Gemma Rice – BSc (Hons) Dietetics graduate

Current Employer: NHS

Current Job Title: Community Dietitian

Current Location: Northern Ireland

“The course offered a superb variety of learning experiences that I can now build on, the University lecturers where always willing to support my needs, and the friendly atmosphere around campus made the whole experience very rewarding.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I started my career as an assistant dietitian, and worked for a Health and Social Care Trust to gain more experience during the summer months. I found this to be really beneficial as it allowed me to build on my confidence and skills. I then applied for the regional waiting list and was fortunate enough to get employment as a dietitian following receipt of my HCPC registration. In this role, I have been able to broaden my experience working as a community dietitian in Northern Ireland. The work involves advising and supporting the nutritional needs of a wide variety of patients which includes giving advice on conditions such as diabetes, coeliac disease, and those requiring enteral feeding.

Did you decide to change your career path during your studies, and if so, why? 

Initially I was interested in specialising in diabetes; however, following the placement experience I gained whilst at Plymouth University, I realised that there are many specialities that would interest me, particularly gastrointestinal dietetics.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career (or that you’re most looking forward to)? 

The most fun thing that I have done was probably working at the Ulster Grand Prix, the world’s fastest road race. That was a new experience for me and one which I enjoyed! I’m really looking forward to progressing in my career and building on the experiences I’ve already had.

What, if anything, would you have done differently at university? 

I had a terrific experience at Plymouth University, and I enjoyed the lectures in particular. They were extremely interesting and relevant to my practice, it was great to learn new things and consolidate my knowledge, and we were always encouraged to take steps forward into the profession and to test our understanding. 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work? 

Plymouth University offers a great, but very intensive course. There is a great deal of support for students through an incredible support network. If dietetics is your passion then it will definitely be worth it.

How did studying at Plymouth help you? 

Plymouth University offered me the invaluable opportunity to study dietetics, and in only three years. The course offered a superb variety of learning experiences that I can now build on, the University lecturers where always willing to support my needs, and the friendly atmosphere around campus made the whole experience very rewarding.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why? 

There is a 24/7 library available and the University staff are extremely helpful and supportive. There were a wide variety of clubs and societies available to join and a brand new Students’ Union to party in. Plymouth is situated in a beautiful part of Devon, on the coast (during my studies I was able to visit many beautiful sites).

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying dietetics please visit our BSc (Hons) Dietetics page. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Health Professions, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other relevant alumni from the School of Health Professions are currently doing, please visit the health and social work interest area.