RD2Be: Match Day

The day finally arrived. The day that Dietetics seniors nationwide fear and countdown to. No, it’s not their graduation day, it’s Match Day. The day where we find out if and where we will be doing our Dietetic Internship at which is required for us to complete on our way to becoming Registered Dietitians.

After an hour and a half of trying to log in to the system, I was finally able to click that scary button entitled “Match Results”.


Northern Illinois University!

In a few months, I will be moving 300 miles away from the town that I not only was born and raised in, but went to college in as well. It’s even in a different time zone!

It was quite an emotional evening in so many ways and for so many reasons.

But, I cannot express how fortunate I feel that I got matched in the first round. I know a lot of very talented and qualified people in my program that didn’t get a match (which the way the system is set up could really just be a matter of applying to too many of the wrong schools and ranking them a certain way). Luckily there is still the second round for those peeps!

I’m going to not only be completing my internship at NIU, but I will also be earning my Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics there as well.


For my first two semesters I will just be taking graduate courses. Then, in the proceeding semesters I will be starting my rotations and completing more coursework. All together this will take me 6 semesters to complete (3 falls, 2 springs, 1 summer) before I can eventually call myself Ellen Ratliff, MS, RD (once I pass the RD exam… and maybe even CSSD one day).

There are quite a few possibilities for my Community and Lifecycle placements that I look forward to maybe doing, like working at the campus REC center and a sports nutrition practice located in Chicago. There will be a LOT of driving involved once I start my rotations, but I know that the experiences will be worth it and will help me further decide what I want to do with my credentials and maybe even lead to a future career. I mean, the Chicago area’s not that bad of a place to be for a young professional, right?

My mother and I are planning on visiting the campus this summer (May I think?) to visit the town and see the campus. Yes, I applied to programs without visiting them first. So sue me. But, from the pictures that I’ve seen it looks like a decent campus.


I’ll be receiving more information in the next week once all of the interns confirm their positions, and I can’t wait to share with all of you. I really do want to document this entire process (yes, all 2.5 years of it) for you all and especially for the future RDs out there so that they can see my experience and hopefully it will help them make their own decisions about internships, graduate work, and a future career as a Registered Dietitian.