Briana Kane- MSc Public Health Nutrition
Can you tell us your name, job title and the course you studied at ATU Sligo?
My name is Briana, I am a Food Dudes project manager and I studied MSc Public Health Nutrition at ATU Sligo.
Can you share your career path to date?
This is my first role as a Public Health Nutritionist. While I was studying, I did some volunteering with bags of Taste (an online cooking intervention), wrote blog posts and designed infographics online to practice my nutrition communication skills.
What does your current role involve?
I am responsible for the running of the Food Dudes programme in primary schools in the North West of Ireland. I recruit schools to take part, organise materials to be sent to the school, train the teachers so they know how to run the program in their classrooms, support and visit the schools throughout, and keep all our spreadsheets up to date.
What motivated you to start studying?
When I finished my undergraduate course in Human Nutrition, I felt that I was not quite finished learning. I thought that doing a Masters would help to set me apart from the crowd when job searching and help me to specialise in Public Health Nutrition.
Why did you choose this course from ATU Sligo?
When I finished the BSc in Human Nutrition with ATU Sligo, I knew I wanted to use my nutrition knowledge to help improve health at a population level. I thought this course would be ideal to set me on that path. Having already studied with ATU Sligo I knew the lecturers in the nutrition department were excellent and the online learning set-up had been established a long time ago so I knew things would run smoothly and there would be plenty of support available.
How did you find the process of studying online? What elements did you find helpful? Were there elements you found challenging?
Studying online was ideal as it allowed me the flexibility to complete the course in my own time so it fit into my schedule. Lectures were recorded so I could watch them when I wanted to. I found the lecturers were very supportive and were easily available at the end of an email or in the course forums if I had any questions.
What advice would you have for anyone considering studying online?
Balancing life, work and study can be challenging, so it is important that you can manage your time, be self-disciplined and keep yourself organised so you can meet your deadlines and still have time for your other commitments.
In what way has studied online with ATU Sligo benefitted your career?
My current role is remote and it was a requirement in the job ad to be comfortable with working from home, so to be able to say I had studied from home for 2 years was a huge bonus. It meant I could hit the ground running and didn’t have an adjustment period.
Did this course provide any unexpected benefits to your career?
Along with the detailed public health nutrition-related information and skills I acquired, this course improved my soft skills greatly. For example, I drew heavily on my experience with completing my thesis during my interview. It served as a great example of an ability to work on my initiative, organisation, time management, communication and planning, all of which are essential to my current role.
What were the key skills you took away from your time studying at ATU Sligo?
Research, nutrition assessment, data analysis, project management, time management, leadership, communication, organisation, critical thinking
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