Side Hustle podcast. I am a Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and am actively involved in leadership within the Commission on Dietetic Registration and Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I also have two children ages 5 and 9.
Where did you complete your schooling? DPD, DI, MS, etc.
I received a B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science from California State University, Chico; an M.S. in Food and Nutrition with an emphasis in Community Nutrition from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale- this was a combined MS/DI program. I did 2/3 of my internship at the VA, 1/3 with the Illinois Department of Health and Human Services, Diabetes Division.
What made you decide to become a dietitian?
I took a nutrition course in community college and decided I wanted to do this as a career.
What is your favorite part about being a dietitian?
Helping people, building up and inspiring dietitians and students.
What is your least favorite part about being a dietitian?
What does your average day look like?
I work four ten-hour days. Monday-Thursday I wake up early to read, journal, pray, exercise, and work on professional development. Then I work my full time job. I usually make home visits, but during COVID-19 am making telephone calls. I also help to coordinate the ethics program at my facility. After work I follow-up on emails with my side gigs then spend time with my family. On Fridays I primarily do work on my side gigs. I may be writing blog posts, creating graphics in Canva, recording podcasts, scheduling social media posts, coaching dietitians and students, creating digital products to sell on my websites, and planning future business moves. I primarily spend the weekends with my family. I do some work on the weekend, depending on what I have coming up.
What is something you know now that you wish you would have known as a student?
About the amazing opportunities to work online as a dietitian. And how important business and marketing skills are. There is no limit to the people you can reach and the money you can make as an entrepreneur. There is minimal starting cost- all you need is a phone and access to the internet. And the value and benefit of working with a business coach. 100% worth every penny!
I see that you run two businesses – The Geriatric Dietitian and Dietitian Side Hustle. What is it like to work in two different niches? What made you get into each?
My business is Katie Dodd Nutrition LLC. Under this I have the brands The Geriatric Dietitian and Dietitian Side Hustle. I love doing multiple things at once, my brain works best this way. I truly enjoy both niches. I got into The Geriatric Dietitian because I have been working as a geriatric specialist for over 12 years. This is a rapidly growing and incredibly under served population. And dietitians can have a radical impact on the quality of life for seniors in our communities. The Geriatric Dietitian is primarily a blog and I sell digital products. Dietitian Side Hustle includes a podcast, website, and coaching opportunities. I love working with students and dietitians more than anything. Building them up to achieve their goals. Dietitian Side Hustle kind of started as a hobby to share what I’ve been learning as I dive deeper into the entrepreneur world. But it’s become a bigger chunk of what I do.
What made you decide to start the Geriatric Dietitian Volunteer program for students? How is it going so far?
My friends at Registered Dietitian Approved (you can find them on Instagram) gave me the idea. I have been a preceptor for dietetic interns for over 10 years and had many volunteers and mentees over the years. I love working with students. I had great mentors as a student, intern, and new dietitian. I feel it’s important to give back. So far the program is going amazing!! I have 17 students enrolled. They are each working on a specific task to master over the 3 month program (SEO master, blog writer, recipe developer, and social media master). We have monthly group coaching calls and each have the opportunity to have an individual coaching call with me. I send the students written instructions with video trainings to help them learn their task. Then they each have assignments they work on. It’s only 3-5 hours per week. But they get to learn something new and because they actually do the task themselves repetitively, my hope is they will be 100% confident in doing this independently when they are done. We’ve had one group call and I’ve had individual calls with four of the students. They are doing great work and it’s so fun to work with them.
Do you have a message that you want to share with students?
You can do absolutely anything you want in this career. You have value to offer the world now, even though you are “just” as student. Be confident in who you are and dream big for the impact you will make in this world. There are people out there now who need the services or products you will one day offer. Keep going with your career- you have got this!
Is there anything else you want students to know about you or what you do?
Check out the Resources page on my website Dietitian Side Hustle (www.dietitiansidehustle.com) to get an idea of what you can do in the future, amazing podcasts to listen to, Facebook groups to join, and awesome RD entrepreneurs to follow.
Fun fact about yourself!
I have a “volunteer problem” myself… I often joke with people, “stop me before I volunteer again”! But I really do love it. I have volunteered in leadership roles within the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for the past 10 consecutive years (with the Healthy Aging DPG and Oregon Academy; frequently having 2 or more roles at a time). I’m a newly elected Commissioner for the Commission on Dietetic Registration… so I’ve got 3 more fun years I’m committed too!