Careers in Nutrition: A Q&A with Julie Branham

A career in nutrition offers a wide array of experiences in different fields, with a variety of clients and patients. We sat down with Sodexo Healthcare Vice President of Clinical Nutrition, Julie Branham, MS, RD, LDN, to learn about her career philosophies, her keys to success, and how she loves to foster the development of RDNs new to their field. 

Interviewer: What is your message to new or aspiring RDNs? 

Julie Branham: Own your career path. Realize the education required to achieve your goals and drive your passion. It’s important to network with experienced dietitians and seek out opportunities to be coached by leaders along the way. And market your achievements! Let the world know the impact you are making in nutrition and dietetics. 

Interviewer: How should they position themselves if they don’t immediately feel comfortable to market their achievements or skills? 

Julie Branham: You are the patient’s advocate, make your voice heard on the patient care team to improve patient outcomes. You’re the nutrition EXPERT! And make time to collect outcomes and publish your data! Getting your data formally presented is a great way to gain credibility. 

Interviewer: What have been keys to your success? 

Julie Branham: When I first started in my career, I networked with people who could mentor and coach me with my career journey. Today, I take on stretch assignments to build upon my skills.  
Actually, one of the most important things I have ever done is to make this commitment: I will learn from my mistakes and make a commitment to myself that when a similar situation occurs, I will not make that same mistake twice. 

Interviewer: What keeps you engaged in your role? 

Julie Branham: Knowing that I am a progressive change agent for Sodexo Healthcare, dietitians, and the profession of dietetics motivates me every day. And Sodexo is in the midst of so much growth! We are engaging the opportunity to design and deploy new services that have a positive impact on patient care. I’m so proud to be part of that. 

Interviewer: How do you engage and retain RDNs? 

Julie Branham: When I engage with dietitians, I want to know about their passions and their career aspirations. I love being able to pay it forward by supporting a person’s ambitions and goals. 

Sodexo is committed to supporting our dietitians. My team and I are revising benefits, developing a clinical career path for our dietitians. I’m so excited that Sodexo works with partners like URI and UTMB to ensure our dietitians have an avenue to earn their Master’s and Doctorate degrees so they may practice at the top of their credentials. We’re constantly determining new ways to provide continuing professional development to retain our dietitians from hire to retire.  
 

To connect with Julie, you can find her on Linkedin.

 

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