Spring 2013 Scholarship Finalist: Sumadhuri Pamarthi

Sumadhuri Pamarthi from India studying at the University of Southern Mississippi is one of 12 finalists for the International Student Voice Magazine scholarship. Read her essay here!

I could describe myself in many different ways but the most important to me are daughter, physician (back in my county) and student of dietetics. I graduated from University of North Florida with my Bachelor of Science degree in 2010 and currently pursuing Masters in Nutrition and Food systems from The University of Southern Mississippi. I have always worked hard to achieve my goals and pride myself in doing the best job possible. My personal motto is “”if it’s not worth doing right it isn’t worth doing at all””. This has been a mixture of strength and weakness throughout my life. In school, I worked hard and did my best to achieve the greatest understanding of coursework. However, some things simply cannot be done perfectly right, like balancing school and having to take care of a family (retired parents). Through these kinds of experiences, I learned patience, understanding, and persistence.

I always believe that an international degree will help me develop as an overall individual, exposing me to plenty of opportunities to know and explore the world around and beyond. Also, it would constantly bring me in interaction with people from different cultures beliefs and food. Which always I dream and which is alone possible from an international exposure. U.S had always been a golden dream for many among us. It’s not only the land of opportunities but has a great learning towards excellence. Advanced scientific knowledge; curriculum developed to build critical thinking; time management; multitasking ; to help develop innovative problem solving kills and strong understanding on subject matter and ongoing research are few on why It did interests me. I strongly believe that an international degree will make me an authentic dent in the profession I choose and as a better professional tomorrow to contribute something substantial to community.

I became interested in dietetics when I first learned about the field through my professor during drug clinical trials from our medical college back in my country we noticed on how nutrition plays a role in treatment response to illness this did drag my interest to come in to nutrition. I have always wanted to work in the field of preventive healthcare and I have persistently worked in this areas. Dietetics is interesting and passionate for me, I feel that as a dietitian I can really affect the lives of people and give them long lasting knowledge. I have the scientific and medical background to understand the models quickly and further develop them, but I also have the necessary background in use of botanicals as drugs and enough clinical exposure to know many of the methods to utilize and apply my knowledge and to solve the models along with their comparative advantages and disadvantages on clinical side. Using these skills, I can develop tractable models and methods for easy access and efficient way to resolve them, to achieve the highest possible performance.

During my field experience course at UNF, I worked under a registered dietitian our former program director Dr. Sally Weerts I gained community research service experience. I had one of the opportunities where I did work with Dr. Sally Weerts in community to help educate and advocate on healthy diet this did develop ample love and understanding needs of community I found that I enjoyed and worked well in that environment, I spent a lot of time speaking with people providing educational materials when necessary. I also helped to prepare certain educational materials and gave a lecture on proper food safety and feeding techniques when babysitting toddlers in community when needed. In my exposure as international post bachelor student, I have realized that impoverished communities do not have as much access to quality health and psychological care, if they have access at all. I did learn from my experience childhood obesity as the burning issue the community is facing today. I want to change this scenario by beginning with my own practice. All these would not have been possible without studying in U.S.

My strong interest to become a dietitian has developed in me a firm resolves to choose a carrier that has children or the youth as focus. Specifically, I want a career as a dietitian that will allow me to render service to underprivileged children and their families to the best. In my future as a dietitian, I have many goals; short term I simply want to complete my internship and pass the RD exam. Afterwards, I would like to work in a clinical setting where I would work toward becoming a specialist in pediatrics. I want to specialize in this field because of my interest in addressing childhood obesity I believe that nutrition education has the greatest affect during this stage and adolescence. Learning healthy habits early means children are able to grow and learn without the many drawbacks of poor nutrition.

I have high expectations of my career, I want to really help people and change the way people see their food. Another goal I have is to change the misconception among some groups that healthy food cannot taste good. I want to do this by teaching healthier cooking techniques and exposing people to new foods as well. Eventually I would like to open my own private practice where I can offer this type of education to my patients and perhaps include a gym with personal trainers, since exercise is a big part of being healthy too.

Problem solving skills I have learned come into play on a daily basis, sometimes it means thinking outside of the box, sometimes it means just taking a break. I have learned to know when I have been working on something too long for my work to be effective or when I should try a different approach. Being part of a team is a big part of working in health care; we are all part of a team working towards making the patients better, so working well with others and being a team player is important to work in this field.

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