By: Brooke Nickelatti
Growing up I was your typical Type-A student. I had my dream school picked out, decided I was going to study dietetics and knew everything I needed to do in order to make that happen – or at least I thought I did. My plan changed when I never received an acceptance letter and ended up enrolling at the University of St Thomas instead. I thought it was the end of the world, but little did I know that it was the best “mistake” to ever happen.
St. Thomas doesn’t offer a dietetics program, so I decided I would study Nutrition Science instead. I went into my freshman year thinking UST wasn’t for me, and I came out a die-hard Tommie with friends that will last a lifetime. Although I loved the school, I was continuously told over the next 2 ½ years of schooling that if I wanted to work in the nutrition field, I would look much better on paper if I had my registered dietitian license. I decided that I would open up my options and look for a program that would allow me to do so.
A year ago from today, I transferred to the University of Minnesota to pursue dietetics. After a long semester of commuting, clinical nutrition classes and job interviews at local hospitals, I wasn’t happy with where I was. It took me a short 4 months to realize that being “Brooke Nickelatti, RD” wasn’t necessarily all that I pictured it to be, but as a junior in college, I felt stuck in this career path that I didn’t want to continue down. I decided I would stick it out because dietetics was the safe and simple way to go.
This past summer I interviewed with Mary Kosir and all those feelings changed. If you have ever had the privilege of meeting Mary – you know that her energy is contagious and extremely motivating, so I don’t think I could have responded fast enough when she offered me a position at WholeMe. I discovered my love for the blend of nutrition and business, and I transferred back to St. Thomas to continue my Nutrition Science and Business degree. I could not be happier with the school I have the privilege of attending, the wonderful people I have met along the way, or the company I get to work for.
As strange as it sounds, if I could go back, I would do it all the same. It took all of that confusion and uncertainty to realize that where I started was exactly where I was supposed to be. With transferring to and from colleges and switching my career choice, I have learned a lot about myself and even more about who I want to become.
No matter the situation, my parents have always reminded me that everything happens for a reason, and I can honestly say that is one of the biggest and most important lessons I have learned to date. I have come to realize that life is not always going to pan out the way we plan or necessarily want, but to enjoy the feeling of the unknown. Take risks, listen to people who inspire you, don’t fear uncertainty and prioritize your happiness.
Brooke is currently WholeMe’s intern extraordinaire and senior at the University of St Thomas. You can find her (attempting) to create new recipes, drinking Passionflower’s Original Cin smoothie or taking boat rides down the Mississippi River with her family.