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Natalie Sullivan

Shanna Shultz

Dietitian & Cooking School Manager | The GIANT Company

Briefly describe your job and responsibilities.

Due to COVID, our nutrition and culinary nutrition lessons have now transitioned into the virtual world. My current responsibilities primarily consist of planning, promoting, prepping, and running online classes for customers. Classes revolve around disease states and coinciding nutrition recommendations, easy snacks for kids, and quick family dinner ideas.

What does a “typical” day at work look like for you?

Typically my days revolve around our online classes – whether that be planning the presentation, shopping for ingredients, managing attendees, or actually running the class.

What was your first job?

My first job in the nutrition industry was as a clinical dietitian in a hospital.

When did you know this industry was right for you?

After spending time in the clinical field, I realized that I was ready for a space that would allow me to be creative with my passion for both nutrition and food, which is why I decided to transition to a retail dietitian at GIANT.

Briefly describe your career path and how you got to where you are today.

I have a Bachelor of Science from Virginia Tech in Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise. Following graduation, I completed a dietetic internship through Penn State. The four-year degree as well as internship are both required in order to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam which is needed to practice as a dietitian.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I get to do a lot of media appearances relating to my job, sharing food and nutrition tips with families across the viewing area which I find to be very fun. The most rewarding part of my job though is seeing both kids and adults enjoying food, having an appreciation for what they are creating, and having a good time while eating healthy.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

There are a ton of diet trends out there – it’s hard to sway people into good, realistic eating rather than falling into the hyped-up fads.

What advice would you give to students interested in your profession?

It’s a bit of a long educational journey, but appreciate that journey. Remember what you learn in the classroom setting so you can effectively apply it to real life scenarios.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I have a 5-year-old daughter who is my whole world! My free time is spent doing fun things with her 🙂

What is your favorite food to make or eat?

My all-time favorite food is macaroni and cheese – but I love any food adventure!

What’s at the top of your bucket list?

So nerdy, but I want to see Mount Rushmore!