Alexa Berkenpas

Alexa prepares for career in dietetics

When she first started at Iowa State, Alexa was majoring in psychology. After taking a course where she had to research career options in her freshman year, Alexa decided to take a look at dietetics.

“My aunt is a dietitian,” she said. “And I’ve always considered it, but then a girl in my class said it sounded boring, so I stayed in psychology.”

But by her sophomore year, Alexa wasn’t enjoying her psychology courses, so she took a look at dietetics again. This time, she changed majors and started the program.

Alexa said her courses were hard at first, but anyone wanting to pursue a career as a dietitian needs to stick with it.

“After your first two years, it gets better,” she said. “At first, it’s a lot of biology and chemistry, but now I’m in fun classes and preparing for my internship.”

Alexa hopes to work in a clinical setting for a few years after she graduates.

“I could never be a CNA,” she said. “But everything in hospitals relates to diet. I want the background knowledge a hospital gives. I like doing small things that have a big impact, and that’s what dietetics is.”

Alexa also feels a background in clinical nutrition will help her achieve her ultimate dream, becoming a dietitian for Hy-Vee.

“I’ve always liked it,” she said. “You get to be personal with customers. It combines my interest in retail and dietetics. At Hy-Vee I will give free consultations, shop with customers, and help them create recipes, which I love to do.”