My 6 weeks internship journey at Homey definitely changed my perspective towards the visibility of dietitians.
As dietetics students, the three well-known fields that we will experience in dietetics course are clinical, community and food service. However, when we graduate and become a dietitian, our job scope is not limited to those fields above.
Homey has proven to me that dietitians can do much more than I think.
Before I go in further, allow me to introduce myself. I am a third-year dietetics student studying at University Putra Malaysia (UPM). I applied to have my internship at Homey during my semester break after my second year. It is not bounded to any university requirement. I applied for this internship as I would like to utilize my semester break to gain more experience that is related to dietetics. Besides, I would like to broaden my horizon of what a dietitian can do after graduating from university. Undoubtedly, I have achieved my aims for this internship during these 6 weeks at Homey.
From my point of view as a dietetics student, Homey is a nutrition optimisation platform founded by a dietitian to make medical meal accessible to everyone. It revolutionises the way people eat healthily and sustainably. It is a whole new world of entrepreneurship that combines the applications of clinical, community and food service fields. Homey dietitians do nutrition consultation with their customers and plan normal/ therapeutic meals based on their health status. They also work with experienced chefs to prepare healthy meals and provide corporate wellness/ community programmes to help people have a sustainable healthy journey. During my internship, I had a chance to provide nutrition consultation with an interior designer in the coworking space.
Nutrition consultation with an interior designer
Before going to intern, I thought I would be working in the kitchen, or learning nutrition consultation with dietitians in a small clinic beside the kitchen during my 6 weeks internship at Homey. But, I was quite shocked when I realized that I will be sitting in an office, facing my laptop brainstorming for ideas during the first day of my internship. The reality differs WAY TOO MUCH from my expectation 😂
(Left) Breakfast at Homey; (Right) Homey meal for lunch while calculating the calories of the meal
However, I would say that I learnt A LOT during these 6 weeks. The exposure that I gained is something different from what my course has provided. There are some key takeaways that I get along my internship at Homey.
#1 Innovative skills and creativity
It can be applied to a lot of things that dietitians do, such as meal planning, coming up with contents for health promotion on social media and marketing for products. From here, I realized how important innovation is to attract people to try out healthy eating and read nutrition information online. Without good innovative skill, people wouldn’t be interested to know what dietitians do, and the nutrition information that we wish to share.
#2 Customer service
Homey utilizes online platforms to deliver customer service. It is beneficial for me to observe how Homey does so, as dietitians and nutritionists have to switch most of their operations online in this pandemic. Using online platforms also allows dietitians and nutritionists to have better outreach for nutrition consultation.
#3 Crisis management
Dietitians need to be agile and react fast to unexpected situations so that it won’t affect our patients/ customers and result in negative impacts.
#4 Continuous learning
I had some opportunities to join continuous dietetics education (CDE) sessions along these 6 weeks. I joined an education space with Abbott Glucerna to learn more about their newly launched products. Besides, Homey dietitians and nutritionists also had weekly CDE corner to discuss some interesting nutrition-related topics to keep each other updated with the latest evidence-based nutrition information.
I learnt to analyze the data for tracking sales and marketing. After that, I tried to come out with strategies to attract customers and approach lost customers based on the data analysed.
Besides, I also witnessed how dietitians and nutritionists worked with the operation, IT and business development team to establish a platform to provide nutrition optimization care during my internship at Homey. I know the whole thing sounds like business (and I can relate it back to my previous experience in AIESEC so much hahah), but it is more related to the application of business in health care service, especially in the expertise of dietetics and nutrition.
A snippet of having lunch with Homey dietitians and IT team
Another thing that I like throughout my internship is the open learning culture practised by Homey. All of us are open to share and learn from each other. We also work in a chilled environment while having fun sometimes. Nevertheless, everyone holds accountability by treating their work seriously and trying their best to complete the tasks.
To conclude my internship experience at Homey, I would say that there are huge possibilities that future dietitians can explore to create more visibility of dietitians. For those dietetics and nutrition students who wish to experience something different from their course, I would recommend you to have an internship at Homey. It would be a life-changing experience that provides you with more insights and visibility that we can venture deeper in the future.
P.S.: People in Homey team are super duper nice and warm! Feel free to approach and interact with them hehe 😆
My birthday falls on the internship period. Here is a surprise celebration from Homey team 🥰
Pei Wen, BSc (Dietetics) Student.