This month’s student in the spotlight is Grace Taylor, a soon-to-be graduate from Florida State University! She is a leader at her school and helped reconnect students after COVID through the Student Dietetic Association. Her passions include baking, food service management, and pediatrics! Read on to find out more about this amazing dietetics student.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Grace Taylor. I was born and raised in central Florida. I lived in Florida and the same house until I moved to Tallahassee for college. I’m currently a senior dietetics student at Florida State University where I’m also minoring in chemistry. At FSA, I’m the President of the Student Dietetic Association, which is something I’m proud of. I have my associates in child development, and I love kids! Every job I’ve had has involved children. I currently have a job as a nanny and watch a little two-year-old boy. My favorite thing to do is either get out and try new foods around the city or do baking.
Do you have a signature dessert that you bake?
My signature dessert is a chocolate cake, and I have perfected the recipe! As much as I want to make different desserts, every time I go home, my mom requests that I make my famous chocolate cake, and I make a key lime pie for my dad.
What has been your favorite nutrition or food science class?
I have enjoyed all of the food service classes and food economics. I liked learning about budgeting, ordering food, and meal planning. I think liking the food services classes also has to do with the Professors for those classes, which were great! My mom was a server before she had me, and I grew up with my dad being a server, too. My whole life was influenced by serving and food management.
Do you think food service is something you’re going to pursue as a career?
Yes, I’m thinking a lot about working in food service and also pediatric dietetics.
Why did you choose to learn about nutrition?
Growing up, I’ve always been super interested in science, and it was always my favorite subject in school. From the age of five, I knew that I wanted a career that had to do with science. Also, I was always in the kitchen with my parents trying out new recipes and cooking, so I fell in love with baking at the age of 12. When I was 15, I was looking up careers and realized that I could become a dietitian. I knew it would combine my love of science and food, so I then decided that was what I wanted to do. I haven’t looked back.
Tell me about some of your accomplishments as a nutrition student.
My major accomplishment is becoming President of the Student Dietetic Association. I’m proud of that! This year has been a rebuilding year since we couldn’t do anything in the past year due to COVID, so I’ve put a lot of effort into it and worked on making it a place that’s helpful for all students that are studying dietetics. I help the students get to know each other because I feel like these classes are so much better when you have other people to go through them with. So we’ve been implementing monthly meetings that add value to our student members. We also provide volunteer opportunities, we see if anybody in the community needs help, and we get asked to go to different events- so that’s my biggest accomplishment.
Do you have any volunteer experience?
I volunteer at Second Harvest whenever I can. I sort through cans and make food boxes. I had the opportunity to be a part of the first time the organization added fresh foods to the food boxes. For Thanksgiving, we made boxes from the fresh food that the farmers donated. I ended up being on cabbage duty, and I smelt like cabbage for two days!
What challenges have you experienced as a nutrition student, and how have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is balancing everything that I have to do between classes, work, and social life. I have overcome this by planning everything out by the minute so that I have time for all of my tasks. I make sure to schedule breaks and make time for friends. Ultimately, I set aside time for everything that I want to do, and whenever I do have free time I take advantage of it.
What are your career aspirations at this time?
I am not 100% sure what direction I want my career to go in yet. I am currently thinking about going into food service management or pediatrics. I just got into the University of North Florida where I will be getting my master’s in nutrition and dietetics and doing my dietetic internship. I want to go into the internship with an open mind and try everything I can. I keep telling myself to try out as many areas of dietetics as I can and then I can decide what direction I want to go for my future career.