My student volunteering experience

12 Feb 2024
by Kyle Kennedy

I am a third-year Human Nutrition and Dietetics student studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. I have been involved in several volunteer roles since the beginning of my university career, with my most recent being my nomination for the BDA's Student Representative for 2023-24.

I think volunteering with the BDA as a dietetic student/dietitian is important for three main reasons:

  1. You increase your exposure to dietetics and create more opportunities for yourself to apply your critical thinking in the context of dietetics. It improves your dietetic knowledge and ability to think critically about dietetic problems e.g. volunteering for PEN or joining a specialist group
  2.  You improve and develop other non-dietetic related skills e.g. joining a specialist group and working on social media or event planning
  3. You increase the number of opportunities you have to network and form connections with professionals in the field, which not only increases your support network within the community but may give you the chance to be involved in exciting opportunities that otherwise would not be available to you.

My own experiences volunteering as the BDA’s Student Representative have been incredible. I have been fortunate enough to have spoken with some of the most free-thinking and passionate dietetic and nutrition professionals in the career space. I have also had the opportunity to get involved with several projects that have made a positive impact like the BDA's Navigating the New Year nonsense campaign.

In addition to networking and opportunities, I have developed several of my skills, but most importantly, my communication skills - something that is so valuable in dietetics and nutrition.

I would say one of the most important lessons I’ve learned when it comes to volunteering is that the benefits you get come from the effort you put in.

Overall, the BDA is one of the very few nutrition and dietetic organisations that provide such valuable and useful volunteer positions for students. The price to have access to these opportunities is exceptional for what you get with your membership and it's free for first-year students. I would encourage all students to get involved in any way they can.

For student volunteering opportunities, please visit the membership page.