OSU Dietetic Internship Program Clinical Coordinator Michelle Bump came to the College of Public Health and Human Sciences in 2014 after working as a lead dietitian and registered dietitian at DaVita Healthcare Partners in Dallas, Texas. She previously served as a registered dietitian – clinical practice at Parkland Health & Hospital System in Dallas. She earned a master’s degree in Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University and a bachelor’s degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas Tech University.
What made you decide to get into this field? Is there one specific moment that inspired your career path?
“A combination of factors led me down the path to becoming a registered dietitian. My high school had a well-known FFA – Future Farmers of America – program, and I was fortunate to be a part of two national winning teams, both related to food. Then in college, I was unhappy majoring in engineering and knew I wanted to do something with food. I got a flier from the Nutrition program and the first few lines were, ‘Do you like food? Are you good at chemistry? Do you want to help people?’ I said, ‘Yes, yes, yes’ and changed my major that day.”
Why did you choose to work at Oregon State?
“I’ve heard that to be truly content with your life, you must either love where you live, have a career you love or have a hobby you love. Oregon State provides two of three, and that’s sufficient for me.”
What is your favorite aspect of your role as clinical internship coordinator for OSUDI?
“Spending time with interns is the most rewarding part of my job. Every intern who goes through the OSUDI Program is a future dietitian with unlimited career potential, and I hope to inspire them to be their best self.”
What do you believe is your greatest accomplishment in the field?
“I hope I have yet to achieve my greatest career accomplishment. Although, I feel like every day can be a great accomplishment – every patient I’ve impacted, every intern I’ve inspired – those are great accomplishments.”
How are you going to change people’s lives with your work?
“My previous position as a renal dietitian allowed me to have a strong, lasting impact on improving the quality of life of my patients. Now I have the opportunity to train and mentor future dietitians, who will in turn positively impact their own patients and clients. The end result will be thousands of people with healthier lives.”
What is the best advice you ever received, and who gave it?
“I had an insightful agriculture teacher in high school who suggested that I either become a math professor or a dietitian. I ignored the comment at the time, but I don’t think I would be in this career field today if he hadn’t introduced the idea.”
What advice would you like to give to students and young alums?
“A positive outlook will get you further in your career. You have the opportunity to motivate and inspire others every day with your attitude. Don’t waste time being negative.”
What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?
“My high school FFA involvement included hundreds of hours practicing and competing on meats judging and dairy foods teams. Consequently, I can still identify most cuts of meat, taste defects in milk and grade beef – prime, choice, etc.”
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
“I have a lively 3-year-old daughter who currently monopolizes most of my free time. In my spare moments, I collect and read historical fiction. I also love to exercise. I’ve dabbled with painting in the past, and I hope to have more time for that in the near future.”