The Interviews: Studying during COVID with Melissa Chin

Hi everyone, first thank you, Emma, for including me in your Interviews series. My name is Melissa (@_nutrimel) born and raised in London. I graduated in 2014 with a degree in Business and Management, but in 2019 decided to change careers and I’m currently in my first year at King’s College London, studying BSc Nutrition and Dietetics. What inspired you to study Dietetics?

A common trait amongst future dietitians is the love of food, which is me to a T! Combine that with science and helping others, I knew that dietetics was the right career move for me. Not only that, but nutrition became a bigger focus in my life after joining the gym and getting back to exercise, which at the time was a was a huge milestone for me, and great for my mental health.

How has your experience at KCL been so far? My experience at KCL has been positive, a few teething problems in the beginning, which is understandable due to the COVID pandemic, but lectures and tutors have all been very helpful and supportive in my learning. The rare opportunities to be on campus feels like going on holiday, I love it so much, even it’s just to go to the library or have a tutorial session! What have you found the biggest challenge so far? The biggest challenge for me at the moment is making sure I’m using my time efficiently, time management is definitely something I’m constantly working on. I have to be more disciplined whilst being at home because it would be very easy to start lectures late or end up with a backlog of lectures to catch up on.

How has COVID changed the way you learn?

COVID has changed everything, no more in-person lectures. everything is pre-recorded and online. We have an online Live tutorial session via MS Teams. Every so often we have the opportunity to go on campus for an in-person tutorial but spaces are limited. I feel like my previous uni experience has better prepared me for what to expect, but I can understand how this new way can be daunting for new students. What are your top three tips for dietetic students or prospective dietetic students? 1: As a new dietetics student, I would definitely recommend joining a Facebook/Whatsapp group for your course. This has been a lifeline for me whenever I have questions, and because we don’t get to see each other in person that often, getting to know everyone means you’re not so isolated.

2: Be organised and start everything early, whether that’s lectures or assignments. My lectures at the moment are pre-recorded and timetabled at ‘suggested’ times. I always try and watch my lectures early, for example instead of waiting for 10am, I watch it at 8am. It means my days are shorter, giving me more free time to do any extra reading or work that needs to be completed. 3: I found it really helpful to have my dedicated Instagram (@_nutrimel) set up during before I even started uni. It meant I could follow other dietitians or students and network with them more easily. I could post things that I liked and about my course. It’s a really good way to try and find your interests and help you decide what you might want to focus on in the future.

Thanks Melissa for sharing your story and tips so far! Can’t wait to see what you get up to in the future!

Emma x

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